Louie Pérez gets it. He knows what being in a band and making music are all about. I’ve been reading the book More Fun in the New World, co-written by John Doe of the band X. It features essays from several early 80s luminaries from the L.A. punk/cowpunk scene: Dave Alvin (The Blasters), Jane Wiedlin and Charlotte Caffey (The Go-Gos), Keith Morris (Black Flag, Circle Jerks), Mike Ness (Social Distortion), Maria McKee (Lone Justice), Sid Griffin (Long Ryders), Peter Case (Plimsouls), Chip Kinman (Rank & File), plus contributions from now-famous fans such as Shepard Fairey and Tony Hawk.
Louie Pérez of Los Lobos wrote about how they became part of that scene. On May 4th, 1980, they opened for Public Image Ltc. and got pelted with spit, beer bottles, loose change… whatever the punk fans could get their hands on. But they didn’t let that dissuade them. Shortly thereafter, they met The Blasters, and became friends with that band. Their big break came when they opened for The Blasters at the Whisky a Go Go. According to Louie, there was a bit of hesistation from the audience, but at least there were no projectiles:
Community… spirit… a good vibe. Yeah, that’s the stuff. Tell us more, LP:
Having a great time with new friends, bonding over a shared love of music. Man, I totally understand that. I feel like the community he’s describing in L.A. in the early 80s also existed among the people who worked at and/or listened to a tiny radio station in Oxford, Ohio, from the early 80s through the mid 2000s.
That’s why Dave Tellmann and I do our podcast – to share stories, reconnect with the tribe, and keep the flame alive.
The book is well worth a read. And the music made by those bands is certainly worth revisiting.