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Journalist John Malkin wrote what would become his book, Punk Revolution! In An Oral History of Punk Rock Politics and Activism, he tackled the extreme outer trajectory of the media industry. In an interview request, he said he represented Free Radio Santa Cruz, an unlicensed “pirate radio” station that barely covered Santa Cruz County.
At the time, Malkin expected people to resist his request for an interview. “In the early days, if I told Noam Chomsky, Yolanda King, the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., or anyone in the punk rock scene, I belonged to Free Radio Santa Cruz, I thought they would say, ‘Why did I bother to interview you? ’ he said. “But in the punk rock world and the anarchist underground, people generally loved the idea.” And we’re running our own pirate radio stations wherever we are.”
Such street beliefs have allowed Malkin to amass some 250 interviews with many of the punk genre’s greats, including Sex Pistols, Dead Kennedys, Gangs of Four, Talking Heads, Pussy Riot, and many others. rice field. The result is a bohemian and far-reaching history of punk jumping headlong into political activism. “Punk Revolution!” The work is written in oral history form with the voices of musicians and politicians who lived in the marginal space between the music industry and political dissent. Malkin will speak about the book on Saturday at an event at Bad Animal in downtown Santa Cruz.
“I take punk rock seriously as a potentially revolutionary movement,” said Malkin, a longtime Santa Cruz writer and musician.
When the punk movement first exploded in the late 1970s, Malkin was a teenager who had just moved from Los Angeles to the more conservative Orange County. “It was only an hour away,” he said of the driving distance from LA to OC. “But really, it was out of the world.”
He was fascinated by sleazy garage bands that sang about police brutality, CIA adventurism, white supremacy and colonialism. It’s an interest he’s been able to maintain over the decades since then.
Malkin’s new book explores swirling issues, from the wars in the United States to the rebellion against authoritarian powers like Russia and China, to punk influence in the fall of the Berlin Wall, to punk power in the early days of gay rights. documenting Punk’s role in movement.
This book is the final assessment of how successful punk has been as a social justice movement. Dead Kennedys’ Jello Biafra hinted that it “worked out a bit too well”, but Jonathan Richman said there was no punk movement, “just guys hanging out in rock bars”. rice field.
At its core, Malkin said his books aren’t about music, they’re about the messy and often painful process of building a better world.
“All revolutionary movements start with saying ‘Yes, I want to live in a peaceful environment.’ How do we get there?’ And somehow war is born out of that. Is there something there?” Mr. Malkin said. “So this is kind of the ultimate investigation, and I’m using punk rock as his one area to explore it all because punk rock is an area that really spoke to me. That’s why.”
John Malkin wrote his book Punk Revolution! An Oral History of Punk Rock Politics and Activism” (Lowman & Littlefield) took place Saturday at Bad Animal in downtown Santa Cruz.