We Got Power!: Hardcore Punk Scenes From 1980s Southern California
“Vital to understanding the birth of American punk rock…an essential addition to the history of a movement”—Los Angeles Times
“Essential reading…the funniest of the local mags”—Matt Groening
“The book is a wonderful document of something that has continuity and lasts, the stuff that matters. It’s the finding of a voice of a generation.”—Chuck Dukowski
Featuring essays by David Markey, Jordan Schwartz, Jennifer Schwartz, Henry Rollins, Keith Morris, Chuck Dukowski, Dez Cadena, Louiche Mayorga, Eugene Tatu, Cameron Jamie, Pat Fear, Steve Humann, Tony Adolescent, Jack Brewer, Jula Bell, Mike Watt, Sean Wheeler, Joe Carducci, Daniel “Shredder” Weizmann, and Janet Housden.
Presenting nearly 400 first-generation L.A. hardcore punk photographs. Including complete color reprints of We Got Power fanzine 1981–1983 and beyond.
“One of the most thorough and lush compendiums of any punk movement”—Dangerous Minds
“The stark, often beautiful imagery presents an intimate portrayal of West Coast punk in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. With the accompanying personal reminiscences of turmoil and tenacity, which add depth and evocative context, it is a fantastic document of the scene’s emergence.”—PopMatters
In 1979, punk was over… but by 1981, hardcore was born.
As teenagers in 1981, David Markey and his best friend Jordan Schwartz founded We Got Power, a fanzine dedicated to the first-generation hardcore punk music community in their native Los Angeles. Their text and cameras captured the early punk spirit of 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, Firehose, and many others at the height of their precocious punk powers.
In the process, the duo’s amazing photographs also captured the dilapidated suburbs, abandoned storefronts, and dereliction of the early Reagan era—a rubble-strewn social apocalypse that demanded a youth uprising! Never before seen except in crude fanzine form, these detailed and richly narrative photos are now collected to present an intimate portrayal of a uniquely fertile creative moment.
“The Black Flag bus rolled out to the San Fernando Valley to hear Minor Threat play. Jordan Schwartz was there, looking like a reporter straight out of some ’30s movie, wearing a trench coat and a fedora with press pass in the hatband, holding a camera with an old-style flash reflector. It was a pivotal conceptual moment…”—Chuck Dukowski