Co-presented by Noise Pop
Musician, writer, actor, and frontman of the L.A. punk band X, John Doe celebrates release of his book Under the Big Black Sun, which explores the nascent Los Angeles punk rock movement from 1977-1982. In conversation with Peter Maravelis (City Lights), with book sales and signing to follow. $15 advance or at the door
Compiled with Tom DeSavia, Under the Big Black Sun shares chapter-length tales from the authors along with personal essays from famous (and infamous) players in the scene, from Exene Cervenka (X), to Henry Rollins (Black Flag), Mike Watt (The Minutemen), Jane Wiedlin and Charlotte Caffey (Go-Go's), Dave Alvin (The Blasters), Chris D. (The Flesh Eaters), Robert Lopez (The Zeros, El Vez), Jack Grisham (T.S.O.L.), Teresa Covarrubias (The Brat), and many more.
Through interstitial commentary, John Doe "narrates" this journey through the land of film noir sunshine, Hollywood back alleys, and suburban sprawl, the place where he met his artistic counterparts Exene, DJ Bonebrake, and Billy Zoom and formed X, the band that became synonymous with, and in many ways defined, L.A. punk.
Focusing on punk's evolutionary years, Under the Big Black Sun shares stories of friendship and love, ambition and feuds, grandiose dreams and cultural rage, all combined with the tattered, glossy sheen of pop culture weirdness that epitomized the operations of Hollywood's underbelly. Readers will travel to the clubs that defined the scene, as well as to the street corners, empty lots, apartment complexes, and squats that served as de facto salons for the musicians, artists, and fringe players that hashed out what would become punk rock in Los Angeles.
“The true story of the Los Angeles punk scene…A set of vivid personal essays…The most artist-centered look yet at a scene that helped define the future of a music whose rallying cry was ‘no future.'" —Rolling Stone
“Written with immediacy and brio, the book is suffused with the heady feeling of finding your tribe.” —San Francisco Chronicle
"A collection of essays by a fraternity of key members of L.A.'s early punk scene between 1977 and 1982, before any of them experienced major-label interest and mainstream success…Stories of hardscrabble living, house parties and shambolic shows…Includes loads of photos and vintage gig fliers.” —LA Weekly
“The scene was very, very diverse. It accepted women, it accepted gays, it accepted straights, you had a lot of phony anarchists and communists, you even had one or two Republicans. Every race, every gender, every political persuasion, every everything was united by the music and that was a great thing.” —Dave Alvin