Monday, March 20, 2006
The First Punk Act of 1976
On this day in history 1976, heiress Patty Hearst was convicted of armed robbery, an act she participated in arising from her kidnapping on February 4, 1974 by the Symbionese Liberation Army. Her SLA name was "Tania." She transformed from kidnapping victim to willing terror partner through a psychological phenomenon we now call "Stockholm Syndrome." She was on the cover of every magazine and newspaper for a couple of years.
Well, at UCLA's Hedrick Hall, my dorm, we embraced Patty and made her our mascot. We got t-shirts and I helped to silk screen a popular portrait of Patty on to the front of the shirts. I think I still have that t-shirt somewhere in my old family house. It may have been the very first real punk rock act I outwardly did: wear the image of a home-grown "terrorist." Sure, I'd gone to rock shows, seen Patti Smith and bought some edgy new records, but in March of 1976, punk was getting ready to rear its head.
The Sex Pistols had been playing some high profile shows in London - just a month previously they opened for Eddie and the Hot Rods as well as playing a socialite's Valentines Day Ball a couple days later. In a few days time, they would play the prestigious 100 Club and then begin a couple of residencies in London.
In March 1976 what concerts did I see? I saw Queen at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Why do I think they opened with "Keep Yourself Alive?" I also saw The Who at Anaheim Stadium. Keith Moon was alive still; my sister got arrested for having a great deal of pot. She was only 15, so she went to juvy detention and missed the show. The big deal show of the year so far for me was David Bowie at the Forum in February. Mostly during March of 1976, however, I admit I was lurking around Malibu trying to hear Bob Dylan rehearse for his on-going Rolling Thunder Revue.
Unbeknownst to me, but only for a little while, in March of 1976, The Cramps were getting their act finely honed and ready for the road.
Yes...in 1976, things were changing...
at 2:01 AM