|Written by||Brian Dorsey|
|Published on||August 30, 2011|
The first part of what was to become a trilogy, The Decline of Western Civilization documents the burgeoning Los Angeles punk music scene between December 1979 and May 1980. Capturing [...]
The first part of what was to become a trilogy, The Decline of Western Civilization documents the burgeoning Los Angeles punk music scene between December 1979 and May 1980. Capturing the gritty intimacy of various venues, clubhouses and private homes, Penelope Spheeris showcases “legendary” LA punk formations like The Alice Bag Band, Black Flag (before Henry Rollins), The Circle Jerks, Catholic Discipline, Fear, The Germs, and X. Rounding off the musical picture are interviews with club owners, various local punks, as well as Robert Biggs, publisher of Slash magazine.
Several classic statements originate from The Germs’ manager Nicole Panter (“…it’s like being a mother of four three-year-olds who are always fighting with each other”; “….and eventually they learned how to play”). Darby Crash, the Germs lead singer who plays a prominent role in this documentary, never lived to see its big screen debut. He died of a heroin-induced suicide shortly before it hit the theaters. It is not a pretty film, but punk was never meant to be a pretty music, either.
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