Craig and I have Netflix and watch a fair amount of movies and documentaries. The other night we watched ‘Another State of Mind: Social Distortion, Youth Brigade and Minor Threat.’ It is a documentary made in 1984 about the aforementioned bands traveling across the country in a junky schoolbus in an attempt to play in 30 cities in 35 days. Very punk. Needless to say it begins to fall apart when they aren’t making enough money to eat and any money they do make has to go on bus repairs. Then they want to go home. Not very punk.
For me, the movie brought back so many memories. I was 16 at the time and really immersed in the punk underground, and believe me, it was underground then. Looking at the kids in the movie I was struck by the clothes. Then, everyone just went to the thrift store and made the clothes their own by writing on them or shredding them, whatever you like. There wasn’t any Hot Topic or the myriad of clothing stores where you can get pre-made alternative covering. Someone figured out that they could make a lot of money in a business like this. The entire movement was about doing it yourself. By the time the record companies and clothing stores caught on punk was already on its way out. The idea was to be an individual. To be creative.
Even the bands all had their own sound. But when everyone began to look the same and sound the same and even act the same the movement was over. Johnny Rotten would say that the end happend in the late 70’s. I think it was more like in the mid 80’s.