Edited By: Chris Duncan
Publisher: AK Press
Buy on Amazon.com
It’s a nice idea to get a large group of punky people (band members, skateboarders, zinesters, etc.) to jot down their earliest punk show memories. Too bad everyone seems to have the exact same memory.
Each 2-3 page essay seems to go like this: I was a (teen rebel/awkward loser/angsty youth with home troubles) and (no one understood me/I was an outcast/I was bored in suburbia). Then one day, (a friend called me about a show / I scored a ride to a club) and BEHOLD! I saw (a local band / a well-respected punk band playing what would have been one of their first shows back then). At some point I (moshed/stage dived/talked to a punk girl) and I FELT LIKE I WAS HOME!
Not to belittle one’s formative moment in their career as a scenester, but 50 or so variations of the same theme above gets old pretty quick. There are a few exceptions – Joe Queer’s reminiscing is interesting (since I’m a big Queers fan); Blag Dahlia is his hilariously dismissive self – but the essays seem like transcribed interviews or emails that were quickly shot off. None of the essays are particularly well-written or inspiring. If anything, this book is a good reminder about why I hate going to punk shows.