More Fun In The New World: The Unmaking And Legacy Of L.A. Punk

More Fun In The New World: The Unmaking And Legacy Of L.A. Punk

Sequel to Grammy-nominated bestseller Under the Big Black Sun, continuing the up-close and personal account of the L.A. punk scene, with 50 rare photosPicking up where Under the Big Black Sun left off, More Fun in the New World explores the years 1982 to 1987, covering the dizzying pinnacle of L.A.'s punk rock movement as its stars took to the national -- and often in...

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Title:More Fun In The New World: The Unmaking And Legacy Of L.A. Punk
Author:John Doe
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Edition Language:English

More Fun In The New World: The Unmaking And Legacy Of L.A. Punk Reviews

  • Jim

    A continuation of 2016’s Under the Big Black Sun, More Fun in the New World follows a similar structure as its predecessor. This time around, the focus is on what happened to the scene from 82-87, who the important bands were (and how they succeeded or failed) and the influence they had on other musicians in multiple genres, film, writing and even sports. More Fun in the New World does an excellent job connecting the themes laid out in the first book in explaining the importance and legacy and r

    A continuation of 2016’s Under the Big Black Sun, More Fun in the New World follows a similar structure as its predecessor. This time around, the focus is on what happened to the scene from 82-87, who the important bands were (and how they succeeded or failed) and the influence they had on other musicians in multiple genres, film, writing and even sports. More Fun in the New World does an excellent job connecting the themes laid out in the first book in explaining the importance and legacy and reach of the Los Angeles music scene.

  • Brenda Perlin

    More Fun In The New World

    “Seeds were thrown, for sure. What was essentially hiding in the shadows moved from a whisper to a scream.”

    Tom DeSavia’s opening to More Fun In The New World, “We’re Having Much More Fun” is brilliant. And so is his voice on the audio book. I’d actually been reading the book while listening to the audiobook version simultaneously. Full impact!

    “Mosh Pit Ubuists” by Tim Robbins is such a treat as a reader to get a little of his past history in his

    More Fun In The New World

    “Seeds were thrown, for sure. What was essentially hiding in the shadows moved from a whisper to a scream.”

    Tom DeSavia’s opening to More Fun In The New World, “We’re Having Much More Fun” is brilliant. And so is his voice on the audio book. I’d actually been reading the book while listening to the audiobook version simultaneously. Full impact!

    “Mosh Pit Ubuists” by Tim Robbins is such a treat as a reader to get a little of his past history in his story and to learn how he was influenced by punk back in the day. Enjoyable reading!

    “It Sounds Too Much Like The Blasters: 1982-1985” by Dave Alvin of The Blasters is a keen look at their early history and experience with this music business, namely Warner Bros. Records.

    “Sliver Of Glass” by Jane Wiedlin deserves a holy cow! She did it again. Wowed me, she did. Wiedlin is brutally honest with her storytelling and doesn’t hold back. Gives us the ‘fly on the wall insight’ to what it was like to be her in a time that she should have been having the time of her life. I don’t know her but I love her. My heart can’t help feeling for her. I adore her candidness and her ability to share things that are so raw, so honest. So unusual. I’d hug her, if I could.

    “Under The Marquee” by W. T. Morgan takes us back to his early experience with punk and the bands that define the times. Especially X. He describes the making of his movie, X - The Unheard Music Documentary in such a beautifully heartfelt way. The passion comes right through. Skilled storytelling.

    Something precious about the memories he shares with us readers. And the film! Thank you,” I would say to him.

    In “The New World” by John Doe I couldn’t wait to rip through. Wasn’t sure if I wanted to read it on paper first or listen to the audiobook. I knew I would be in for something desirable.

    This is a bittersweet tale, as he writes about the crisis’s that were happening at the time in the Midwest and beyond. Workers were losing their jobs. I love how he describes their songwriting, “We took the opportunities we were offered and toured and wrote songs as if our life depended on it—because it did.” There is so much heart and soul to the telling of this story. Eloquent, direct and at the same time good reading.

    “Another State Of Mind” by Mike Ness and Tom DeSavia is so great because it reminds us old timers what it was like in the early days of discovering punk and the LA scene. I remember Mike from those days and have watched Social Distortion evolve. Like Bad Religion, I can say I remember them before they were famous. Great story!

