On Monday, October 12th, Litquake in collaboration with Porchlight Storytelling, held the event Journey to the End of the Bay: Punk Rockers Spill Their Guts as the launch for a new book entitled Gimme Something Better: The Profound, Progressive, and Occasionally Pointless History of Bay Area Punk from Dead Kennedys to Green Day by Jack Boulware and Silke Tudor. The night itself was full of tales of chaos, destruction, and debauchery, and not only featured actual contributors from the book, but some of the Bay Area’s most infamous punk rock residents as well.
The first speaker of the night was Bucky Sinister. As one of the founding members of Gilman Street’s spoken-word readings, he was more than at ease in front of a crowd of unruly lit patrons, delving into a morbid (albeit hilarious) recollection of graveyard rendezvous, dead baby corpses, and prison rap sheets. Negative Trend frontman Rozz Rezabeck gave a behind scenes tale of the Sex Pistol’s final show at Winterland, discussing the filth, fury, and ultimate embarrassment of why he was booked with the legendary group. Longtime homocore scenesters Lynn Breedlove and Anna Joy Springer were also in attendance, sharing some of their wildest experiences performing on stage and in the bedroom.
During the intermission a handful of audience members were invited on stage to give one of their own one minute punk rock confession. While some of the speakers garnered cheers and applause from the audience, such as one woman who gave a brief salute to former club mainstay The Sound of Music, others were unfortunately less than engaging, like the gentleman dressed like Mr. Rogers who painstakingly started breaking into horrible comedy gag. It wasn’t any discredit to the event though, and I think more than anything people were just excited to get a chance to share the limelight.
After the intermission wrapped up the second half of the evening began and once more went straight into the lucid world of the underground. Artist, writer, and former SF mayor candidate Chicken John went into the impact Gilman Street had on his life, while Jessie Luscious (pictured above) reminiscence about some of his favorite bands and the rules that went along with loving and hating them. Two members of the legendary Bay Area band Crime, Hank Rank and Johnny Strike (pictured right), closed the evening’s storytelling with a musical/spoken word ode to San Francisco’s illustrious punk rock past, present, and future, poignantly ending their speech with “Gabba gabba hey motherfuckers,” just to remind everyone in the building no matter how many years go by the city’s grittiest subculture will never be forgotten.
Words and photos by Alexander Zeddemore