Thursday, September 17, 2009

1981 Urban Struggle continues...

Part 3

Back with more of the explosive (and yes, dangerous) energy of this early eighties tale of a venue boiling over with rivalries, misunderstandings, humour, anger, defiance, mischief, excessive mischief, Chuck Dukowski’s insights, unexpected understandings of “punk”, typical misunderstandings of punk, Derf, some insightful bouncers, and much more coming furious and faster than a solo punkling being chased by a bunch of bangers behind a school in 1986, told at the time it happened. Hardcore punk and music historians, continue to celebrate this 1981 archeological treasure! And yes, more jaw dropping live footage of Black Flag, Circle Jerks, and this time, TSOL.

A (sort of) quick 2 cents: I’m as much of a sucker for punk rock/hardcore history books and movies as the next fan, but I must say (as I get up on the Double Cross podium), next to the BOOM (!!!) of an amazing live show or that first racing charge that hits you when you first hear an incredible new song or band, the next best thing can be the POP! of a zine’s enthusiasm (like Gordo’s goddam amazing take on the world of music…hell, the guy not only had me some odd two decades later actually LISTEN to, and ENJOY (I might add…) “Staring Into the Sun” and that (I now realize, fully awesome) BOLD EP, something I never thought would happen…) (sidenote: a kick I got going on of listening to “difficult” later albums: I even went back and listened to later BLITZ (both the guitar glory of “Killing Dream” Blitz (with the Attak singer!) and “This song Solar sure sounds like early in the morning and molecules reforming on a science show…” Blitz of “Second Empire Justice”), and yes, totally enjoyed those albums …though Blitz, as a full on punk band, holy bleached jacket, I’ll be damned if “Never Surrender” isn’t the best North American hardcore song ever written in the UK, and I’ll put “New Age” up against even the Vapors (“Waiting For the Weekend”!) for an incredible slice of new wave…yeah….I know most new wave is “wussy” (not including the total (undercover) toughness and mind-melting smarts of DEVO) but a good song is a good song!) or back to the spark of punk:

sometimes the most exciting thing next to an actual amazing show is what can be captured by a camera at the right place and time (especially when the camera person isn’t irritatingly giving a self-important sour face when they get clipped by someone who is taking part in the action the camera person is documenting…my compliments to all you photographers that catch lightning and smile too…). Click! No hindsight, no over-thought, just right there, film (or video) rolling. So IMMEDIATE that you can taste the tension, volume, laughter, fear (Derf), and more than anything, ENERGY in the air: exactly like I hope this documentary you are about to watch more of will give you a bit of.

Now, before you start watching again, a moment of silence for the countless number of venues that have been shut down (for whatever on that huge list of common reasons, even if it is “punk” stupidity or outside stupidity or an outside community hating (instead of working with) kids that are different …), and a moment of cheer for the kids and people (of any age) starting up new venues (and / or supporting those amazing “old reliable” warhorse venues if you are lucky enough to have one or three in your city or town) for bands to play and ideas to be heard, and yes, people to dance and slam and stage dive like it’s 1981, because, holy-circle-storm, those punks at the cuckoo’s nest were nuts!

Part 4

Final 2 cents, on TSOL in PART 3: at about 5:03. The rotational forces created by that ferocious dance floor must have temporarily twisted the Earth off its axis.

This New Millennium Revisits the Cuckoo’s Nest:

The documentary looks to be available again (and there is current footage of comments by Cuckoo’s Nest owner Jerry Roach on youtube), with some extra stuff, for those who are interested. As well, it looks like there is another documentary out that re-visits the time and place called “We Were Feared”…and possibly (impossibly?) a feature film (?!) also coming out.

Lots of pics, further info, and old flyers here:

(and before summer officially ends in a few days, go listen to and pogo to some songs by The Crowd!!!) -Agent A.

Part 5


Ben Edge said...

The best writing Double Cross to date, and about the best music no less.

Time to listen to some New Clear Days again.

Marty said...

Awesome!!! Ron Emory's guitar tone is truly amazing, even to this day. T.S.O.L is definitely my favorite band to come out of the whole early 80's Southern California scene, hands down. Thank you so much for posting this.

D. Sine said...

I think I have a copy of this on vhs. It's a really great video, thanks for posting it. My brother used to go to the Cuckoos Nest all the time. I would try to go with him, but my parents would never let me. Which really bummed me out at the time, but in hind sight was probably for the best considering all the trouble my brother would usually get in.