Trailblazing punk guitarist Mike Atta died after a lengthy battle with cancer on Easter Sunday. Atta's band with his brothers Jeff and Bruce, the Middle Class, is often credited with being one of the first hardcore bands ever. The Santa Ana based band was active from 1977 to 1982, but inspired countless hardcore punk bands from OC and beyond for years to come.
He later found a new generation of fans and friends when he opened the Out Of Vogue (aptly named after the Middle Class' most iconic song) vintage store in downtown Fullerton.
Atta was diagnosed with Stage IV kidney cancer in January of 2010. The disease returned and spread to his lungs in 2012. This next round of cancer inspired benefit concerts across the Southland with punks like the Adolescents, Mike Watt, 45 Grave and many more gladly joined on the bill of "Save Mike Atta" shows for their old friend.
The Middle Class reunited in recent years, and Atta, along with his brothers, spent the last few years of his life bravely fighting cancer, and shredding the guitar on stage once again. He is survived by his wife Pam and son Van.
Friends, fans and family took to social media to express their condolences and memories of Mike. See their tributes on the next page.
With a heavy, broken heart we say good bye to our friend, mentor, and brother Mike Atta.
— The Adolescents (@TheAdolescents) April 21, 2014
RIP Mike Atta from Middle Class.They supported the Dickies in July 1978 at the Whiskey. My first punk show. Truly inspired me to be in band
— Greg Hetson (@GregHetson) April 21, 2014
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RIP Mike Atta, supreme guitarist for Middle Class and small business owner. A friend who once entertained my daughter with nickels. #Mike
— The Glacier (@rbnlaw) April 21, 2014