An Intro to Life Lessons Gleaned from Hanging with the Punks

3 min readJan 29, 2021
East Bay Hardcore legends AFI . Some dude screaming along . This was the appeal of punk rock . There was no line of delineation between artist & fan . It was the fans that organised the show . Photo credit :

Everyone goes through a questioning phase in their life . Questions surrounding the values taught at home , organised religion , politics , choices made , ‘ Am I on the right path , or am I just filling a mould that the authority structures in society have told me that I should take ? ’ There is an outlet that acts as a catalyst . An outcast group of lost kids who found each other through musical explorations & a do it yourself , DIY lifestyle . Punk is more than three — chord chaos ; it is a free approach to photography , production , distribution , publication , writing . If it is something that can be made , the production values are up to the creator .

The origins of this youth sub — culture are not clear . To be concise , the history tracked here is based on the DC harDCore scene , if that label really applies . It wasn’t a scene . It was just a bunch of kids who liked music , couldn’t play instruments , viewed the world with oxymoronic lenses , a rowdy bunch indeed .

Punk wasn’t as the media establishment portrayed them , it was a collection of kids from different backgrounds . Bad Brains identified with Rastafarian views of self sufficiency , independence from the system they viewed as Babylon . Poster art for a show at a small cafe in Virginia .
Anti — authoritarian to the core , the art was individualistic . one man against the armed mob of democracy . Government Issue & supporting acts flyer .

The fans were the promotors , coordinating venues to host punk gigs . Advertising in the rawest sense . Do it yourself . You want a show , you have to organise your friends to get things rolling . Everyone has a designated role . Find a location , make art , draw flyers by hand , go to the neibourhood print shop & produce away . Everything was spontaneous chaos Organisers would reach out to fellow punks in other cities to network for connections .

Keep in mind , there was no photoshop in those days , show posters were all produced by hand & then reproduced by photocopy at the local print shop .

Punk was a narrative on society from an outsider’s thought process , whose main idea reminded of the origins on the initiation of force . Media Credit : Bad Dream Image

The beauty of this art driven youth movement , the dirty , greasy kids , dawned in leather jackets & Doc Martin’s , is that it was a market driven economy , a division of labour , with many moving parts . Like the pencil , no one person was responsible for the sole production of the gig . It was all one giant fan network scattered across America , for all intents & purposes of this article , starting in Georgetown , DC circa late 1970s .

Hardcore’s mission statement , ‘ You want it ? Go get it . Be considerate of the work of others . ’

If this article were to continue , it would be too long . It may be a continuing series in no more than three parts . In the meantime , here is a playlist I compiled to get you into the general attitude on society & musical exploration .

The soundtrack of this article : These are the Days of our Lives .

You will need an AppleMusic sub to access the playlist .




Mad Scientist , in the Lab . Food Obsessed Enthusiast . Ocassional commentary on culture , film , photography & art .