The band were signed to Track Records and began work on their first album, the star-crossed, ill-fated, now-legendary L.A.M.F. The acronym (for “Like a motherfucker) was allegedly taken from the street gangs Thunders (aka John Anthony Genzale of Queens, New York) ran with as a teenager, and matched the band’s reputation perfectly, as did the cover photo, the four band members standing in the doorway of an abandoned building, perfectly capturing their bad-boy, keep-your-daughters-away image. The songs are flat-out great, near legendary: sharp slices of rockabilly/50’s infused punk, glorious guitar riffs, and actual hooks everywhere you turned. But what killed the record and made it fall flat on its face was the production and the mastering: murky, impenetrable, it smothered the life out of everything that was good about the music and render it near unlistenable. This was due to the band’s dodgy record deal, a revolving door of recording personnel and facilities, and, well, drugs. It was the final straw for Jerry Nolan, who left the band.