    I kind of got lost into Keith Morris and Jim Ruland’s “Hollywood Shuffle”. An easy read that made me laugh. Well, there were sad moments but as an old punk it was fun to read about the places I’d been with many of the people I’d known. The Circle Jerks were one of us and they were always playing, so it seemed. When I think of them and bands like X and Adolescents my teenage years float back to me. I’m glad Keith is still around to tell his story.

    “Deliverance” by Charlotte Caffey parallels Jane Wiedlin’s account of being a Go Go. These stories inspired me to look at some of their live performances. Searching their faces for signs of trouble. At the time, they were America’s sweethearts! They appeared squeaky clean though I did see them live in their punk days. The way I preferred them because they were authentic then, before they lost themselves to fame.

    “The Ongoing Cost Of A Low-Grade Immortality” by Jack Grisham is a WOW! No surprise. Nevertheless, a WOW! Dark. Dirty. Disgusting. Poetic. Sick. Brilliant. The man is damn talented. He’s got a gift. And that story is sheer genius!

    “Princess Of Hollywood” by Pleasant Gehman is a who's who and where's where to the Hollywood scene in the early to late eighties. An edgy look back to the days of what was dubbed Disgraceland.

    “Los Lobos: Los Rockstars Accidentales” by Louie Pérez shares the early beginnings of Los Lobos (confusing everyone) and the passion for the music. “There we were, part of a music community whose purpose was to free music from the kidnapping by mainstream rock. It was unabashed, liberating, and obnoxious. It was more about spirit than how good you played. I bet that some bands were formed in the van on the way to the show.”

    Beautiful story.

    I loved John Doe’s sweet (bittersweet) little story about Top Jimmy.

    “Top Jimmy: In The Mud And The Blood And The Beer!” Precious.

    “Our Wolf” by Chris Morris is as good as I would expect! I love the history he shares and the commentary. His writing is smooth like an 50s newspaper reporter. Just give me the facts! In Chris’ stories you can be a fly on the wall. He takes you there. Right there!

    "Grand Theft Paper: A Conversation With Billy Zoom” is a adorable! Interesting about Top Jimmy and the trouble that followed him. It’s nice to hear Zoom share personal bits like this. I can feel the admiration both Doe and Zoom has for this guy. Touching if not laughable. At times, of course.

    “With punk in my life, the preps, jocks, nerds, etc. seemed like mere cretins in the rearview rather than my torturers or captors.”

    “Prep School Confidential: Finding My Voice” by Shepherd Fairey, a force to be reckoned with. So interesting how punk inspired his artwork and the emotion he has for the music. He is able to detail what led him to where he is now. Very inspiring!

    “You Say You Want An Evolution” by Tom DeSavia is passion filled story and talks about the evolution of music and how it shaped his life. I love these coming-of-age stories that are enthusiastic and entertaining.

    “This World Is Not My Home, I’m Just Passing Through” by Maria McKee and Tom DeSavia is a story that should be made into a memoir. Maria McKee’s biography would be a good read. This story flowed like it was supposed to be on its own. Really nice.

    “The Paisley Underground, Americana & Me” by Sid Griffin where not everything good happened in the LA punk scene. Shares the early days of his band, Long Ryders. And the influence they would eventually have over Americana and alt-country music.

    “None of the bands were quite ready. Punk hadn’t really happened in L.A. yet—it was like the hour before dawn.”

    “Ten Short Years On The Sunset Strip” by Peter Case is a slick story about his rise to fame in the Plimsouls and I finding his voice.

    “The Kinman Brothers: American Music” by Tom DeSavia is a dedication to the musical contributions of Chip and Tony Kinman. RIP Tony Kinman.

    It’s difficult not to get emotional reading Chip Kinman’s, One Thousand Nights. His story just seems to fall into place.

    “Skate Punks” by Tony Hawk is about his relationship with punk rock and skateboarding. Loved this story! “I was lucky that my parents didn’t mind if my new skater friends had mohawks or piercings, as long as they were polite. And they were.”

    "Free Radicals: A Conversation With Fishbone” by John Doe is an ode to these magical musicians and their music. Such an uplifting interview. Beautiful.

    “Come On, All You Cowboys . . . Don’t You Wanna Go?” By Annette Zilinskas, who was the original bass guitarist for The Bangles then later lead vocalist with Blood on the Saddle. Another Valley Girl, like myself. A bit of a coming-of-age story. Her musical coming-of-age.

