Gimme Something Better

I just finished reading Gimme Something Better: The Profound, Progressive, and Occasionally Pointless History of Bay Area Punk From Dead Kennedys to Green Day, an oral history of bay area punk rock compiled by Jack Boulware and Silke Tudor. As you ay have guessed by the title, the book is a collection of interviews with a few hundread people involved in the bay area punk scenes; from the very first punk bands to recent times.
Jack Boulware and Silke Tudor do a good job finding a wide range of people to interview. As anyone who knows anything about bay area punk rock can tell you, there is a bunch of radically different punk scenes in the bay area, many of which have nothing to do with one another. It's like the old joke about marxists; ask 10 different marxists to define marxism for you and you will get 11 different definitions. Punk rock can be like that too. Ask 10 different people what their experience with punk has been, and you will get a bunch of very different answers. It goes from heroin addiction to militant straight edge. From racist skinheads to anarchist crust punks.
I'm a real big fan of the oral history format. Blood of Spain: An Oral History of the Spanish Civil War is my favourite book about the spanish civil war. It truly captures the tragedy of that event.
Gimme Something Better uses a slightly different format in that the editors took bit and pieces of many interviews and mixed them all together by subject. So rather than having one long interview with punk A and then another interview with punk B, the editors took short parts of each interview and placed them right next to one another. It works well at times, but at other times can be slightly confusing trying to figure out what exactly each person is talking about.
It's a book I would recommend to someone who is into punk but younger, or not from the bay area. It has some great stories and descriptions of what things used to be like around these parts. For people who dont know anything about punk rock, but are curious, this book might not be the best place to start. Due to the format of the book, certain things arnt really well defined. It might be confusing.
You preview the book by reading excerpts that did not make it into the almost 500 page book on their website.
And unfortunately there isnt a big long chapter on concord punk! Maybe one day I will do a zine about the history of notable moments and bands from this area...
according to crazy in suburbia even walnut creek has a history of punks
For a time in the mid-1980s, a crew of teens, organized by a San Quentin Prison guard/club deejay, would party at Heather Farm Park almost monthly to the sounds of punk, post-punk, Eurowave, gothic rock, and hip hop—from The Cure to Two Live Crew.

This parties were called Primary, and they were designed for Central Contra Costa teenagers whose penchant for leather, eye-liner, multi-colored hair or Mohawks made them stand out in suburbia—and scare some adults.

Apperantly July 24th of this year they plan to have a reunion party.
punk rock has a lot to do with punk music. music such as that of Sewer Trout. Sewer Trout were a punk band formed in concord in 1985. then they moved to sacramento. this is what they sounded like:

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