The Masque is the granddaddy of them all. And remarkably well-preserved.

Looking at the video again, this blog is probably for people already familiar with the bands and the history. I'm not trying to make the series for insiders only, just saying it helps if you like the bands. Or maybe if you like Los Angeles and all it's crazy history in the tiny corners and neighborhoods. Avant gutter.

I fucked up one tag - and a great one. I don't know how, just looked through the viewfinder wrong and cropped out the top of it on accident. Not to mention I was spazzing out by just being there and didn't think straight. This is the full tag:

Photograph copyright Michael Yampolsky, all rights reserved

The photo is by Michael Yampolsky, who was on the ground at The Masque in the 70s and took tons of vital photos, many of which are in Mullen's book (see below). This pic is from 1997, when he snuck back into the basement. It's a great series of color photos, which you can see right here. It's a freaking perfect reference point, right in between 1977, when the club opened, and today in the summer of 2012. This door is exactly the same, but lots of the smaller walls gone now.

For the history of the club pick up Live at the Masque: Nightmare in Punk Alley. It's compiled and edited by the king of the Masque himself Brendan Mullen, along with Roger Gastman, put out by Gingko Press. Funny, smart writing and insanely cool photos. The late, great Mullen is pretty humble about being the first punk rock club in L.A., but this was it.

contact us at: speedwayrandy at gmail

There are a few videos of Masque shows out there:

The Weirdos playing in 77 - part of a punk doc that looks amazing - Mullen is at the very end

and...of course...The Screamers

thx - Speedway Randy

about this blog

I am going to the spots of early punk rock clubs in Los Angeles and see what is still standing.

Growing up far away from where punk rock started, I came to know it through movies - D.O.A., SUBURBIA, THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION and of course REPO MAN. Putting years on the films wouldn’t help, as I discovered them on recorded VHS tapes from friends years after they were made.

From there I found (occasionally shoplifted) the albums and cassettes, the concerts and skate videos on VHS, and most importantly, the flyers for shows. Seeing the actual bands was impossible, it was already 1984 and most were long gone.

When I finally moved to Los Angeles in 2001, I drove around to the addresses on the amazing handmade 70’s flyers looking for my personal historical monuments.

I go to where each club was and see what punk is like now.

You won’t find a be-all/end-all documentary on bands or clubs with sit down interviews and old photos and stories. I love that shit too, but the internet already has incredible resources showing the story of punk and how important it was and still is to the world.

I am making portraits of the foundations and what time has done to them. There might even be some punk left, weeds pushing up through the concrete.

door to the Masque

I'm going to where old punk rock clubs were and see if there are any remnants....