Poison Idea was formed in 1980 in Portland, OR by vocalist Jerry A. (aka Jerry Lang). The initial lineup consisted of Jerry A., Tom “Pig Champion” Roberts (guitar), Glen Estes (bass), and Dean Johnson (drums). Inspired by Black Flag and other early Southern California hardcore acts, they were further influenced by Discharge and Los Angeles's the Germs. Germs singer Darby Crash was a strong influence on singer Jerry A.—vocally, lyrically, and philosophically—was monumental, and Poison Idea followed the Germs’ extremist punk ethic.