    “Ain’t Love Grand” by John Doe kind of made me sad. Made me see a sliver of what it must be like to have the pressure of being in a band. A successful band, at that.

    As an outsider looking in, not sure how John and Exene managed to stay together as long as they did, especially through all the stress of the ‘business’ and the 24/7 lifestyle. That had to take a toll. Thanking Doe for sharing his soul a bit with us.

    Terry Graham writes a clever little story about the ending of The Bags and the changes that took place after The Decline Of Western Civilization. In “Shot Glass Full Of Luck” the author describes his rock ‘n’ roll adventures with The Gun Club. Or misadventures?! Very clever and stylish.

    “Hardcore To Spoken Word: A Conversation With Henry Rollins” by John Doe is relatable if you were a part of the early punk scene in Los Angeles. When things started changing,  the impact was swift. It was nice to learn more about Rollins and understand his situation, being part of Black Flag. Very insightful.

    “Everything Became Possible” by Allison Anders is bliss! It’s her passion and ambition that drove her. Her success is not by accident. She was a motivated person with an authentic voice. She had gumption and was interested in more than money. This woman is a trailblazer and paved the way for many women living in a man’s world. Big respect. Loved how she detailed how she made the movies and the chances she took.

    Fallen Soldiers by John Doe is very well worded. Genuine.

    I read “More Fun In The New World” with great gusto as it was compelling all the way through. It’s not just about music but life. Honest, bold, brave. There’s depth and vulnerability. The writers stepped up and wrote stunning narratives that were both candid and engaging. The audiobook is an extra bonus. Everyone did a fantastic job. And a big high five to Krissy Teegerstrom who played a big part in making this a beautiful piece of history. Impressive.

  • Quentin Montemayor

    *audiobook review* As with anything beginnings are always better than ends. That extends to the L.A. punk scene. What’s interesting about this book is that it really documents the progression of where things went. Sometimes it’s really bizarre to see the connection with bands like Lone Justice. Jack Grisham’s chapter was poignant and sad. Rollins was great as always. Stories seems to just tumble out of him end over end. While I think the last book is a bit more fun, this book is really optimisti

    *audiobook review* As with anything beginnings are always better than ends. That extends to the L.A. punk scene. What’s interesting about this book is that it really documents the progression of where things went. Sometimes it’s really bizarre to see the connection with bands like Lone Justice. Jack Grisham’s chapter was poignant and sad. Rollins was great as always. Stories seems to just tumble out of him end over end. While I think the last book is a bit more fun, this book is really optimistic and that’s something we need right now. John Doe’s description of the 80s is eerily similar to our current time period, which seems obvious, but is strange to hear. The performances on the audiobook are amazing as always. Definitely the way to go if you want to read this book.

  • Nestor Rychtyckyj

    Following up their successful and riveting “Under the Big Black Sun” John Doe and Tom DeSavia are back with “More Fun in the New World”. This book basically starts off where “Big Black Sun” left off and follows LA Punk as it moves into the 1980s. The focus of the book also spreads out more as contributors like Tim Robbins and Tony Hawk tell us how punk music influenced them and their work. By the early 1980s most of the early LA bands, with the notable exception of X, have moved on or have been

    Following up their successful and riveting “Under the Big Black Sun” John Doe and Tom DeSavia are back with “More Fun in the New World”. This book basically starts off where “Big Black Sun” left off and follows LA Punk as it moves into the 1980s. The focus of the book also spreads out more as contributors like Tim Robbins and Tony Hawk tell us how punk music influenced them and their work. By the early 1980s most of the early LA bands, with the notable exception of X, have moved on or have been overtaken by hardcore. Keith Morris contributes his usual stellar take on punk rock with the Circle Jerks (in you haven’t read his book “My Damage” – do it NOW! One chapter of Keith Morris is not enough). Henry Rollins is interviewed and provides his take on Black Flag, but he has written quite a bit and Black Flag’s role in rock & roll history is secure.

