Amoeblog


DC & CHICAGO PUNK HISTORY + CBGB's BATHROOM

Posted by Billyjam, May 28, 2007 07:54pm | Post a Comment
After posting last week's AMOEBLOG about increasing US postal costs, which included an interview with Dischord Records' Ian MacKaye -- the legendary DC punk icon -- I received a couple of emails off-blog from fans of MacKaye's groups Fugazi and Minor Threat. One (from Dave in Orange County) linked me to a killer website that takes visitors on a walking tour of the Washington DC punk scene that started in late seventies. The online destination offers "10 txt-walks, 10 videos. Places and stories of hardcore in DC," where you can either view the ten documentary videos on the site or as a podcast. You can also download a PDF map of DC punk from the site.
  
What I like about the DC punk history site is that it sheds light on a scene that was overshadowed by such well-documented punk scenes in the UK, NYC, and California. And that got me thinking about all the other great USA punk scene histories like Boston, who years ago in reaction to SoCal's well-publicized scene, released the great compilation This Is Boston, Not LA. Another overlooked early US punk scene was that of Chicago, which is captured in the new film You Weren't There: The History of the Chicago Punk 1977-1984 from Regressive Films. The documentary looks back on the impact that punk had on the Windy City and features such well known bands as Articles of Faith, Effigies and Naked Raygun and such lesser known punk acts as Silver Abuse, Savage Beliefs, and Negative Element. Check out this movie trailer:


But of course, if one had to name just one place as the mecca of US punk, it would inevitably be the legendary/no longer there Bowery, NYC club CBGBs. Amid much publicity, it bit the dust last year. And besides the famed punk-palace's stage, it was the club's bathroom that was equally famous. Captured on video about six week's before CBGBs closed in the latter half of 2006, this video captured the famous graffiti'ed/stickered bathroom's vibe. To properly view/appreciate, tilt your head on your left shoulder and imagine the stench of urine: