We Got Power! Hardcore Punk Scenes From 1980s Southern California


“This is the basement of the original Masque Club, left exactly as it was, years after closing.  We felt like we were raiding King Tut’s tomb-it was like an archaeological dig into LA punk history.” Author and photographer, David Markey.

As young punk teenagers in 1981, David Markey, and his best friend Jordan Schwartz founded We Got Power, a fanzine dedicated to the first-generation hardcore punk music community in their native habitat of Los Angeles. Both Schwartz and Markey’s camera lenses also managed to capture hundreds of early punk photographs of bands like Black Flag, The Minutemen, Social Distortion, Red Cross/Redd Kross, Suicidal TendenciesD.R.I., the Butthole Surfers, among notable others.


Photo from a very early Suicidal Tendencies show in Culver City, —the only member of the band who survived to the later incarnations was Louiche Mayorga. 

Markey and Schwartz have now compiled a book full of over 400 photographs, including images of their quickly deteriorating So-Cal surroundings, and the emerging punk scene exploding all around them. Out just this week, “We Got Power: Hardcore Punk Scenes From 1980′s Southern California“, also includes complete color reprints from the We Got Power fanzine, published during 1981-1983 and beyond.

Check out the guest list of this party: Down in front is Mike Watt, to his left in the glasses is Spot, the man responsible for producing all the early SST records. The blonde behind Spot is Janet Housden from Redd Kross. And the guy the raised fist, sporting an Aunt Jemima beanie?  That would be Henry Rollins.

The book also has essays from an array of punks who were there, like the aforementioned Henry Rollins and Mike Watt. Poseurs get LOST! This book is only for punks, the punks that appreciated them, and punks like me who wish they could have been there too. The end.

More info via Bazillion Points.

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