I Just Want Some Skank: “The Best of Flipside: Vol. 1″ captures L.A.’s mid-80s punk rock scene

By on June 21, 2018

The Best of Flipside: Volume 1 captures all the action and sweat-drenched aggro-energy of the L.A. punk rock scene in the mid-1980s.

Watch it tonight, tomorrow or anytime you want in our Punk section, streaming over on Night Flight Plus.

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Released on DVD in 2001, The Best of Flipside: Volume 1 combines vintage the live performances of Bad Religion, the Circle Jerks, the Weirdos and the Dickies that were previously-released on VHS as Best Of Flipside, Volume 1 and Best Of Flipside, Volume 6, respectively.

This 126-minute concert compilation of (mostly) small venue club shows features Bad Religion live at the Olympic Auditorium, L.A. (June 1, 1984); the Circle Jerks live at the Stardust Ballroom, L.A. (April 1984); the Weirdos live at the Stardust Ballroom, L.A. (February 22, 1986); and, the Dickies live at Skateway (November 8, 1985).

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Here’s a tracklist: Bad Religion: “Damned To Be Free,” “The Way/Frogger,” “Action,” “Armageddon/New Leaf,” “Politics,” “Voice Of God Is Government,” “Latch Key Kids/Slaves”; Circle Jerks: “I Just Want Some Skank,” “Beverly Hills/Operation,” “Leave Me Alone/Coup D’etat,” “Junk Mail/Stars & Stripes,” “Behind The Door,” “Wild In The Streets,” “Red Tape/ Wasted,” “Back Against The Wall,” “Question Authority,” “Politcal Stu,” “Letter Bomb/In Your Eyes,” “Murder The Disturbed,” “Under The Gun,” “When The Shit Hits The Fan,” “Parade Of The Horribles,” “I Don’t Care/Live Fast Die Young,” “Put A Little Love In Your Heart”; Weirdos: “We Got The Neutron Bomb,” “What Will Ya Do?,” “Solitary Confidential,” “Message From The Underworld,” “It Means Nothing,” “Pagan,” “Do The Dance,” “I Want What I Want,” “The Hideout,” “Helium Bar”; Dickies: “Nobody But Me,” “Gigantor,” “You Drive Me Ape,” “Pretty Please,” “Poodle Party,” “She’s A Hunchback,” “Tricia Toyota,” “Crosseyed Tammy,” “Saga Of Jim Bowie,” “If Stuart Could Talk,” “Bedrock Barney,” “Mammy, Moe And Jack,” “Paranoid.”

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Read more about Flipside fanzine below.

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Flipside published semi-monthly, the very first issue coming out in the summer of 1977 (July/August).

They continued to publish regularly until 1985, and finally folded in 1991 after their last distributor went under, but they’ve continued to resurface since then for various projects.

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The Flipside gang were five Whittier High School friends — editor and publisher “Al” (Al Kowalewski), “Pete” (Peter Landswick), “X-8″ (Sam Diaz), “Tory” (Jorge Torres), and “Larry Lash” (Steve Shoemaker) — who offered up what was essentially a different point-of-view, honing in on certain bands within the punk rock sub-culture they felt weren’t being covered.

From 1979 until 1989, the magazine was co-owned and co-edited by Hudley “Hud” Flipside (Holly Duval Cornell).

The fanzine emerged at a time when the local Southern California alternative weeklies, newspapers and music magazines weren’t focusing too much on the local L.A. underground punk scene.

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The D.I.Y. publication at first consisted of four hand-typed 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheets Xeroxed, stapled together then folded over in the middle to make sixteen smaller pages (later issues were produced on newsprint, via a high speed web press, with a glossy cover).

The fanzines were distributed exclusively through Lovell’s record store in their hometown of Whittier, California, a suburb twenty miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, about midway between Anaheim (this writer’s own hometown) and L.A.

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The fanzine’s editorial perspective — basically the same for record reviews and band interviews — was to simply express everything verbatim, word-for-word transcriptions of what had been said, with very few editorial asides.

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Within a year or two of Flipside‘s first issue, though, they had weren’t the only punk-centric publication covering the L.A. scene.

Slash, for instance, were able to beat them to the presses by two months, publishing their own first issue in May of ’77, even though they’d officially launched after Flipside.

Slash — which featured writing by Night Flight contributor Chris D — published from 1977 to 1982, and mainly offered what amounted to an insider’s take on the Hollywood punk scene.

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Slash would also found their own record company, of course, and there was also Greg Shaw’s Bomp! zine — originally Who Put the Bomp! — which launched in 1974 and led to his formation of the Bomp Records label, which put out records by the Weirdos, the Last, the Zeros, 20/20, DMZ and others. Shaw also ran the Bomp! Records store.

Other L.A. punk rock labels — like Greg Ginn’s SST, Chris Ashford’s What? Records, and Dangerhouse — thrived without having any kind of formal association to a print publication or a record store.

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There was also Back Door Man, founded by Fred “Phast Phreddie” Patterson — with help from the late, great Don Waller, D.D. Faye and several others — which actually arrived on the scene earlier than both Flipside and Slash, publishing their first issue in January 1975.

They had a more broad-minded approach to punk, focusing more on hard rockin’ punk-infused bands like the Stooges and Patti Smith, with less so about the local scene. It only lasted until late ’78.

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There was also Lobotomy, the “brainless magazine,” which launched in 1977 with content penned by Pleasant Gehman, Anna Stateman, Kid Congo and Randy Kaye.

Other L.A. punk zines we can barely remember all these years later include I Wanna Be Your Dog (Hollywood), Generation X (Hollywood), and Raw Power (Woodland Hills).

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Flipside seemed to focus mostly the bands playing at clubs in the L.A. suburbs, the San Fernando Valley, or down in Orange County’s various punk clubs like the Cuckoo’s Nest, or even out in the Inland Empire.

The Flipside crew were helped considerably by local KROQ FM radio personality Rodney Bingenheimer, who often mentioned Flipside on the air during his “Rodney on the ROQ” shows.

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Watch The Best of Flipside: Volume 1 and other Punk documentaries and concerts on Night Flight Plus.

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About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.