The Forgotten Story Of L.A. Punk

by MR Magazine Staff

“We never got ours,” says John Doe, founding member of the seminal Los Angeles punk band X, when asked why he wrote the part-memoir, part-history book Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk. Out today, the book (named for X’s third album, released in 1982) chronicles the heyday of the punk scene in the late-’70s and early-’80s. “I don’t really feel that what we all accomplished got its due credit,” Doe says. “Some people still think the Sex Pistols were the first punk rock band. Whatever. I really couldn’t care less. But it’s nice to have this as a document, to tell the story of that time and place in the right way.”

For anyone who thinks that punk rock was limited to the famed scenes in London and New York, Under the Big Black Sun offers hard evidence that the L.A. scene was just as important—and perhaps created an even greater, lasting impact. And with heartfelt, authentic, and sometimes differing contributions from fellow artists like Jane Wiedlin and Charlotte Caffey of the Go-Go’s, Henry Rollins, Doe’s X bandmate Exene Cervenka, and former Minuteman Mike Watt—plus an introduction from Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, who adds a little historic perspective—it’s hard to deny that this is a great story about the underappreciated music that came out of the City of Angels during that golden period of 1977-1982. Read more at Esquire.