we have a date with the underground, chapter 39
by Turtle Jones

The 80's.

This was the decade I grew up in. The West Coast was the place to be for punk rock. Second generation punk rock? I guess if you have to give it a name, that would be the closest you could get. All the bands like X, Black Flag, and FEAR were fading out. Darby Crash was dead. That scene had kinda been in the sun to long and it was just waiting for someone new to take it back. And we did.

Well that is my take on how it happened. But fuck, as it has been said before, I do have a strong bias to California punk rock. What's funny is that my favorite band at the time came out of Texas and transplanted to San Francisco but I forgave them for that.bathroom1.jpg

So here they came. Band after band every night of the week. There were so many bands, LA was broken up into cities. Which was weird cause I was just used to "from LA" or "from OC" on fliers but now I had to get used to all of the subdivisions of LA. Fuck that. And don't even ask me how Nardcore fit into all that cause that was just confusing.

Well anyways. That's another story.

This was an innocent time of LSD and speed. Back when we were just seen as a waste of time and we were rebelling against anything you had. Skateboarding was a crime and Tony Hawk was a homo for wearing pads as he skated. Mile High ramp was the place to be in Tahoe and small clubs were picking up on every other block only to be closed down two weeks later. A new warehouse was opened to the public called the Gilman and MRR wasn't packed with a bunch of dickhead writers yet. It was kind of cool.

So being in a band at that time was like owning a skateboard. You had to do it.

The reason I started playing bass was simple. It was there. In a garage. No, I didn't play it cause I like the sound or cause it was the backbone of the band and no, I didn't play it cause all the chicks dug bass players. It was just there. I started out singing but I got tired of that when I figured out I would actually have to memorize lyrics. Screw that. I mean, I love the way my voice sounds miced out over the neighborhood but I hated that "write something fast" thing singers have to deal with. So I grabbed the bass. Ran it through one of the guitar amps sitting around and I was good.

Well, we ran everything through guitar amps back then.

It was a white Squire. I think they still make those. And really, it was crappy. But, it worked back then. A perfect cheap bass with plenty of places for stickers. So I took it home. After a few hours of playing it, the blisters came a knockin'. My brother told me to just keep playing cause "it was a punk rock thing to do." So I did. The clear plasma dripped off of my fingers for a few days but it slowly stopped and came back as hard as nails fingertips.

I was a bass player. Not a very good one but one none the less.

As those days went on, more people in bands joined the audience side of the stage and the players thinned out. Rooms with equipment became garages full of equipment and weekday jams turned into late night shows.

So I like the 80's.

They taught me how to make choices when there was no good decision.



...PA not LA...

but we used to do the same thing with guitar amps. used to run the vocals through them until we fried a few pre-amps, and got schooled by someone who knew better.

California definitely had plenty of my favorite bands back in the 80's...circle jerks, social distortion, bad religion, MIA, the adolescents, agent orange, DESCENDENTS!!!

kinda partial to Flipside myself. cool rag and a decent label as well. remember the vinyl fanzine? MRR is still around, right?

fuck...i'm gettin' all nostalgic and shit


you know I really don't know if MRR is still around.

it might be. They really fucked that scene up.

flipside was cool cause they had the video fanzines too. I used to have a few of those before they went out of print.


i forgot about those videos. there was one with the bad religion riot on it, wasn't there?

i just liked how flipside did the whole thing...the reviews, scene reports, SHANESHIT, JUST SAY KNOW. just really cool. i appreciated how MRR seemed to be really idealistic and all, but alot of it seemed mean-spirited or exclusionary to me. i think they might still be around...all volunteer staff, money goes back to the magazine, really cool in that aspect. dug the cassettes we would get of their radio show.

but whatever...liked alot of the music that came out of the state. ground zero for what came out mainstream in the mid 90's.

and where's the humpers?


MRR really turned super gutter punk and kinda weird. they started hating everyone who didn't fit with what they thought was punk.

it was too bad. Some of it I agreed with but most of it was too far out there for me.

i don't know what happned to the humpers.

mia. jeez. i hadnt thought of them in years. boredom is the reason.....hm. havent thought about that for along time. i think i still know the lyrics


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