    But now the book gets interesting and veers off in a bunch of crazy directions. Plenty of the “old guard” in LA were not into hardcore, but their punk attitude was not over by any means. They were joined by a new group of musicians who listened to punk but wanted to take the music into new frontiers. All of a sudden bands as diverse as the Blasters, Los Lobos, the Bangles, Lone Justice and Blood on the Saddle started creating music that somehow mixed the energy of punk with country, traditional Mexican music, rhythm and blues, British invasion to create music that resonates todays as much as it did almost forty years ago.

    Many of the people responsible for this creative torrent of music are in the book and we hear from the platinum-selling Go-Go’s and Bangles to the not so-famous but equally relevant Gun Club and Rank and File. This is the time where I stopped reading and frantically looked through my album listings to find out that I somehow missed the Long Ryders and didn’t have a single album by the Blasters. Anyway, there’s a ton of great music that I will (re)discover from reading this book and everybody’s personal stories just remind us how relevant and important this “punk rock” music really is. (but you know that if you’re reading this!).

    In an epilog I’m thrilled to say that three of the bands mentioned in the book: Social Distortion, the Blasters and the Long Ryders will be playing here in Detroit in the next few weeks. Now that’s the right way to celebrate this great book!

  • Joseph Spuckler

    I moved, or more appropriately had military orders, to Camp Pendleton in 1982. This southern California Marine Corps base was my chance to experience the world whereThe Doors had lived and played in. Instead Oceanside, California and Los Angles were in full punk swing, and The Doors were a cultural has been. Safety pins, giant mohawks, and kids trading patches were the in thing. Weekend mornings one would find plenty of passed out punks on the beaches since Southern California lacked the squatte

    I moved, or more appropriately had military orders, to Camp Pendleton in 1982. This southern California Marine Corps base was my chance to experience the world whereThe Doors had lived and played in. Instead Oceanside, California and Los Angles were in full punk swing, and The Doors were a cultural has been. Safety pins, giant mohawks, and kids trading patches were the in thing. Weekend mornings one would find plenty of passed out punks on the beaches since Southern California lacked the squatter buildings of the UK and the cheap grungy apartments of New York City. My experience with punk before going west was from the New York area that made it to Cleveland radio and pulp rock magazines-- Lou Reed, Patti Smith, The New York Dolls, The Ramones, and The Dead Boys.

    West Coast Punk was something entirely different from the New York scene, and I will admit it took me a long time to recognize it as something other than a distraction to rock music (with the notable exception of The Dead Kennedys). John Doe of "X" edits a history of the LA Punk Music using musicians and players of the scene. Some people bands are still active like Henry Rollins and Social Distortion. Others were the commercial high point of the movement like the GoGos. Most, however, were people that moved from band to band or simply bands that had their moments and passed on but leaving their mark.  The use of first-hand accounts recreate the era better than a history and include that personal feeling that is often lost in editing.  LA Punk is often overshadowed by the rise of 80s metal and good times rock of bands like Van Halen.  The decadence of the 80s overtook the anti-establishment of the punk movement.  Punk, too, was more interested in the message than being commercially viable.  The economy silenced the message and viability limited radio exposure.  It did create a ruckus in its run.

    John Doe and Tom DeSavia create the first-hand history on par with Leggs McNeil's Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk.  Very well done. 

  • Geoff Balme

    Firstly I’m an X fanatic. There are probably no bands with a better first four albums. How they managed to do than in so short a time and sound as fresh as the first time you heard them has as much to do with Billy Zooms licks as it does the touching lyrical power of Exene and John. Their songs have depth wonder and get you through the way great music should. It didn’t hurt that I fell in love with Exene and her brazen vulnerability. So powerful and so fragile, capturing your attention but herse

    Firstly I’m an X fanatic. There are probably no bands with a better first four albums. How they managed to do than in so short a time and sound as fresh as the first time you heard them has as much to do with Billy Zooms licks as it does the touching lyrical power of Exene and John. Their songs have depth wonder and get you through the way great music should. It didn’t hurt that I fell in love with Exene and her brazen vulnerability. So powerful and so fragile, capturing your attention but herself a spirit you can’t bottle. That’s a lady on a record. She could and did do that. Having said that there’s not a lot about X in this book. But it is a great pastiche off remembrances by s multitude of artists and some I was unaware of. Possibly a few I don’t need. But I’m adding to the recording stacks because as s kid back in the day limited resources meant you studied and loved what you could get. Now I can return and find dim alleys I missed. Always fun!

