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The title is pretty self-explanatory. I am going to pick up two titles about music genres that I really like (one being Choosing Death, a book about the history of death metal and grindcore, the other one from a pair of guys who recently wrote a book on Hollywood porn biz, the title eludes my mind ATM), and now it got me thinking whether or not there are any other books that chronicle the history of punk in general. I would prefer the books not to be the history/biography of a single band, but rather about, say, one city's punk scene or the like. Anyone got any good names they could throw in here?

EDIT: "Please Kill Me" mentioned in the reviews/comments below is the other book I was originally looking at with Choosing Death. Thanks, Shampoo.

Edited by Bushmeister
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We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of L.A. Punk by Mark Spitz


From the Publisher

Taking us back to late ’70s and early ’80s Hollywood—pre-crack, pre-AIDS, pre-Reagan—We Got the Neutron Bomb re-creates word for word the rage, intensity, and anarchic glory of the Los Angeles punk scene, straight from the mouths of the scenesters, zinesters, groupies, filmmakers, and musicians who were there.

“California was wide-open sex—no condoms, no birth control, no morality, no guilt.” —Kim Fowley

“The Runaways were rebels, all of us were. And a lot of people looked up to us. It helped a lot of kids who had very mediocre, uneventful, unhappy lives. It gave them something to hold on to.” —Cherie Currie

“The objective was to create something for our own personal satisfaction, because everything in our youthful and limited opinion sucked, and we knew better.” —John Doe

“The Masque was like Heaven and Hell all rolled into one. It was a bomb shelter, a basement. It was so amazing, such a dive ... but it was our dive.” —Hellin Killer

“At least fifty punks were living at the Canterbury. You’d walk into the courtyard and there’d be a dozen different punk songs all playing at the same time. It was an incredible environment.” —Belinda Carlisle

Assembled from exhaustive interviews, We Got the Neutron Bomb tells the authentically gritty stories of bands like the Runaways, the Germs, X, the Screamers, Black Flag, and the Circle Jerks—their rise, their fall, and their undeniable influence on the rock ’n’ roll of today.

About the Author

Marc Spitz is a senior contributing writer at "Spin" magazine. He spent his misbegotten 20s in post-punk Hollywood and lives now in Greenwich Village, New York.

Brenden Mullen founded The Masque, the legendary Hollywood underground club/rehearsal space hailed as the birthplace of the Los Angeles and Orange County punk scenes. He is currently a contributing writer for "LA Weekly".

From the Critics

“When Gillian McCain and I wrote Please Kill Me, a number of people asked us, ‘What about the L.A. punk scene?’ We said ‘That’s another book.’ And now Marc Spitz and Brendan Mullen have finally written it. It’s about time.”

—Legs McNeil

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My uncle's friend is writing a book. Apparently he is a journalist who has met a hefty amount of punk "celebrities". Next time I am talking to him, I'll ask him about the release date, author name, etc.

I own two books, one being PUNK by Stephen Colegrave and Chris Sullivan and Let Fury Have The Hour, both of which are assorted pieces by numerous close to the punk-rock scene. Both are great reads. The first is about the 75-79 UK Scene, before and after. The later is about the punk-rock politics of Joe Strummer. I recommend both.

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As AS linked to, "We Got The Neutron Bomb" is a good one too. Also, not punk-related, you should pick up "Lords of Chaos" by Michael Moynihan and Didrik Soderlind (about the black metal scene). It's a good read too.

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We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of L.A. Punk by Mark Spitz

This is probably one of the better books you can find. It's great that they provide so many different perspectives from the L.A. scene. Great stories from people like Black Randy, Tomata Du Plenty, Jack Grisham, Darby Crash, Geza X, and many more.

There is also England's Dreaming: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, and Beyond. It's a good read, focusing primarily on the UK scene, and also detailing the roots of punk rock in the UK.

Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs is John Lydon's autobiography. I haven't read it yet, but I've heard it's a good read.

Go Now is a book you may or may not want to read, but I think it's worth mentioning. It's actually a novel written by Richard Hell about a heroin junkie and his trip from New York to California.

Edited by VerbalPuke
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