Sunday, February 08, 2009

Orange County punk rock 

Night Owl here! Happy Sunday y'all!

Orange County (OC), in the late 70's, was the last place one might think of finding a youth sub-culture by way of Clockwork Orange, but as author Steven Blush writes in American Hardcore (Feral Press, 2001), "...scattered action began in OC as punk-minded bands played high school keg parties".

Blush goes on to cite The Middle Class as the only OC band to gain acceptance by the LA/Hollywood crowd at the time.

We'll start at the begining with what has been long reported as the very first "Hardcore" record. The Middle Class, from Santa Ana, with their 1978 debut single "Out of Vogue".

It wasn't long after this, while bands like X, The Germs, The Weirdos and The Bags flourished in Los Angeles, that a somewhat different form of "punk rock" manifested itself in the endless suburbs that stretched southward into OC and beyond.

Along with the Middle Class, Orange County initially sprouted groups like The Crowd, Eddie & the Subtitles, Snickers, The Klan, The Chiefs and, though technically from Long Beach, Vicious Circle -- whose shows were reportedly "magnets for mayhem".

Graverobbers, being some of the more extreme cases, OC kids seemed more bored, aimless and angry - products of the ultimate suburban joke. Author Steven Blush simply points to "broken families" and general apathy from parents.
"No artistic hipsters, these (OC kids) were the products of the American Dream gone awry....with some absolute monsters among them".

More to follow