  • Eric Sbar

    I was on the periphery of the punk movement in my late teens/early twenties. I loved the music of X, Black Flag, and the Paisley Underground and Americana bands as well as English mod music. Still, I was not really a participant. First, I am from suburban Philadelphia which had a small but vibrant scene. Next, I was a goody two shoes and afraid of making mistakes. I was also working on a medical career so that made things different. However, I always followed the punk ethos of DIY, being creativ

    I was on the periphery of the punk movement in my late teens/early twenties. I loved the music of X, Black Flag, and the Paisley Underground and Americana bands as well as English mod music. Still, I was not really a participant. First, I am from suburban Philadelphia which had a small but vibrant scene. Next, I was a goody two shoes and afraid of making mistakes. I was also working on a medical career so that made things different. However, I always followed the punk ethos of DIY, being creative, and being true to myself and others. The stories were interesting and I most understood Shepard Fairey’s experiences. I still make art and some music. I try not to take any shit as well.

    As a side note, I bumped into John Doe, Exene, and Billy Zoom on a Chicago street. At first, I became a true fanboy. Once I regained my cool, I thanked them for all of the music and the art/poetry/beauty they brought. They couldn’t have been nicer.

  • Larry

    So good. I grew up in L.A., and while I didn't follow all of these bands, I was fortunate enough to see a number of them at clubs in Hollywood and Santa Monica. It was a great time, and place, to be young. While this book brought back a flood of great memories, not all of the stories are easy to read. As you can imagine, there is a lot of angst, addiction, and a little bit of death. But most of these essays do a really good job of capturing what it was like to be in a band, for better and worse,

    So good. I grew up in L.A., and while I didn't follow all of these bands, I was fortunate enough to see a number of them at clubs in Hollywood and Santa Monica. It was a great time, and place, to be young. While this book brought back a flood of great memories, not all of the stories are easy to read. As you can imagine, there is a lot of angst, addiction, and a little bit of death. But most of these essays do a really good job of capturing what it was like to be in a band, for better and worse, at a specific time in history, in a specific place. Really good stuff that took me back to a great time in my life.

  • Jon Zelazny

    Los Angeles is known for constant upheaval and endless reinvention, which this book really brought home because it describes the local indie music scene up until around 1986 or so, yet by the time I moved here a mere five years later, almost every band and club described herein no longer existed.

    I caught some of the remnants. Roots rockers The Red Devils had become a heavy blues band with a Monday night residency at King King at La Brea and 6th, with Bill Bateman from The Blasters on

    Los Angeles is known for constant upheaval and endless reinvention, which this book really brought home because it describes the local indie music scene up until around 1986 or so, yet by the time I moved here a mere five years later, almost every band and club described herein no longer existed.

    I caught some of the remnants. Roots rockers The Red Devils had become a heavy blues band with a Monday night residency at King King at La Brea and 6th, with Bill Bateman from The Blasters on drums. Even better was King King's Wednesday night fixture Jump With Joey, this jazz/swing/ska/jump blues hybrid led by Joey Altruda and Willie McNeil, who this book reveals had an eighties version of the group called Tupelo Chain Sex. I remember a Phil Alvin solo gig where, lo and behold, his former bandmates Dave Alvin and John Bazz were backing him: a near-total Blasters reunion (!!) none of the other twenty bar patrons seemed to know or care about.

    And some of these up-and-comers had made it to the east coast: I saw The Bangles in '87, Fishbone at a Syracuse University block party, Maria McKee opening for Neil Young in '89, and Social Distortion opening for him in '91.

    I can't say anything in this book is really going to stay with me, but if you're wondering what to get me for Christmas, I jotted down some great albums I'd never heard of: Rank and File's SUNDOWN, Blood on The Saddle's POISON LOVE, The Gun Club's FIRE OF LOVE, the self-titled debut of The Plimsouls, and The Bangles' ALL OVER THE PLACE.

  • Jay Gabler

    This was never going to be a simple story; and the authors aren't looking to simplify it. As the '70s bled into the '80s, life for the stars of Penelope Spheeris's era-defining 1981 documentary

    — bands like X, Black Flag, and Circle Jerks — was a mix of agony and ecstasy. They saw their L.A. scene evolve and transform, and one way to tell the story is that "hair metal won the L.A. Sunset Strip war."

    .

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