It has always bothered me a bit that the Los Angeles punk scene of the late 1970s and early 80s is viewed by some as being sort of behind New York and London in terms of importance and influence, when the fact is that it’s really the opposite: Los Angeles was just as interesting, if not more so, than those other places. For every person I see reading Please Kill Me (which is a crucial book, no doubt), I really want to grab them and tell them to pick up a copy of We’ve got the Neutron Bomb by Marc Spitz and Brendan Mullen, which I find just as fascinating.
One of my favorite people from the LA punk scene is Alice Bag, whose memoir, Violence Girl: East L.A. Rage to Hollywood Stage, a Chicana Punk Story, is just as worth your time as any other punk memoir by people like Patti Smith or Kim Gordon, and who is currently posting her 1986 Nicaraguan diaries up in installments for a book titled Pipe Bomb for the Soul. Go read it, then help me track down the demo of her post-Bags band Castration Squad.