Immortal are the words of Black Flag, if only in the inked bars or scars that grace your flesh. Along with Black Flag bands like the Circle Jerks, the Minutemen, Redd Kross, Youth Brigade, D.R.I. and Suicidal Tendencies cajoled chaotic individuality across the globe and in their mostly native Los Angeles. During the ’80s, the early days of the hardcore punk rock scene in Los Angeles, fanzine “We Got Power” was born from the minds of David Markey and Jordan Schwartz.
Sin 34 in 1982 (L to R) Mike Glass, Phil Newman,
Julie Lanfeld, & Dave Markey
– PHOTO by Jordan Schwartz David Markey was born December 3, 1963, in Burbank, CA. Media enthusiast from the beginning, he produced his first film and published his own newspaper by the age of 12. Markey was party to “We Got Power” magazine from 1981 to 1983. He was also a found of Sin 34, a punk rock band. He toured with his second band Painted Willie during a tour in ’86 with Black Flag and is responsible for punk rock documentaries like “Reality 86’d” and “1991 The Year Punk Broke” He then later adopted the name We Got Power Films for his independent film production company. Markey has also directed music videos for Redd Kross, Black Flag, Meat Puppets, fIREHOSE, Shonen Knife, Mudhoney, Pat Smear and many others, and collaborated with visual artists Cameron Jamie, Raymond Pettibon and Kim Gordon.
Jordan Schwartz met David Markey while skating a flooded Santa Monica parking garage in 1979. In 1981, he teamed up with David, his sister, Jennifer, and Alan Gilbert to found “We Got Power” magazine. While he wore many hats, photographer is probably his most important title and set him responsible for portraying his immediate surroundings with the utmost realistic perspective. He has worked on the films “Desperate Teenage Lovedolls” and its sequel, “Lovedolls Superstar.” He was part of the release of three Black Flag skateboards that featured artwork by Raymond Pettibon. In 1984, Jordan began working and living at SST Records’ Global Network Agency booking gigs and tours for various high-profile bands such as Dinosaur Jr., Saint Vitus, H. R., Saccharine Trust, DC3, The Mentors and others.
The zine turned scene classic captured the pits and legends of Los Angeles that spilled over from the sweaty, blood-stained bars to the stagnant, battered suburbs and embodied the call to action for the youth culture of punk rock. Powered by exacto-blades, rub-on lettering, rubber cement and a typewriter, they engineered a guide to the forward thinking substratum of LA. From 1981 to 1983, the crew printed five issues of glossy sheets scripted with day-glo colored ink and filled with jokes, reviews and other anecdotes, along with collages of their photographs.
Now compiled together for the first time are high resolution photos and prints seen in the original pages of the zine. Presenting original essays and capturing nearly 400 photos from the dawn of hardcore punk in Southern California, and reprinting every issue of the influential “We Got Power” zine from 1981 through 1983, the WE GOT POWER! book measures 304 large format landscape pages and is slated for Fall 2012 release. Bazillion Points Books announced that BLACK FLAG members Henry Rollins, Chuck Dukowski, Keith Morris and Dez Cadena have each contributed essays.
The book will also feature:
ORIGINAL ESSAYS BY:
by David Markey, Jordan Schwartz, Jennifer Schwartz, Henry Rollins, Keith Morris, Chuck Dukowski, Dez Cadena, Louiche Mayorga, Cameron Jamie, Pat Fear, Steve Humann, Tony Adolescent, Jack Brewer, Jula Bell, Mike Watt, Sean Wheeler, Joe Carducci, Daniel “Shredder” Weizmann, and Janet Housden
Black Flag, the Minutemen, Social Distortion, Red Cross/Redd Kross, Suicidal Tendencies, the Descendents, White Flag, the Last, the Gun Club, Saccharine Trust, Sin 34, Nip Drivers, Circle One, M.D.C., Big Boys, Youth Brigade, D.R.I., the Butthole Surfers and many others.
THE LONG GOODBYE
But still the fat lady hasn’t sung and so the show must go on! The opening reception will be at Track 16 on Sept. 8 from 6PM to 11PM, and will feature live sets by the Adolescents, Saccharine Trust, the Last, White Flag and Dead Issue.
The exhibition at Track 16 focuses on the impact of hardcore punk on Markey, Schwartz and friends, and the way this music would influence and effect their lives and artistic output. Celebrated in a richly dense installation, the exhibition will include their unique photographs, ‘zines [Neighborhood Journal, We Got Power], films [“The Slog Movie”, “Desperate Teenage Lovedolls”, “Lovedolls Superstar” & more], videos, skateboards, ephemera, and original art by Raymond Pettibon, Cameron Jamie as well as others.
Note that “WE GOT P0WER!: We Survived the Pit” threatens to be Track 16 Gallery’s last exhibition before it is demolished. All ages will be “welcome to party or go home!”
WE GOT POWER SOUNDTRACK
Bazillion Points Books put together a soundtrack to go along with the release of “We Got Power.” It’s a sick playlist that mostly should be in crates of every punker.