Punk fans with an ear to the ground noticed a rather amazing series of posts on Youtube earlier this week – a set of what appear to be professionally filmed videos with audio from the soundboard shot at the Peppermint Lounge in NYC during 1981. Two of LA’s most venerable bands of the era, Saccharine Trust and the Circle Jerks, are shown in the most hi-fidelity captures ever seen from the period. The poster would only comment the tapes were “rescued from a dumpster by a friend of a friend.”
Kudos to this individual for making these historic documents available to the community. This author has spent some time researching old punk videos, and cool things do pop up from time to time, usually home videos of decent quality that were previously uncirculated. But this collection emerging in 2021 is, as one commenter on the Saccharine video describes it, “King Tut level.”
This cache also included a ripping set from Canada’s DOA, with their peak lineup including drummer Chuck Biscuits. There’s also twenty minutes by local boy Johnny Thunders, whose set is musically inessential. If you like watching junkies fuck around, it’s great. I mean at some point he literally says “I’m gonna go fuck around” and proceeds to do just that.
I can’t help but wonder, what’s the story behind this. I’m guessing some production house shot it in the 80s thinking they would eventually produce something, maybe a cable TV show or a Target Video type program that could make VHS tapes. No one is aware of having seen it before, so who was hoarding it and how does it end up spending nearly forty years before finally being liberated in this fashion? Regardless of the circumstances of origin, it’s a trove for our enjoyment today.