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Book Review

We Got Power! Hardcore Punk Scenes from 1980s Southern California by David Markey and Jordan Schwartz

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Publisher: Bazillion Points

1 of 1 A great book that would make a great movie
A great book that would make a great movie

David Markey and Jordan Schwartz were 16-year-old skateboarders who met in the flooded, ramp-rich garage of Schwartz' condo complex and embarked on an adventure that would make for a great movie. It has already made for a great book.

Beginning in 1981, Markey and Schwartz began publishing their fanzine We Got Power!, a fearless mix of insight and irreverence that brought the bands and fans of hardcore punk together on its pages. As previously documented in Henry Rollins' Get in the Van, among other books, these were heady, dangerous times of vilification, violence at gigs and police harassment, but more powerful than that troika was the creativity of the kids involved - you'll be inspired by plenty of it here.

Gathering essays from Markey, Schwartz, Rollins and many others, over 400 photos and the issues of We Got Power! (the lads loved their different-coloured fonts), this beautifully produced book shows how youth escape shaped adult lives but also elevates a city and its suburbs to key characters in the story.

Whether leafing through the pics or reading and re-reading the recollections, the result is the same: your own years roll back page by page while your admiration for Markey and Schwartz grows. Now as then, they should be very proud of their achievements.

Harry Guerin

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