A friend of mine (thanx again Dano!) posted this to facebook, and made the comment 'a few bad apples could shut down a punk show These days, and it got me thinkin and ranting again, so, with some minor editing and additional text, I thought I'd use it here! So here goes:
these days? I didn't move to SF until '85, and believe me- for awhile there were riots after every other show. It irritates me how the reporter briefly states 'in the late 70's and early '80's we were famous for our clashes with authorities...' rather than how it really was: we were famous for not being compliant and just laying down when the cops showed up to break the skulls of 13-15 year old kids. It's not a matter of a couple of bad apples, it's a matter of long standing distrust and animosity between punks and pigs in the L.A. area based on some very real and enduring 'relations' damaging brutality on the parts of the police, and the long standing pack mentality of L.A. punks confronted with what they can only fairly assume at this point, is going to be a ton of brownshirt-esque tactics coming down on them from the get-go. Now, I know it's not '82-'83 anymore, but there's a very real and very violent history there. Not surprised one bit.When I 1st moved to SF in '85, I could not BELIEVE it when everytime I saw a cop, they didn't stop me on the street, slam me against their car or a wall, go through my shit, leave it scattered on the ground and split... because I swear to you- EVERYTIME I saw a cop in L.A.- especially the suburbs- in the 80's, I was hassled. Another cute M.O. of theirs was to take guys to the parking lot of the Griffith Park Observatory and leave em up there- once in the rain-after stealing your boots, at 1am... for their amusement. This was not an isolated incident or trick of theirs either, and happened to me once, and at least 3 other people I know on separate occasions.
They hated us... without cause. For those of you who don't know, Griffith Park Observatory is where the famous knife fight scene in Rebel Without a Cause was shot... it's pretty fuckin remote, w/ no buses or anything at 1am- the walk down the road to civilization took me 3 hours what with being barefoot ...and it behing 'a long and winding road' and all... it's also filled with late night creeper cruisers (think eastside of Buena Vista Park, or GG Park by the windmills magnified 2Xs), gang jump-ins, several times its been the site for bodies being dumped, a lot of coyotes up there, psychotic hobos, etc... not fun for a suburban 14 year old kid to deal with- of course, after 2 years runnin the SF streets Griffith Park became just another street kid tale of glory, but before? Scary shit! It was almost 2 years before I stopped pulling my knife and spinning around whenever a jogger would come obliviously running up the sidewalk behind me. I STILL get tense when I hear a 'ghetto-bird' in the sky aka helicopter! Trauma man! I never realized it then, but now i realize I had a form of PTSD -and I think a lot of us did who experienced those times in that place- I'm SURE of it! heh heh.... ever see the cover of Rollins' book 'Get In The Van'? This was not some freak thing that happened one time. It was a regular occurance, and I am not shocked at all at how the Hollywood show -albeit it's now 2011!- ended up a riotous clusterfuck!
As a side note, I'd like to add that my grandfather- with whom I was very close, and I respected/respect a great deal- was an L.A.P.D. detective, as were two of my other favorite dudes on the planet (both friends of his), and that there is very real difference between veteran old school detective gunslingin badasses, and new school (even then!) patrolmen in cruisers & sheriff's deputies. NOT that I'd have ever wanted to be on the wrong side of my grandfather's and his friends' barrels! These dudes were hard-fuckin'-core! But they were/are necessary. Sheriffs deputies and radio car dicks and Beverly Hills PD, Glendale, and Burbank? Fuck them. White Flag said, in the song 'Shattered Badge' that "Just like the punks, they're not all the same- what if you called the cops and no one came?" and this point is taken to heart; but just like most punks aren't over the top jockulatory asshats, but some are- most of the Southland cops are over the top Jockulatory asshats, but some aren't.
Okay, well thanx for taking the time to read this, and remember: In the words of drive-in movie critic of the 80's , Joe Bob Briggs: "without eternal vigilance, it could happen here!"
and in the words of Stan Lee: "Nuff Said"
PS- Thanx to Dunc D. for helping me figure out how to post links in my blogs! Cheers!
PPS- take note of the photo on the album cover the White Flag song's on, too, when you go to the link... the album is Mystic's Sounds of Hollywood COPulation Compilation LP, btw... great ol' record!