Appropriately, “WE GOT P0WER!: We Survived the Pit” a celebration of the hardcore punk music scene that grew out of the South Bay, opens September 8 at Track 16 in Bergamot Station, a long time supporter of alternative music. Track 16 is where punk icon Mike Watt staged his first photo exhibit, “Eye-Gifts from San Pedro” and was also the site of the ambitious and successful John Roecker-curated 1999 “Forming: The Early Days of Punk Rock” which gave Los Angeles punk rock legitimacy as a musical style and as an arts cauldron. David Markey and Jordan Schwartz, the duo behind “WE GOT P0WER!” were part of Roecker’s show, and now they’re back with a full-scale exhibition and as a book WE GOT P0WER!: Hardcore Punk Scenes From 1980s Southern California, chronicling the South Bay and hardcore punk scene. Included in the exhibit are films and video, fliers by Raymond Pettibon, skate boards and other ephemera. Opening night will feature performances by Adolescents, Dead Issue, Saccharine Trust and The Last.
Sadly this will be the final show at Track 16, which is scheduled for demolition to make way for Metro’s Light Rail.
Thirty-one years ago, WE GOT P0WER! was a fanzine dedicated to primarily to SST Records’ roster and other hardcore bands, and from there We Got P0Wer morphed into Markey’s film production which created a slew of underground and festival favorites: Desperate Teenage Lovedolls, Lovedolls Superstar, 1991: The Year Punk Broke, Reality ’86’d, The Reinactors, The Slog Movie, the upcoming My Career as a Jerk, and a collection of Markey-directed punk music videos compiled as Cut Shorts. Now they’ve come full circle and back into publishing, with reproductions of the WE’VE GOT P0WER! fanzine included in their book, along with essays by Markey and Schwartz and their compatriots: Tony Adolescent, Jula Bell, Joe Carducci, Janet Housden, Keith Morris, Henry Rollins, Jennifer Schwartz, and Mike Watt.
The stark black and white photos capture bands like Adolescents, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Descendents, Gun Club, Lovedolls, Minutemen, Redd Kross, Saccharine Trust, Sin34, and Sonic Youth onstage, in the van after gigs, and relaxing in cluttered rooms or at picnic tables, as well as the society that spawned them—the Regan-era 1980s, cops, abandoned buildings, and surf/skate culture. Within the photos are alienated youths who created their own lifestyle, toured nomadically across the U.S. and Europe, forming networks and surviving the pit–the mosh pit, the pit of suburban hell, the hellish pit of conformity.“WE GOT P0WER!: We Survived the Pit” September 8-October 6 Track 16 Gallery 2525 Michigan Avenue, Bldg C-1
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Thursday-Sunday 1pm to 6pm
Opening reception, Saturday, September 8, 6pm-11pm