San Francisco/Los Angeles: 1980-1990.
Unbound. A collection of 80 flyers, business cards, and handbills promoting Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay area punk venues and bands from the 1980s-1990s featuring acts such as Flipper, Potential Threat, Circle Jerks, The Zeros, N.O.F.X., The Leaving Train, and others. The flyers are all printed on paper sheets of various colors sized 3.5" x 4" to 13" x 19", in black ink with several incorporating rubberstamped elements. All items are near fine with tape remnants and some chips and tears from being mounted on bulletin boards and posts with light soiling.
Decorated with drawings of monsters, airplanes, portraits, and close ups of body parts these flyers advertised concerts for California venues featuring local and famous punk bands. California was exploding with new punk bands from every block and corner. Small local bands became famous and progressed to influence the rest of the punk scene for later generations. Flipper, being one of the most popular bands during this time, formed in San Francisco in 1979. Flipper was notorious for their slowed-down sound that interested some but infuriated other in the scene. Noted as the forerunner to sludge metal, both Kurt Cobain from Nirvana and Eric Avery from Jane’s Addiction said that Flipper influenced their music. Another band formed out of the San Francisco Bay Area was Potential Threat. The band began in 1986 and was known for their in-your-face approach to music that so many of the punk bands implemented at this time. Circle Jerks were another small band that took off quickly and became a huge success. Formed in 1979 in Los Angeles, Circle Jerks within a year of forming became one of several California punk bands to be immortalized in the documentary *The Decline of Western Civilization*. They influenced several artists and have been featured in a couple movies since. The Zeros were one of the most popular punk bands during the 1980s. Forming in 1976, the band’s first major gig was in 1977 with The Germs playing at The Orpheum Theater. The concerts of the band often led to riots, fights, and general debauchery. They also play an entire set consisting of eight replays of "Beat Your Heart Out" in San Francisco. Though the bands was successful, it broke apart in the 1980s and has been doing small reunion tours since.
Several of the venues listed on the flyers were known to feature punk, metal, goth, and many other types of music. These venues would feature Bay Area punk bands giving the local talents some limelight. The Stone opened in the 1980s and was linked to the Keystone Berkeley and Keystone Palo Alto. The venue was large enough to have 700 people at one time, sold only hard liquor at the bar, and attracted an audience with bigger hair, fishnets, and makeup. On Broadway Theater was another popular punk venue in San Francisco. It was the upstairs portion to the Mabuhay Gardens (The Mab) which featured different acts and styles of music. The venue attracted local bands and pushed some to fame during the 1980s. The Mab and On Broadway Theater closed in 1986 but has been bought and re-opened several times and different clubs for the changing scenes.
A vibrant look back on the popular and local punk bands of the 1980s-1990s.