A Personal History Of L.A. Punk: 'It Was A Free-For-All For Outcasts'
Submitted by: fancylad⚫ 11 months ago
I was too young for the first wave of Los Angeles punk.
While the Germs, Kommunity FK, The Dills, The Zeros, The Dickies, Black Flag, Social Distortion's first line-up, Fear, Circle Jerks, 45 Grave, The Go-Go's (when they were a gritty punk band), T.S.O.L., The Minutemen, and loads of other no-hit wonders who crashed and burned on LA's dankest club stages, I was still in diapers and full of hope and promise.
I did eventually see Social Distortion a bunch of times (was never that impressed), I never saw Black Flag, but I saw the Rollins Band several times and I've seen Henry on a bunch of speaking gigs (always great). The only proper LA punk band I saw early on was X, and I've seen then a lot -- I'm actually seeing their lead singer, John Doe at a tiny bar about 5 miles from my house in June.
John Doe is a punk icon and somehow, he's still living and he's still relevant. He never sold out, but he someone managed to quietly be in over 60 movies (his role as Pat McGurn in 1989's Roadhouse is still the peak of his acting career).
Anyhoo, he just released his memoirs, Under The Big Black Sun: A Personal History Of L.A. Punk, and it's 100 percent worth reading. He did a promo interview with NPR for the book -- give it a read -- it's an eye opener. You can read the interview highlights here or listen to the full interview if you click on the play button at the top of the NPR page.