my Book

Book Details

Title:   More Fun in the New World: The Unmaking and Legacy of L.A. Punk
Author:   John Doe, Tom DeSavia
Times Read:   1
Last Read:   05.11.24

Other Books Read By This Author (1)
- Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of LA Punk

Notes History
Date Read Note
05.11.24 this is a sequel to the last book I read, kinda sorta picking up at 1983 and talking about what happened "next." It collects essays from many of the voices heard in the first book but also expands to include other musicians as well as people from other scenes who were affected by punk. People like Tim Robbins (and his Actor's Gang 80s shows), Shepard Fairey (the OBEY guy), Tony Hawk, and filmmaker Allison Anders talking about making Border Radio. In some respects, some of the chapters feel like people saying "hey! I should've been in the first book, let me tell my story!" while other chapters feel more like sequels (both accounts from Go-Go's members read like their "drug books" listing how out of control they were in contrast to their overly positive accounts in the first book), and some chapters are straight-up recorded phone calls Doe has with people. I'm guessing these were a little more targeted, like he wanted to get their perspective in the book without asking them do write anything out. DeSavia's name also shows up as co-author in a couple chapters I'm guessing for the same reason). The result is a more robust book that definitely talks about the different directions that the OG hollywood punk scene splintered off into but the expanded length coupled with even less word count from Doe and DeSavia themselves made it lack some of the character of the first. I suppose it's a sequel through and through, both the good and the bad of it.

It's basically exactly what I wanted as I finished the first book. Maybe reading them back to back has got me in the mood to explore a different subject for a bit, but I've learned quite a bit from this and it's led me to track down and listen to a handful of artists and watch some movies to live in this world a bit which is great.

I have to say, with all that exploration only two bands really stuck with me: X and The Minutemen. X was a case where I'd actually heard some of their songs before without realizing... like their cover of "Wild Thing" being used to excellent effect in the movie Major League and the Chili Peppers sampling a snippet of White Girl in one of their songs. I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts got stuck in my head for a week and I've repeat-listened their first two albums several times while working.

The Minutemen though really struck me. There's a youtube playlist of their entire discography (minus their double album for some reason) and I keep coming back to them over and over. I'm struck by the musicality of their early stuff then their first handful of albums manage to still maintain their voice while also developing musically into kind of its own thing. I can't call it postpunk because they're literally punk like part of the punk scene, but this book paints a picture where the music either went toward Hardcore (what we mostly associate with punk these days, bands like The Circle Jerks and Black Flag), or they went country western with "cowpunk" (where X and The Blasters wore their rockabilly on their sleeve these bands were explicitly country music), or went more pop/psych/garage with "paisley underground" groups like The Bangles. The Minutemen were nowhere close to any of these! They went more jazz, funk, occasionally experimental, with overtly political lyrics. From an outsider's perspective exploring these bands way after the fact, The Minutement really stand alone for me.

Anyway, Mike Watt didn't contribute to this book, perhaps because his entry in the first book described the entire length of the band (singer/guitarist D. Boon died in a car accident in 1985), but I'm listening to them now so thought I'd write about them.

Good stuff. These two books have really led me on a sojourn through that scene which I appreciate and enjoy. I am ready for something different though, perhaps some fiction next.

my Book