John Doe’s book, “Under the Big Black Sun, A Personal History of L.A. Punk,” was published in late April and he continues to make the rounds promoting it, including an appearance at Book Soup tomorrow from 4-6pm. In the vein of punk rock oral histories like “Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk” by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain, and LA-centric books like “Make the Music Go Bang: The Early L.A. Punk Scene” by Don Snowden, Doe and co-author Tom DeSavia take on the beginnings of the LA scene with a bit of a twist, acting as curator of stories by friends who were there – luminaries such as Jane Wiedlin, El Vez, Dave Alvin and of course Exene Cervenka (plus many others).
The book is a quick but fascinating read, as all storytellers have their own unique perspective of the years 1977-1982 in the LA music scene. However, one common thread in the stories is that the DIY spirit was palpable among participants, that it felt like a family (both musicians and fans), and that the beginning of the end was the “bro” element from the hardcore scene coming in and changing the show environment. A highly recommended read and of course John Doe will bring his own funny and eloquent stories to Book Soup as he discusses and signs. Bonus – Jane Wiedlin, current DTLA denizen, will also appear.
For more info, check the event page.