The Birth Of A Punk-Rocker part 1
My first experience with punk rock music was around 1983 when I was in the seventh grade, the big things at the time were Sony walkmans, break dancing and the emerging heavy metal/hard rock scene. What better of a time for a kid to experience something so completely different that would take control for the rest of his life? I think the band was the Sex Pistols and it was a friend of mine in Brigham City Utah who gave me the tape to listen to, a few weeks later he brought an issue of High Times magazine to school that had an in-depth article about the band and many pictures of Sid Vicious all bloodied up and pictures of their live shows. I could not get enough…..
Literally I could not get enough because the punk rock scene in Utah did not exist at all at the time. About a year later, I moved to Lewiston Idaho with my punk rock appetite and attitude and found this town just as boring. After getting into the skateboarder scene, I met this cat named Charlie Parker who would turn me on to many cool bands and eventually punk rock concerts in the Spokane Washington area. Chazz, as he preffered to be called, was from California and his mother was an artist. I would spend the weekends at his house in the basement learning skateboard tricks and discovering new bands. Chazz was the typical California kid, good at doing skateboard tricks, phenomenal at riding bmx bikes on ramps and dressed a lot different than everyone else.
The bands Chazz hipped me to were SuicidalTendencies, The Cramps, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Bad Brains, Social Distortion, and the Dead Kennedys among others. He would always give me his tapes and just tell me to keep them and I played them until they wore out. He would go to Spokane to ride bmx and when he came back he would tell me about all these local bands at small punk rock clubs like 123 Arts and how bad ass the shows were. He would tell me about bands like The Accused, Big Yuck Mouth and Vampire Lezbos, and how the shows cost three dollars to get in. I was sold at that point and just had to come up with a plan, some dough and a way to get my folks to let me go to Spokane for the weekend.
During this time I also acquired a Fender Jazz Bass from my stepmother’s brother. I started playing it in the junior high band and learning all the best punk bass lines I could. I met another cat through Chazz named Robert Jefferies who lived a couple of blocks from Chazz with his grandparents. He had a skateboard launch ramp out in front of his house and he was also a punk rocker and looked the part too. I would go session on my board with him street skating and he would hip me to all the best spots as well as turning me onto the hardcore punk bands like D.R.I., Corrosion Of Conformity, The Accused and G.B.H. I was starting to find my niche in the punk rock world and these guys opened my eyes to where to look. You see, there are not alot of people who like the music or the mindset but there was always people who would go with the fashion. These people were lames and posers and still are even nowadays.
These people were not the only influences on me, over the next years I would meet other people who would have the records or tapes and who were veterans in the scene. There was a comic shop/music store a block away from my high school that had a pretty good selection of punk music for sale as well as a giant catalog they would order from. I think these people were also a major factor in my life as they made it possible for me to find and buy music I did not know existed and they had the punk rock ‘zones as well like Maximum Rock N Roll and alternative newspapers like The Rocket.
The whole reason I buy the same punk rock albums that I have had over and over again in my life is purely for nostalgia’s sake. Certain songs remind me of better times and take me to places alot better than sitting in this prison cell. Please continue to follow my blog about punk rock’s influence in my life. I am currently trying to put together a playlist of punk rock bands from fifty states, if you would like to help out, please email me a short list of punk rock bands from these states; Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas. I am limited to being able to purchase music from jpay so please list a few bands that have whole albums. You can contact me on jpay.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and see me on Facebook.com
Today’s reccomended punk rock album- The Germs- MIA