Banned in DC – Photos and Anecdotes from the DC Punk Underground (79-85), Cynthia Connoly, Leslie Clague, Sharon Cheslow
Sun Dog Progaganda,/C. Connolly, Po Box 3358, Arlington, VA 22203, USA, www.cynthiaconnolly.com
This book was originaly published in 1988 and since then reprinted five times, this is the sixth reprint after the last one from 2005. I reviewed the book back then in Trust # 17 (March 1989), the review was in german and we dedicated a full page with photos and all. This update has a afterword by Connoly, first here is the translated review from back then: „There have been a few books about Punk, those always had a problem: they where written by imbecile sociologist who portrayed Punk always as a visual provocation, protesting, narcissism and as a drain of agression and never really dealt with the roots and the people. Not so the present, opulent illustrated, caring outfitted book, that deals in particular about the orgin and development of the washington punkscene.
The authors are three women, who also nowadays still play a bigger part in this scene, so they know the matter from beginning. Painstaking storys are told from the years 1979 – 1985, by help of photos and anecdotes (true storys told by people who where there). These where true fans working, interested in complete and right documentation of the story and not interested to deformate it.
The book is great, it shows the characteristics of the scene, the rise of Dischord and Bad Brains up to the early days of Rites of Spring and Gray Matter. The captions appear pretty sober, sometimes delicious amusing. With this book the people from DC show their unity and their small world to outsiders. I can recommend the book. You get it for 15 bucks from Sun Dog Progaganda.“ Painfull, isn’t it? This book deserves better. Let me try again. When this book was published, there have hardly been any books about punk around, so it was, and is something very special. The Washington DC punk/hardcore scene has a great history and they had the luck that people where there to document it with their cameras. Now looking at these photos (hundreds of them) after more then three decades is still so much fun. Not all the photos are of super high quality, but what they capture is not just some musicians but angry kids who want to change the world. On so many photos you can see the energy and the urge that was in the air. And of course basically all key persons are in here in very young age – but not only, there is also many photos of people the world has not heard off. Needless to say that all great bands (Teen Idles, Minor Threat, Bad Brains, S.O.A., Black Market Baby, Youth Brigade, Void, Faith, Government Issue, Scream…..) are featured. Most of these bands never made it to Europe, so hardy anybody has seen them live from over here… of course there is many bands alot of these musicians played in later that made it over the pond. But that was after the documentation period. The anecdotes collected are usually short and to the point. Mostly verbal snap-shots of you DC-punks that often only give a glimpse of their experiences and not so much of a thought out attitude – but by doing that it makes the book authentic. The orginal printing had no forword/editorials, the authors where right to just have the photos and anecdots speak for themselves. In the current print is a afterword by Cynthia Connolly, where she explains where she came from (LA!) and how the idea of the book was born, created and how it then got carried out plus the history of the different prints. Those eight pages are really interesting and explain a few things that are probably not known to most people. In the end is a almost complete listing of all concerts that happend between 1979- 1985 in the DC-area. This book was and still is a must have for everybody interested in the DC punk scene. (now lets see what I think about this review in 30 years…) + 184 pages (27,5 x 20 x 1 cm ), paperback, 25.- US$ (dolf)
[Trust # 176 February 2016]