Few were interested in the grimily thrilling LA punk scene, but two fans chronicled every spew and snarl and now their work has been anthologised
The LA punk scene that flourished in isolation in the late 70 s was no place for hippies. Well away from the New York-London nexus of punk, in its own little incubator, the flourishing community created seminal bands such as X, the Bags, the Germs, the Weirdos and the Screamers, indicated by Jello Biafra as the best unrecorded band in the history of rocknroll.
They were mostly garage bands playing in divey venues where no one made any fund, running on drugs, liquor and exuberance. At a hour when FM radio was oppressively dominated by huge, mainstream bands including Led Zeppelin and the Bee Gees, the rage and abrasiveness of the punk scene was a jolt of energy. To stay in touch with a scene in which bands proliferated almost daily, you picked up a payphone, stopped in on friends, or heard from other punks at shows guys like journalist Steve Samiof.
In 1977 Samiof and Melanie Nissen founded Slash magazine, the scenes bible. It featured interviews with the bands and vicious, snarky reviews. The tone was to be prepared by star writer Claude Kickboy Face Bessy, who wrote in his 1977 cri de coeur , So this is War, Eh ?, Enough is enough, partner! About period we squeezed the pus out and sent the filthy rich old farts of rocknroll to retirement homes in Florida where they belong. The writing matched the visuals perfectly: Gary Panters irreverent punk comic character, Jimbo, and page after page of Nissens raw black-and-white concerts photos capturing the torn T-shirts, black makeup and after-party detritus.
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