November 30th, 2016

Going Underground American Punk 1979-1989, George Hurchalla

Posted in bücher by Dolf

PM Press, P.O. Box 23912, Oakland, CA 94623, Usa,


At first I was enthusiastic to just re-read the full book – holding the 400 pages paperback in my hands I decided against it and just browsed thru looking at the pictures. The original first edition came out in 2005, a revised version in 2006 that was the version I read. It is basically the same book, just a different format and it is edited by David Ensmiger who „cleaned up portions for facts, spelling and clarity“. He also tells me that „… George had added some new material overall,
and then I was asked to cut it down to affordable size for the press, then I added a little bit here and there in places, based on some of my own interviews, but I’m not sure George ended up using every one of my own additions and suggestions…“. So in other words it is not a new experience but it is different than the original. The first two books covered 1979-1992, this one ends 1989.

Here is the review I wrote about the second edition back in 2007: „The book is out since 2005, but it took some while until the meanwhile second edition found it’s way in our Po Box. Anyway, I’m very glad it did, since it is a great book! At least for me it was fun and interesting to read. Sometimes I thought you need to be a real expert in US-Punk/Hardcore in order to understand sometimes what George Hurchalla writes, since his writing is so detailed when it comes to names and bands and scenes and stuff. But I might be wrong there, find out, it was no problem for me. It is roughly A4 sized, paperback and has 300 pages, tons of great photos and flyers for illustration. It contains ca. 30 Chapters that deal with either different scenes in different parts of the country and move along from 1979 – 1992.
It would be too much to list it here, but George has a good way of combining his own writing based on his own knowledge or research and quoting people, use oral history or using clippings from original interviews. Because of that you get the story presented as just that a story in the right order with lots of information and anecdotes. Unlike in other books the author does not concentrate on the already well documented scenes / bands / persons, but barely touches them and concentrates on all the other great stuff that was going on in punk rock america back then. San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, New York, DC, Austin you name it, it is all there.
And this book is not only concentrating on bands and the music, but also on all the political/DIY content the scene had back then, which is great, it shows that punk/hardcore was so much more than it appears to be today. Interesting also that a lot of bands from the east coast that seem to be big in Europe have had not very much impact in the usa, in other words, Hurchalla concentrates on the more interesting people/scenes.
Which does not mean you will not read certain names in the book. I really do like the balance and the way it came out. I could rave on how great the book is and what other stories are being told so well, but that would mean that this review is a couple of pages long. So, you better go out there and get this, it will give you some quality reading pleasure and on top a good lesson in US Punk/Hardcore history! Thumbs up!“ Now while I’m working on this review, I read a review of the new book where the author did read the book (and also knows the second edition) and he says that some of the small good stuff was left out and he likes the original edition better because it is more authentic, while the edited version is easier to read. Hmmm… I guess one needs to read both books in order to truly find out. But even this is the first book I review (well, this is not really a review….) without reading the actual book, I can say I’m sure the new one is worth a try if you missed out on the original one from 2005/2006. Maybe one day, when I have plenty of time on my hands I grab this version and read it… meanwhile I leave that up to you. $ 21,95 (dolf)

Isbn 978-1629631134

[Trust # 180 September 2016]

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