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Make The Music Go Bang!: The Early L.A. Punk Scene Paperback – November 15, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"So dude what about this L.A. scene? Don't know man, it just happened."--Claude Bessy

"This music sounded as desperate as I felt...I suddenly realized I was a member of a weird, unfriendly, secret club and I sensed the jungle drums beginning to pound."--Kristine McKenna

"We were all extremely powerful (even if that meant a particular, sensitive stupidity that led to jail), we were all young or young at heart, we were all flirting with death and laughing at life."--Exene Cervenkova

"At its finest, L.A. roots rock espoused a spirited authenticity that resisted the music business's marketing strategies."--Chris Morris

"A community of bands and fans were reclaiming music in its raw and primitive form, shaking off all the prefab baloney that dominated the airways and record bins across the map-- no charts, no hits, no easy way around, nada."--Louis Perez

About the Author

Don Snowden is a music journalist who has written for the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Weekly, and Musician magazine. He divides his time between Los Angeles and Valencia, Spain.

Gary Leonard is a photographer living in Los Angeles whose work is part of the permanent collection of the Los Angeles Public Library.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st St. Martin's Griffin ed edition (November 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312169124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312169121
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,896,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael on July 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
I bought this "history" at a time when I was obsessed by the L.A. hardcore scene. Any information on it at all would have been like steak to famished hounds. So why was I let down?
Maybe I was spoiled by excellent books like the essential "Banned in D.C.", but this one did little to satisfy my curiosity. It has some nice photographs and interesting (though brief and overly congenial) chapters by Brendan Mullen and Keith Morris. It has a list of punk venues and hang-outs in L.A. back in the day. But there's nothing else of substance. No history of the development of punk music in California, few exciting anecdotes, and almost no descriptions of performers and punks. What were these people like? What were their inspirations, what drew them together, how did it feel to be a part of this tribe? You won't find out here.
I guess the main draw of the book is the photographs, but there are none from the most interesting and creative era in L.A. punk: pre-1979. And the slender commentary meant to tie these cryptic images together has an overly precious and wistful tone: the equivalent of an old hippie sighing, "You just hadda be there, man...." Half the chronoclers seem to have turned complacent and a little ashamed of their pasts, and others, like Claude Bessy (whose contribution is particularly worthless, rest his soul) deem themselves too "hip" to even try to be coherent. My overall impression is that a true, old-school punk would've ripped a book like this to shreds. Glibness, indifference, and price tag included, it's in denial of everything the movement originally stood for.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 25, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is full of exceptional photos that document the early L.A. punk scene. I remember seeing Gary Leanord (the photographer) at many of these shows. Hidden in these photos are many of those who went on and carried the L.A. punk scene into the the next stage, such as members of Bad Religion. I purchased this book for the photos but I soon found myself deeply involved in the text. I was especially impressed by the section written by Keith Morris of Black Flag and Circle Jerks fame. Although it was exciting to find myself in a picture slamming at the Starwood, I wouldn't just recommend this book to those that were there, I also recommend Make the Music Go Bang to all those who have an interest in punk rock and music history.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Cooper on May 31, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just finished re-reading this book after a few months, and it's even better than I remembered. This is the only book I've found that has classic L.A. punk (as opposed to band) photos - pics that I remember looking at twenty-five years ago, and being influenced by them. It talks about Baces Hall and the Vex; this really is the book to buy if you want to get a feel of what it was like. I upped this review from four to five stars, because it's even better the second time around. If you were there, in the mid-seventies to early eighties, it'll bring back great memories; if you weren't there - Make The Music Go Bang will give you a glimpse into what was an amazing scene.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Glenn S. Hawley on April 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
Very Good Overview of the Seminal late 70's Punk Scene & beyond. The LA scene seemed to Rise up on its own Without The Rock Press giving much notice or influence. That is a Good thing. New York was "Too Cool" London "Too Reactionary" But the LA scene since it was very much more of a Vacuum, was able to Grow up on its own terms & inevitably Crumble under Its own Terms too. The Book has many Voices telling the Tale, The Best way to tell almost Any Rock history. Loosely put together, which gives a Great Feel of the scene for those Stuck Elsewhere, because of Age, Location, or Natural Selection! Beer! Pills! Loud Guitars! Many New unseen Pictures. Great Cast of Characters. This Book sits Nicely next to "We've got the Neutron Bomb" & "Forming" as Great History Books of the Wonderful LA Punk scene. Poseurs Note: Black clothing is Nice, but Wild Colors Look Much better in the Southern California Sunshine, when you are Stoned(I imagine)!
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