Punk Rock Week: The Repo Man Soundtrack

In Summer of '85 a friend came back from a few weeks at camp and turned me on to Suicidal Tendencies:

It was something I immediately connected with. Before this, I was listening to songs by Iron Maiden and Dio, with lyrics about knights slaying dragons and whatnot. But this was direct and sincere, with emotions so strong that they could barely be articulated, via lyrics or instruments; the music was on the verge of disintegrating under its own weight. It was enough persuasion for me to buy the song on vinyl, via the Repo Man soundtrack LP at the Coconuts in the Forest Park Mall. The album contains a few duds, but some other tracks were a springboard to finding more music by decent bands, like "Let's Have a War" by Fear:

And "Coup d'Etat" by the Circle Jerks, the first punk band I saw live in concert:

Then there was Black Flag's "TV Party", but I don't like that single. It was definitely a gateway, though, since right after I heard it, I found a used copy of "Damaged". I still listen to it, because, "TV Party" excepted, it rules. So I'll cheat and include this video from the "Damaged" era.

Henry Rollins was definitely not my favorite singer; the band's output quickly went downhill after he signed on. Just a couple years later, he was reciting bad poetry on stage while Greg Ginn just stood there, silently regretting that he ever allowed this clown to join the band. I much preferred Dez Cadena, but he dropped out because the Black Flag concerts were getting to be too violent for him. So check out Rollins in this video. The dude is an asskicker. Few men could have fronted such a band in such a crazy environment. But I digress.

And although I didn't appreciate it as much at the time, Iggy Pop's theme is the best post-Stooges track he's recorded:


Punk Rock Week: The Screamers

The Screamers - a drummer, two keyboardists and one of the greatest frontmen of all time - never recorded an album, but they eclipsed the Germs and X as the biggest draw in LA clubs during the first wave of Punk in the 70's.

This may have been shot for the first commercial release they were intending, to be available only on video tape. A strange idea, considering that VCR's were uncommon and prohibitively expensive at the time, but as you can see, it would have been a shame to have limited the antics of singer Tomata du Plenty to just an audio recording.

Punk Rock Week: The Real-Life Young Ones


Punk Rock Week: I Dig Pain

Take a hunk of concrete
And stick it in my face
I like to play with razor blades
I hate the human race
Kick me when I'm down
Come up and rip my shirt
My dad will buy another one
Especially if I'm hurt
I dig pain

From the Punk Rock episode of CHiPs, of course. The one that ends with Eric Estrada singing Kool and the Gang's "Celebration" on stage at a club to convert all the punks over to feel-good music. You can watch the whole thing starting here.


Punk Rock Week: Flipper

I'm guessing this performance is a Target Video production from sometime in the early 80's.

Consistently one of my favorite bands for over 25 years now. I still listen to them all the time, and my guitar and drumming styles on the Metal Robots tracks are very inspired by them. They reunited in 2005 with three of the original four members (co-bassist / co-singer Will Shatter, the one singing in the above video, fatally overdosed in 1987), and they still sound great.

Related: Flipper Playlist

Punk Rock Week: Magic Makeover!

Thanks to this instructional clip from "The Day my Kid went Punk", a 1987 ABC afterschool special, you too can go from Zero to Hero within minutes:

Sadly, this is the only part of this sociological relic I can find online. But look, here is another fun makeover activity! Try it, won't you?

Here's my entry. Awww, he's so much less angry-looking now:

Draw / Photoshop your own, mail it to coloring_contest@stexe.net, and if your makeover is chosen, you just might win a prize!

(Disclaimer: there will be no prizes.)


Punk Rock Week: Fear

From Wikipedia:

Fear reached national notoriety after the Halloween, 1981 episode of Saturday Night Live, in which they were introduced by guest host Donald Pleasence. Fear was booked only because former cast member John Belushi had insisted upon their booking as a condition of his return to appear in two skits in cameo parts. The band played two songs, during which hardcore members of the audience, many of whom traveled to NYC from Washington, DC, slam danced and stage dived damaging the set. As the band began a third song, SNL producer Dick Ebersol ordered the live feed stopped, and a taped rehearsal performance played after a brief black-out delay.


Punk Rock Week: Quincy

I picked up Destroy All Movies a couple months ago based on strong online reviews, and have been flipping through it nearly every day since. It's a true labor of love, exhaustive and well-written.

A term that keeps coming up is "Quincy Punks", originally coined to describe the outrageous characters that didn't exist outside of Hollywood film and television studios. Not, at least, until impressionable children (like myself) saw these TV shows and started imitating them. Now "Quincy Punks" is synonymous with "poseurs", thrown around to describe naive suburban kids who dress up and go to all-ages venues in the city to act tough.

My favorite is the dude with Little Orphan Annie hair and King Diamond facepaint. Haw!


Movie of the Week: Hawk the Slayer

80's British Sword and Sorcery with The Great Jack Palance, Patricia Quinn (of the Rocky Horror Picture Show) and a really good original score. A favorite of mine since I first saw it on cable in 1981, after school in the sixth grade, when I was still a Dungeons & Dragons Dweeb.


Trailer Trash: Mob Boss


The beginning and ending are missing, and the VHS transfer is awful, and it's broken up into eight chapters of a few minutes each, but this 1980 afterschool special starring Scott Baio is rare enough, and funny enough, to be included here in the esteemed halls of Futurechimp. And for you youngsters out there who are just starting out, the first few minutes give some helpful tips.

Bonus Baio! He's so dreamy! A reinterpretation of my favorite movie, Zapped. Starring Eddie Deezen, Heather Thomas (and her body double), Scatman Crothers and LaWanda Page. Filmed at John Marshall High School in Silverlake, which was around the corner from my old house. Also served as the location for Grease, starring Eddie Deezen.


Movie of the Week: Horrors of Spider Island

This amusingly-dubbed 1960 German Horror-Nudie was released in American adults-only theaters in '62, then had its nude scenes removed for re-release on the monster matinee circuit a few years later. It also was on Mystery Science Theater 3000, but don't let that dumb show keep you from seeing this. It's a highly surreal and unique experience.

Do you know how many video rental stores I scoured in the 80's and 90's searching for this brain-scrambler? But now that we have the internet, this public domain film can be streamed anywhere, and you can even download the whole thing at archive.org.


It's Vibrant. It's Urban. It's You.

Aw look, my alma mater sent me a letter of appreciation for taking so much of my money all of those years ago and giving back nothing in return. They want to say they're sorry.

Wait a minute....

And there you go... a better work of art than anything I did as a Columbia undergraduate, and it didn't cost me $6,000 a year. I just needed a little inspiration.

(click to enlarge)