If it wasn’t for the Xerox Corporation we would never have known about all the Punk Rock shows here in Los Angeles.
Xerox used to have copier machines in all of our local grocery markets and for a few measly cents you could print up copies about your local band or party. And that’s how we got the word out, by Xerox.
At every show or party we’d attend there would be someone passing out Xerox flyers about new shows, parties and other assorted gatherings.
And it was easy, you could set up the art at home usually by cutting out pictures from magazines and then adding art and the list of bands and voila you’re in the advertisement business. Thank you Xerox!
I also feel I should mention the Gay community because people may not have known it but the Gay community helped the Punk scene along by accepting our weird looks and they let our bands play at their clubs and discos. Many clubs wouldn’t let us in their doors let alone allow 4 bands to play in a night but the owners of those gay clubs didn’t discriminate when it came to making a buck.
I used to go to an all ages club in the valley called “Phases” and that was actually a gay club but they had a Punk Rock night and a lot of my friends went there to hang out. Many Gay clubs were run by the Gay Mafia or the Gay Syndicate which was the club owners and business associates only way to protect themselves from the Police and the straight community’s constant harassment. Just like any other Mob, Club Owners made a lot of money from all sorts of things. And because money wasn’t an issue they could hire the muscle needed to keep the shows going and pay off the police and politicians on their backs if they worked together by pooling their resources.
Punk Rock wasn’t something that was easily accepted in those days. The outrageous look, wild hair and stuff would really scare a lot of people. But the gay club owners had no problem with the weird or their money and thanks a lot for that because the Punk scene would have had a lot less venues in those days.
I’d also like to remind you of the role that Public Telephone’s had in the scene. We would never have been able to get the word out about shows, parties and fights without those Public Telephone’s being available all over the city. We created a phone roster of every Lads member and then divided the list between members so we could spread the word when something was happening. We’d call all the people on our roster list which would take a while but it worked really well to get the heads out and into action. I suppose no one could even imagine doing that when now a days you can send a text or an email to everyone in your phone list simultaneously at the speed of light.
You may not remember or you may have never heard of “The Burnings”….But this was a time in the 80’s when Parents felt they could or should openly light fires on the front lawn to burn their kids Punk Rock records, flyers and clothes as a way to stop their kid from being Punk Rock… It was a thing in the 80’s…
Having a Punk Rocker for a child was an embarrassment to parents and was looked upon in the community as a parenting failure. News outlets focused itself on the daily growing menace known as Punk Rock. Parents, The PTA, Cops and Politicians all had to have their say about the Punk Rock menace taking over their schools and their children. Good parenting wasn’t a thing back then but good discipline was and any parent that couldn’t control their child was looked down on by the neighbors.
All of a sudden organizations like Parents Of Punkers started popping up. In the era known as the “Punk Rock Panic” organizations were set up to deprogram kids that were into Punk Rock as if it were a cult in stead of just another genre of music.
Looking back on this now it seems like it was some sort of mass hysteria you’d read about in Psych Class. Only this mass hysteria happened and it broke up families and pitted the generations against each other. After all this time it seems so stupid, frivolous and petty to think that parents would thwart the carefree, gentle and sometimes wild discovery of life that a child must live through in order to become an adult.