book review::My First Time: A Collection Of First Punk Show Stories

For many, their first punk show changed their life trajectory, acting as a catalyst for a coming of age that equated to personal revolution. The experience is no doubt like crossing into the hinterlands from your parent’s rule, leaving a place of control and security for the adventure of the unknown world. At one point in time, the punk show essentially equated to a new land where nervous energy and alienation were left unbridled to fester into a new and much more engaging sore. Meanwhile, the status quo was stomped all over and ground out by music that created new personal politics, and more importantly – a new consciousness. My First Time – A Collection Of First Punk Show Stories, is a new book that takes personal testimonies that recall experiences at shows that are viewed as life changing episodes. Most of the stories revolve more around the background of the situation at hand where revelatory moments took place, more so than detailing the actual shows. What resonates the loudest with these stories is that after so many years these shows still hold prime real estate in the authors’ minds.

For anyone who is a true music lover, there will always be certain live experiences that can’t be forgotten. I have them and you have them, and it is great to establish the common bond with others who have been changed by punk rock. The Dwarves’ Blag Dahlia tells a funny story about “the scowling girl and her retarded boyfriend,” that doubles as a social commentary on the punk scene in general. Being a former Chapel Hillian, I really enjoyed reading Harrison Haynes of Les Savy Fav detailing the mid-eighties Chapel Hill scene and the nearly forgotten Sparkle Car Wash. Scott Bourne also adds his own experiences of triangle lore and his coming to realize just how punk Kenny Rogers really was in the end. My First Time: A Collection Of First Punk Show Stories is full of interesting recollections of great punk moments by a mixture of writers. If you think this is your sort of thing, then rest assured you’ll want to pick this one up.

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