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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

No Lifeguard on Duty

The Pandoras from that photo session on the beach. I can't thank Julie Patchouli enough for making me a digital copy of this photo.

Yesterday in Southern California, the day on which the annual Tournament of Roses Parade was held, it rained, it poured and power went out all over the Southland. First time in 50 years that it rained on the Rose Parade, and during my childhood and teen years, I always wished for it to rain. Of course, yesterday, I realized the importance to Southern California to present its sunny face on television in the middle of winter. Sunshine is what fuels this state's economy in many ways. Back in the early days of motion picture technology, Southern California became the place where that industry HAD to base itself because filming is dependent upon light. And that's only the beginning.

It brings me around the long way to something Alice Bag said in the Dick Rude-produced LA Punk addendum to Don Letts's film "Punk Attitude." Just because its all sunny here doesn't mean that people aren't disenfranchised.

Actually, the sunshine and glitz, glamour and conspicuous consumption of Hollywood and Beverly Hills provided the grist for the punk rock that grew out of Los Angeles. While England's depressed economy fueled the nihilistic "no future" and call-to-arms messages of bands ranging from the Sex Pistols to the Clash, the bands in the United States wrote about their own woes, be they existential or empirical. Of course, Alice Bag went so far as to say that we didn't need the English...

Well, the Pandoras didn't seem to need the English or their influence in order to become a cult favorite then and now. Writing trashy songs about being a girl, and of course girl-boy conflicts, they took their musical cues from American punk precursors in garage rock, and front-Pandora Paula Pierce's own musical beginnings can be traced to wanting to emulate LA's own pop meisters, The Quick, as well as the Ramones.

So, its January as I write you from sunny California. It may have poured yesterday, but its bright and sunny today. Maybe that's why Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone came out west to live the rest of the days in the warm "California Sun."

My Pandoras Picture Sleeve

thanks again to Julie Patchouli

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