Under The Big Black Sun

Under The Big Black Sun by John Doe and Friends

Under The Big Black Sun by John Doe and Friends

I missed the L.A. Punk movement.  Instead I had to settle ten years later for the Paisley scene.  Not as cool.  I just finished John Doe‘s anthology book “Under The Big Black Sun” that includes essays from many of the people associated with the LA punk scene.

John Doe, Henry Rollins, Jane Wiedlin among many other contribute passages.  I loved the way some of the same remembrances were referenced, like the fact that Belinda Carlisle always wore a hefty trash bag cinched at the waist or the crazy happening at the Canterbury apartments.

Of course the best part was learning about the bands, The Germs, The Bags, The Flesheaters and Black Randy and The Metrosquad.

Based on the documentary, Decline of Western Civilization,  I always assumed the punk scene was mostly about providing a creative outlet for poverty, anger and violence.  This was clearly not the case.  Most of the essayists denounced the violence and referenced that it became a problem once the Orange County culture started coming to the scene.  There is an essay in the book from Orange County native and TSOL singer Jack Grisham that explains why he perpetrated the violence.  It’s easily one of the most shocking essays in the book.

“My violence was ever directed at other punks, My angers was directed at those who said we can’t or we should not…”You could ask me about the backlash from the violence…”You could ask me whether I could ever live vanilla when I had raped and slashed my way through the soft flesh of a rainbow.  I apologize for nothing…although I no longer hold to those beliefs, I don’t regret them”

Much of the music is available on a compilation from an extinct pop label called Dangerhouse.  It’s streaming on Spotify.  I think the music is still thrilling.

Enter Your Mail Address

Posted in books | Tagged as: , , | Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Protected by WP Anti Spam
%d bloggers like this: