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We Never Learn: The Gunk Punk Undergut, 1988-2001 (Book) Paperback – June 1, 2010


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We Never Learn: The Gunk Punk Undergut, 1988-2001 (Book) + We Got the Neutron Bomb : The Untold Story of L.A. Punk + Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Eric Davidson had his share of sleazy good times and success as the singer of the Columbus, Ohio punk band New Bomb Turks, who have played hundreds of gigs in dozens of countries on three continents and countless labels.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Backbeat Books (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879309725
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879309725
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A. Koziol on June 2, 2010
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I've seen the New Bomb Turks live a dozen times or so and when I caught wind of this book from a former Teengenerate member's blog, I had to check it out. Davidson's got a great turn of phrase and his writing style is both polysyllabic and accessible. Not quite a thinking man's Please Kill Me, just more intelligent sounding. Collegiate, if you will. Am I even allowed to say that? Dilligaf.

In reading, you might find yourself reference checking the way a record collector's "record collector" knows more than you ever will and you just pick up some new stuff as you go along. A lot of the honorable mentions and also-rans in this book are scattered about in my own record collection so it's good to know you weren't the only loser feverishly mailing in money orders or cash (pre-Ebay & Paypal) to grab up some low-pressing copy of some inept, 3-chord noise from a band no one's ever heard of and probably never will unless they read this book. But there were these niches within niches and that gets a good deal of fleshing out here which is good. Many of the bands that Davidson mentions toured many places and countries long before more famous bands were around for even a year. Even the Mummies know that a reunion show will only work in Japan ([...]). Who else would see them in the 21st century that's even heard of them?

I recall many of the stories in this book during the time of I would call the 2nd wave of garage rock influenced by people too young to have "been there" when punk exploded on the scene during the mid-70s but old enough to have started their own bands and been influenced by the 1st-wavers. Gunk punk? Maybe, I don't know. I'm no expert but I know what Davidson means by it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By oldmanron on June 20, 2011
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...it could have used a bit more more work, either by it being longer or less 'comprehensive'- trying to cover too many 'scenes' is a big mistake of the book. The more rounded-out sections, such as the ones on the Gories, the Devil Dogs,Pussy Galore and the Gibson Brothers are both great info and fun to read. On the other hand, the sections on The Lazy Cowgirls, the Cheater Slicks and Dead Moon are absurdly short given how important both bands were and are (the 'Slicks are still at it!) Also, the manner in which Davidson attempts to wrap it all up feels sloppy and slapdash.

Also, many important underground rock bands are overlooked completely because they do not fit into the 'garage punk' category. Which as it turns out (and this is what make the book the most informative) was created by none other than Tim Warren, who did more for shaping and moulding the Garage Punk sound than anyone else. As the book reveals, the Gories got their sound by listening to 'Back from the Grave' compilations, which was issue by Warren's Crypt label. The 'Gunk Punk' label is Davidson's make-believe moniker, and that is it.

In spite of the faults, I would still recommend this book for anyone interested in music from the era. As far as I know, no other books have been written on this subject.
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As a fan of a lot of the bands covered in the book, as well as the author's, I thought I'd give it a try. Clearly based on books like Our Band Could Be Your Life and the two oral history progenitors Please Kill Me and We've Got The Neutron Bomb, the book takes a look at the parallel alternative music scene that was lumped under the "punk" rubric alongside the political rantings of mohawked teenagers like GBH and Rancid, but found its inspiration more from 60s garage madness like The Sonics and Screamin Lord Sutch than FEAR or Subhumans.

The chapters don't seem to really follow any sort of linear movement, so the book doesn't swell to anything. It just kind of stops. The oral interviews that segment the chapters drop in and cut off in confusing places since often times they have little or nothing to do with the text going on around them. There really isn't any linkage from one point to another. Secondly, there really is little information about the Gunk Punk Undergut at all. Mostly, we get a lot of information about Tim Warren of Crypt records and his various destructive personal affectations/personality, and a lot of information about the band The Devil Dogs, but if you're looking for a chronicle of the "other indie", that Indie rock that spawned during this era, with these groups, not as a musical style as Indie Rock tends to be fronted as today, with the same budgets and promo/press pushes as their mainstream brethren (since a lot of Indie rock bands today are on major labels anyways, not that the label a record comes out on necessarily matters one iota), then this book might give you a little bit of insight as to what it was like to sleep on a floor back then...if that floor was in Tim Warren's house in Germany, and if you were in the Devil Dogs while doing it, but, otherwise, maybe just go revisit the records.
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Good book, explaining very well who is who is the 90-s early 2000 Punk rock worldwide.
Despite that many bands, which were critical on the development of punk rock in the late 90's are barely mentioned, anyway this is more like an oral story from Eric Davidson's point of view than an accurate guide to that time punk rock

Anyway is well written and easy to read, a CD with some of the mentioned bands is included to enhance reading experience, so i'd recommend it if you were into punk rock that days, today, or you like a lot New bomb turks
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