Under The Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk by John Doe with Tom DeSavia and Friends (4 out of 5) 

This little gem came out in May, 2016. It took me a while to undig it. It was sent to me by Holly’s Perseus rep. He knows I have this obsession with music biographies. Just when I thought I have read them all, others suddenly appear. Oddly, that same thing happens with books… Anyway, this got buried and I only just found it last week. I also found a litany of medical issues, seemingly out of nowhere, that knocked me on my ass and out of commission. Ever try reading on Tylenol 3 with codeine? Yeah, I wouldn’t recommend it anytime soon. If I read anything, I barely remembered it. I am feeling a little bit back to normal, so the reading has begun again in earnest. This one only took a few hours to read through. It made me really want to go and reread some of the older books I had read on punk, as well as buy some classics that I am again reading about and somehow never got around to buying. I had erroreneously believed that this was John Doe’s memoir. I would have enjoyed it even then, because I am a fan of X, the band he has been in for many years. However, it is literally a PERSONAL history..Meaning that 20 something cornerstones and punk rock pillars and pastors give their impressions of the L.A. punk scenes and their roles in it. It is a punk rock anthology. And I enjoyed it immensely. Obviously, John Doe and Exene from X have a say, along with Henry Rollins, Mike Watt, Billie Joe Armstrong, Jane Wiedlin and Charlotte Chaffey from the Go Go’s, and others. Quite a diverse collection from quite a group of charismatic, talented people. The book moves quickly, and there is a lot of love of the punk rock genre, of the culture surrounding LA at the period the punk scene started to break, the ups and downs of the bands and solo acts involved, and a lot of history between many of the people involved in this anthology. I felt it could have been more comprehensive; that’s my only beef. Anyone who is a fan of punk will enjoy this collection. 

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~ by generationgbooks on February 4, 2017.

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