California Punk BandsPunk bands from California
is a Southern Californian punk band with ex-youth and social distortion drummer Casey Royer on vocals. la tanto semplice quanto efficace frase "Thank God for punk rock bands".
California punk, L'ultima Thule.
I was very happy to interview him about a record project he was responsible for, which - by the way - is dedicated to one of the chapters in the history of skirt where I think I am absolutely competent, the first Californian punk. The best punk scene of the 70s in terms of quantity, variety and validity of its exponents?
In my opinion, the Californian was undoubtedly concentrating on the two nerve centers of Los Angeles and San Francisco. Do you remember the famous sentence of Mark Perry, director of the Alternative TV and "theorist" of the movement by the fanciful "Sniffin' Glue"? "Punk died when thelash signed the contract with CBS."
This was discussed on the phone with today's 57th Jon Savage, a well-known journalist and eyewitness of those days, whose England's Dreaming - translated in Italy by Arcana as The English Dream - is one of the two sacred texts read to frame and understand punk rock (the other is Please Hill).
Why California punk, and why now? There wasn't really any particular reason to make this record at this time, but the music to be treated is extraordinary and the work like this had never been done by anyone before. I have always seen punk as an international movement, I have opposed the dominant thesis that it is almost only a British phenomenon from 1977.
At that time I was in contact with musicians and insiders from all over the world, because while writing about punk and fanzines for "Sounds" (the third English music week, closed after "NME" and "Melody Maker", 1991, editor's note) I was constantly on the lookout for new and valid things. So I contacted Greg Shaw, who published the Bomp! magazine and ran the Bomp! label in Los Angeles, Vale, who published Search & Destroy in San Francisco, and Claude Bessy, who edited Slash.
I liked them very much, I heard them every day, so I went to Los Angeles in August 1978 and met everyone in person. And how did the Black Hole project come about? They asked me if I had any other ideas, and I suggested California punk, something that had been in my head for three decades.
And you are also happy, because the CD offers a very broad cross-section of what happened in Los Angeles and San Francisco between 1977 and 1980. There is also a piece by Screamers that I first officially released on record. That' right, and I am proud of it, because they were huge: total punk, even if their instrumental setup didn't contain any guitars.
This is different from the English punk who immediately started selling himself and then quickly became a problem with advertising because he created very specific stereotypes. In English punk of 1978 there was very little interesting, while in California there were many bands with a precise identity who continued their music in a situation of absolute independence from the market.... because the market did not really exist, since we are talking about almost only 45 rpm released in a few hundred copies.
What do you think were the main differences between Los Angeles and San Francisco? In San Francisco, they were more "professional" and politically engaged. I congratulate the consumers for the recording who didn't release anything at the time but are really great, and ask you about Aurora Pushups, another dark volume that didn't have a real punk sound.
It' true, stylistically they are a bit untypical compared to the rest of the setlist.... but my definition of punk is pretty elastic, and then their piece -tims Of Terrorism, also of great topicality as far as the lyrics are concerned - undeniably has punk content, even if it has a guitar in it.
On the other hand, you see an open door among consumers: they were fantastic, and it's really incredible that what they had recorded wasn't released on record at the time, but more than fifteen years later. When I discovered their XP in 1978, they were simply classified as one of the many young and stupid punk bands in Los Angeles.
More than the song of the urinal known only to lovers, the title of the collection refers to Kids Of The Black Hole of teenagers who obviously are not considered. I wouldn't have the right emotional thrust or even the necessary competence to do this, since I stopped listening to "new" punk in 1979.
In summary, it can be said that the sound quality of Black Hole is just as bad as that of the original recordings. Punk is like that and it has to be like that, no punk album from the first epoch has a "nice" sound. It is very unlikely that an investment with a lot of money to set a punk record will lead to better results than spending less.
Enriched with a good booklet, also enriched with photographs and reproductions of posters, notes and personal memories of Jon Savage, Black Hole puts twenty-six episodes of twenty groups (germs, Dils, Avengers, Sleepers, Zeros and Middle Class are each represented by two) from the 1977-1980 period into a series.
Almost all of the main actors are present, with extremely important episodes from their repertoire, from the crime of Murder by Guitar to the Weirdos of Solitary Confinement to the death of We're deskate and the Dead Kennedys of California about everything. Beautiful " treats " from screamers, consumers, urinals and aurora pushups, the only painful failures of Dickies, nuns, negative trend and Black Flag.