Why Punk Had to Happen (Reason No. 8235G)

Photo by Glen E. Friedmann/
Sony PicturesMid-'70s SoCal skateboard pioneers are currently enjoying a renaissance with the new documentary film Dogtown and Z-Boys. Since modern skating is so closely tied to punk rock, it was a bit of a shock when the film's soundtrack CD landed on the LowBallAssChatter desk recently—because the music the Z-Boys were grinding to back in the days before punk reached California pretty much blew. The soundtrack (arriving in stores May 21) leaves much for the original-gangsta skaters to be ashamed of, filled with the kind of bloated album-oriented rock that punkers would eventually come to mock. Don't look for NOFX or even Suicidal Tendencies here, kids—instead, there's Ted Nugent (“Motor City Madhouse”), Alice Cooper (“Generation Landslide”), Thin Lizzy (“Bad Reputation”), ZZ Top (“La Grange”), Rod Stewart (“Maggie May”—Jesus! What self-respecting skater these days would be caught dead rolling the half-pipe to “Maggie May”?) and—getting even uglier—not one but two Joe Walsh appearances, with “Rocky Mountain Way” and the James Gang's “Funk #49.” Tunes like these in a skate movie make us appreciate people like Steve Olsen and Duane Peters that much more: pioneering skaters who realized that maybe blasting the Ramones would provide better atmosphere for those empty-swimming-pool soires. (Rich Kane)

Club-hopping hopheads, take note: if bills sweeping through the hallowed halls of government become law, rave parties and Ecstasy will be demonized beyond what even Fox 11 Newsreports would have us believe. Hailed as an organic drug when it first busted out, 3-4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine's popularity has sparked alarm nationwide due to a rash of overdoses and new statistics indicating teens are increasing their “E” intake while consuming less alcohol and pot (which nonetheless remain the teen drugs of choice; there's no beating the classics). Warns the Partnership for a Drug-Free America's president, “Ecstasy has become the rave generation's cocaine”—without inducing the sniffles! Assemblywoman Sally Havice (D-Bellflower) introduced Assembly Bill 1941 in Sacramento on April 18 that would require local police to be notified if a club, rave or concert promoter applies for an entertainment permit, which said businesspeople could not obtain for any dance-oriented events expecting to draw more than 1,000 people without first providing “evidence” that they are “sufficiently knowledgeable” about illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia (among the knowledge Havice wants promoters to demonstrate is an awareness of alternative uses for Vapo Rub and pacifiers). The Electronic Music Defense and Education Fund cried foul, arguing that the bill does not objectively define “evidence,” “drug paraphernalia” or a standard for “sufficiently knowledgeable.” Worse, the organization fears that the proposed law subjects electronic-music promoters to more scrutiny than “mainstream” dance-event impresarios. How did Havice's office react? By amending the bill to make it even more selective, having it apply only to “electronic music dance events” with “500 or more attendees,” rather than all dance events with 1,000 or more peeps. The Assembly's Local Government Committee approved the bill with an 11-0 vote on April 24. It had yet to be scheduled for a vote by the Public Safety Committee at press time. Another bill, Assembly Bill 2300 by Assemblywoman Pat Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), would make “E” a Schedule I narcotic like cocaine and heroin—without the chalky aftertaste! And Congress is toying with a law that would subject promoters to hard prison time if an event attendee breaks the law. Staying home and watching 7th Heaven is sounding better all the time. (Matt Coker)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *