August 12th, 2008

We Got The Neutron Bomb – The untold stroy of L.A. Punk – Marc Spitz and Brendan Mullen

Posted in bücher by Dolf

Three River Press New York/ Crown Publishing 299 Park Ave New York NY 10171 Usa/ Randomhouse

While reading the first 100 or so pages of this book I was not so sure why I was reading them. Since the story here starts in the early 70’s alot of the reading tells of happenings pre punk, then again, they make the case that Jim Morrison is the godfather of punk.

Some more oral history, this time from the city of the rich and famous, Los Angeles. It is almost as oral history as it gets, apart from the introduction, there is no editorial work by the authors, it is only original quotes from people who have been around then. Well, there is sorting, the people interviewed speak about the same happenings, or the same time frame from chapter to chapter. What makes it a good read, since you get different views on the same situations. In the beginning it was a bit hard to spark my real intererest, since I dont consider the pre punk years when glitter rock and other „new hard rock“ (like the Runaways) was happening really interesting (at least in a context of a „punk history book“).

I went thru anyway, since you learn that back then, that scene already was influenced big by the music industry people and some of it will not change with the beginning of punk, at least in Hollywood. Since the book goes back so far, it kicks off very early when punk happend as we know it. Around 77, with bands like the Screamers, the Weirdos and of course the Germs and X. Around the same time Rodney Bingenheimer started broadcasting at KROQ and Slash, Flipside – among others started to publish.

If you wanna read about Devo, you also find that here. Some other chapters deal with venues/ houses (Masque, Plunger Pit), Darby Crash, the Go Go’s, Sex Pistols, Rockabilly, Hardcore, Skate Punk, Orange County and lots more. The book is not really built in chronographical order, but that does not disturb, it just makes it less easy to write about it here. I think this book is only for people that are really interested in what was happening back then, since it goes so far back and includes so much „music“ that is not considered punk by alot of potential readers. Anyway, it is a good read and you learn that (maybe not so much the punk/hc scene) the scene covered in the book was infected by industry people back then for good.

That musicians featured in the book thought about „getting signed“ rather then not to and that the vibe in Hollywood/LA was much more music biz orientated than punk. This, as with all oral history might just be the focus of the authors (Mullen is also quoted alot of times in alot chapters) and if you ask different people they might talk to individuals that where into making a difference, beeing political and not looking for the next groupie or more drugs. For sure I can tell you, I have not been there, I dont know. It is 13 US $. And for that you also get a „Cast of Characters“ in the back, which should be read before you read the book. (dolf)

ISBN 0-609-80774

[Trust # 94 Juni 2002]


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