New Documentary Focusing On American Punk-Rock Scene During '80s Opens Today

September 22, 2006 reports that Paul Rachman's new documentary, "American Hardcore" — based on Steven Blush's book "American Hardcore: A Tribal History" — is opening in limited release Friday (September 22). The film, which follows the American punk-rock scene during the early to mid-'80s, culls rare concert footage and in-depth interviews from many of the artists who were at the forefront of the movement.

The genesis of hardcore punk was as much an often-unconscious reaction to then-contemporary values as it was a wish to create something new. It was angst stripped to its core, a primal sound trimmed of fat. In the end, it was little more than kids gone wild.

"I never [gave] much thought to it," T.S.O.L. singer Jack Grisham said. "I mean, it wasn't actually something that you're saying like, 'OK, we are doing this because of this and it's because of these social reasons.' It was just kids. I mean, growing up [in] the area I came from, everyone was an idiot. That was basically the deal: Let's just get drunk and be idiots."

Reckless and brash, these self-proclaimed "idiots" made a habit out of unleashing unpredictability at their shows — sometimes getting into fights, sometimes jumping offstage and breaking bones on the way down. According to ex-BLACK FLAG and CIRCLE JERKS singer Keith Morris, that devil-may-care attitude wasn't just an act.

"[Punk] was not premeditated," he said. "There was no map, there was no plan, there were no managers, there were no marketing strategies, there were no major record labels. No cell phones, security guards and no barricades."


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