Earnestly square local news series on punk rock, 1983


This man will explain punk to you

While 1983 may feel pretty late to “break” punk as a cultural phenomenon, Los Angeles Fox affiliate KTTV put together their five part feature covering the recent onslaught of California Hardcore as a bold new movement, and understandably so. Like every generation of olds before them, the historical patterns of youth culture were suddenly forgotten, since apparently this was the first time kids ever got rowdy to music their parents didn’t understand.

The initial event covered was a riot at an overcrowded show with The Exploited (who they just call “Exploited”), and LA legends Channel 3, The Vandals and Youth Brigade. “Did the punkers start the battle, or were local Hispanic gangs at the root of the problem?” (Was that some sort of popular racist rumor surrounding punk?) And yes, they say “punkers.” Over and over again.

It. Is. Adorable.

It’s unclear just how self-aware the actual copywriters of the story were. At times, they seem to be placating older audience, acknowledging that these kids are downright out of control; at other times they insist they feel the riot was an isolated incident, borne of poor planning. Later, as they start trying to chronicle the evolution and trajectory of punk, it becomes fairly obvious that they’re making a concerted (if ham-fisted) effort to treat it with legitimacy and gravity, rather than sensationalism. What do you know? WTTV cares about the kids?

Ah, the mysteries of punk! What can we know for sure? Only that this reporting is predicated on the existence of a media that appears to have never been young in their lives!