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Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk
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Under the Big Black Sun explores the nascent Los Angeles punk rock movement and its evolution to hardcore punk as it’s never been told before. Authors John Doe and Tom DeSavia have woven together an enthralling story of the legendary west coast scene from 1977-1982 by enlisting the voices of people who were there. The book shares chapter-length tales from the authors along with personal essays from famous (and infamous) players in the scene. Additional authors include: Exene Cervenka (X), Henry Rollins (Black Flag), Mike Watt (The Minutemen), Jane Wiedlin and Charlotte Caffey (The Go-Go’s), Dave Alvin (The Blasters), Chris D. (Flesh Eaters), Jack Grisham (T.S.O.L.), Teresa Covarrubias (The Brat), Robert Lopez (The Zeros, El Vez), as well as scenesters and journalists Pleasant Gehman, Kristine McKenna, and Chris Morris. Through interstitial commentary, John Doe “narrates” this journey through the land of film noir sunshine, Hollywood back alleys, and suburban sprawl—the place where he met his artistic counterparts Exene, DJ Bonebrake, and Billy Zoom—and formed X, the band that became synonymous with, and in many ways defined, L.A. punk.
Under the Big Black Sun shares stories of friendship and love, ambition and feuds, grandiose dreams and cultural rage, all combined with the tattered, glossy sheen of pop culture weirdness that epitomized the operations of Hollywood’s underbelly. Readers will travel to the clubs that defined the scene, as well as to the street corners, empty lots, apartment complexes, and squats that served as de facto salons for the musicians, artists, and fringe players that hashed out what would become punk rock in Los Angeles.
Cast of Narrators:
Dave Alvin
Billie Joe Armstrong
Charlotte Caffey
Exene Cervenka
Teresa Covarrubias
Chris D.
Tom DeSavia
John Doe
Pleasant Gehman
Jack Grisham
Robert Lopez (aka El Vez)
Kristine McKenna
Chris Morris
Henry Rollins
Mike Watt
Jane Wiedlin
Music Credits:
All songs performed by X. ©John Doe & Exene Cervenka. Used with permission.
Lockwood Valley Music, admin by Pacific Electric Music Publishing / Grosso Modo Music / Penny Farthing Music (ASCAP)
 
“We’re Desperate”
“Your Phone’s off the Hook (But You’re Not)” 
“I’m Coming Over”
“The Unheard Music” 
“Nausea”
“White Girl” 
Performed by X. From the album Live 1980
 
“The Worlds a Mess (It's In My Kiss)”
“Los Angeles”
Performed by X. From the film X: The Unheard Music
“The World's A Mess and Los Angeles” from 'The Unheard Music', directed by W. T. Morgan, used with permission by Angel City Media, LLC.
 
“Because I Do”  X
Studio Rehearsal
Performed by X. ©John Doe & Exene Cervenka. Used with permission.
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Format:
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen
Edition:
Unabridged
Street Date:
04/26/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781524703646
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

John Doe. (2016). Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk. Unabridged Books on Tape.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

John Doe. 2016. Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk. Books on Tape.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

John Doe, Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk. Books on Tape, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

John Doe. Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk. Unabridged Books on Tape, 2016.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
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Date Updated:
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      • bioText: John Doe has worked as a roofer, an aluminum siding mechanic, a manager of poetry readings, a musician, and an actor. He met Exene Cervenka at the Venice poetry workshop in 1976 and started working with Billy Zoom around the same time. When DJ Bonebrake joined X in mid-1977, the lineup was complete. As one of the last original punk rock bands standing, they continue to tour, most recently with Blondie and Pearl Jam in front of stadium-sized crowds and audiences born after the band’s formation. He has recorded eight solo records with numerous renowned singers and musicians and as an actor has appeared in over fifty films and television productions, including Road HouseGreat Balls of FireBoogie Nights, and Roswell. He currently tours as both a solo artist and with X. Doe lives north of San Francisco.

