Monday, June 5, 2017

"downtown Hollywood / I'd shoot 'em down if I could"

X, "What's Wrong With Me"

I just started Under The Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk curated by John Doe of X.  So far, it's mostly good.

It's divided up into small-ish chapters written by a single player from the late 70's / early 80's L.A. scene.  It almost feels like Doe was going to write a memoir by himself but then decided to include others (including, naturally, Exene Cervenka).

This is a fine choice -- a multi-voiced oral history of L.A. punk, but it also leads to some Liverjournal-esque sloppiness ("i had never seen so many punk kids w/ drugs ZOMG").  That's cringe-worthy in what should be taken as a significant work of pop culture history, to say the least.

That said, the best chapter so far is by The Go-Go's Jane Wiedlen.  Having read some short articles and seen some interviews with her, it's no surprise that she's funny and self-aware and seemingly a pretty reliable narrator of what exactly went down, despite the fog of drugs, sex, violence, and more drugs.

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