        Tom DeSavia is currently head of creative services for SONGS Music Publishing, and based in Los Angeles, California. Prior to joining SONGS, DeSavia did lengthy stints as both a publisher and record label A&R man, as well as many years running pop membership for ASCAP. He currently serves on the West Coast board of the Songwriter's Hall of Fame and previously served on the board of directors for both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). A native of Southern California, Tom began his career as a music journalist.
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      • name: Exene Cervenka
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publishDate
2016-04-26T00:00:00-04:00
edition
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title
Under the Big Black Sun
fullDescription
Under the Big Black Sun explores the nascent Los Angeles punk rock movement and its evolution to hardcore punk as it’s never been told before. Authors John Doe and Tom DeSavia have woven together an enthralling story of the legendary west coast scene from 1977-1982 by enlisting the voices of people who were there. The book shares chapter-length tales from the authors along with personal essays from famous (and infamous) players in the scene. Additional authors include: Exene Cervenka (X), Henry Rollins (Black Flag), Mike Watt (The Minutemen), Jane Wiedlin and Charlotte Caffey (The Go-Go’s), Dave Alvin (The Blasters), Chris D. (Flesh Eaters), Jack Grisham (T.S.O.L.), Teresa Covarrubias (The Brat), Robert Lopez (The Zeros, El Vez), as well as scenesters and journalists Pleasant Gehman, Kristine McKenna, and Chris Morris. Through interstitial commentary, John Doe “narrates” this journey through the land of film noir sunshine, Hollywood back alleys, and suburban sprawl—the place where he met his artistic counterparts Exene, DJ Bonebrake, and Billy Zoom—and formed X, the band that became synonymous with, and in many ways defined, L.A. punk.
Under the Big Black Sun shares stories of friendship and love, ambition and feuds, grandiose dreams and cultural rage, all combined with the tattered, glossy sheen of pop culture weirdness that epitomized the operations of Hollywood’s underbelly. Readers will travel to the clubs that defined the scene, as well as to the street corners, empty lots, apartment complexes, and squats that served as de facto salons for the musicians, artists, and fringe players that hashed out what would become punk rock in Los Angeles.
Cast of Narrators:
Dave Alvin
Billie Joe Armstrong
Charlotte Caffey
Exene Cervenka
Teresa Covarrubias
Chris D.
Tom DeSavia
John Doe
Pleasant Gehman
Jack Grisham
Robert Lopez (aka El Vez)
Kristine McKenna
Chris Morris
Henry Rollins
Mike Watt
Jane Wiedlin
Music Credits:
All songs performed by X. ©John Doe & Exene Cervenka. Used with permission.
Lockwood Valley Music, admin by Pacific Electric Music Publishing / Grosso Modo Music / Penny Farthing Music (ASCAP)
 
“We’re Desperate”
“Your Phone’s off the Hook (But You’re Not)” 
“I’m Coming Over”
“The Unheard Music” 
“Nausea”
“White Girl” 
Performed by X. From the album Live 1980
 
“The Worlds a Mess (It's In My Kiss)”
“Los Angeles”
Performed by X. From the film X: The Unheard Music
“The World's A Mess and Los Angeles” from 'The Unheard Music', directed by W. T. Morgan, used with permission by Angel City Media, LLC.
 
“Because I Do”  X
Studio Rehearsal
Performed by X. ©John Doe & Exene Cervenka. Used with permission.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: AudioFile Magazine
      • content: Los Angeles had one of the most fertile punk scenes of the late 1970s, as this audiobook makes abundantly clear with its revolving cast of musicians, writers, artists, and even filmmakers who provide commentary. LA bands were louder, faster, and more outrageous, but not entirely devoid of art, which is where the band X came in. Formed in 1978 by John Doe and Exene Cervenka, the band served as the prototype for a whole generation of inter-gender bands who heralded the sexual politic of the day. In this vivid recounting--rendered in typically egalitarian punk fashion with virtually everyone who was there being heard--the narrators, all differing in style and tone, provide a fitting tribute to the anarchic nature of the scene's origins. J.S.H. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine
      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 15, 2016

        Guitarist Doe of the band X here leads listeners through the nascent Los Angeles punk scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s. The book is a kaleidoscope of personal essays by those who were there to see it happen; members of X (singer Exene Cervenka as well as Doe), Black Flag, the Go-Gos, the Minutemen, and many others give a frontline perspective of the musical and cultural movement. Artists now venerated for innovation and creativity were then just kids figuring it out as they went--not just blindly and nihilistically rejecting authority (though there's plenty of that) but affirming and embracing a crusade for self-expression. The stories don't romanticize the sordid and coarse aspects of the scene, but the authors' sincere love of this turbulent period in their lives helps paint it as a time of inventive and energetic creation. Doe reads roughly half the book in an appropriately noir deadpan, and the rest of the chapters are narrated by their various authors (Henry Rollins is, as always, a standout; Jane Wiedlin's gleeful performance is another highlight). VERDICT Recommended for fans of the music, of course, and those who want a vivid snapshot of a weird and entertaining cultural moment. ["Will appeal to fans who want an inside look at the history of the punk lifestyle": LJ 4/15/16 review of the Da Capo hc.]--Jason Puckett, Georgia State Univ. Lib., Atlanta

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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shortDescription
Under the Big Black Sun explores the nascent Los Angeles punk rock movement and its evolution to hardcore punk as it’s never been told before. Authors John Doe and Tom DeSavia have woven together an enthralling story of the legendary west coast scene from 1977-1982 by enlisting the voices of people who were there. The book shares chapter-length tales from the authors along with personal essays from famous (and infamous) players in the scene. Additional authors include: Exene Cervenka (X), Henry Rollins (Black Flag), Mike Watt (The Minutemen), Jane Wiedlin and Charlotte Caffey (The Go-Go’s), Dave Alvin (The Blasters), Chris D. (Flesh Eaters), Jack Grisham (T.S.O.L.), Teresa Covarrubias (The Brat), Robert Lopez (The Zeros, El Vez), as well as scenesters and journalists Pleasant Gehman, Kristine McKenna, and Chris Morris. Through interstitial commentary, John Doe “narrates” this journey through the land of film noir sunshine, Hollywood back alleys,...
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Books on Tape