We Got Power Hardcore Punk Scenes from 1980s Southern California

Author(s): Schwartz Jordan & Markey Dave

punk & punk rock | music photography

As teenagers in 1981, David Markey and his best friend Jordan Schwartz founded We Got Power, a fanzine dedicated to the hardcore punk music community in their native Los Angeles. Their text and cameras captured the early punk spirit of Black Flag, the Minutemen, Social Distortion, Youth Brigade and many others at the height of their precocious punk powers. In the process, the duo's amazing photographs also captured the dilapidated suburbs, abandoned storefronts and dereliction of the era - a rubble strewn social apocalypse that demanded a youth uprising!


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"Essential reading... the funniest of the local mags"--Matt Groening, 1983
"Vital to understanding the birth of American punk rock... an essential addition to the history of a movement."--"The Los Angeles Times"
"One of the most thorough and lush compendiums of any punk movement"--Dangerous Minds
"There are no rose-colored glasses, zero phoned-in memories, and no homogenized takes; gritty, raw, and real as real can get is the tone delivered on every page."--Metal Army America
"Celebrating the hardcore punk scene of 1980s Southern California... a new book by zine gods David Markey and Jordan Schwartz"--"LA Weekly"
"It's amazing! Get it if you have any interest in Californian punk & hardcore!"--Daniel P. Carter, BBC Radio 1 Rock Show
"Reports from the frontlines of the huge and thriving Los Angeles scene...with first-hand accounts from some of its biggest luminaries"--VH1
"A history lesson for the novice and nerd alike, packed to the spine with pictures and essays that will blow the mind and flare the nostrils."--"AOL Noisecreep"
"Absolutely stunning."--"Creative Loafing," Atlanta
"Stunning and beautiful"--"AP"
"The stark, often beautiful imagery presents an intimate portrayal of West Coast punk in the late '70s and early '80s. With the accompanying personal reminiscences of turmoil and tenacity, which add depth and evocative context, it is a fantastic document of the scene's emergence."--PopMatters
"Excellent"--The Onion A/V Club
"The pair's gritty, deadpan photos captured the bands, DIY venues, and SoCal vagrants that would eventually define an entire subculture...stunning"--"The Fader"
"With no physical mecca for SoCal punks to revisit, the photos and the book on a whole serve as a yearbook for SoCal dropouts who changed the world."--"Inked Mag"
"Phenomenal... Essential reading."--"The Bakersfield Californian"
"An easy-to-digest scrapbook of candid photos an

DAVID MARKEY was born December 3, 1963, in Burbank, CA. He made his first film at the age of 11 and published a neighborhood newspaper at 12. In 1980, he became involved in the local underground music scene. He helped form Sin 34 in 1981, and captured the punk scene in the Super 8 film "The Slog Movie." Markey was a part of "We Got Power" fanzine from 1981 to 1983, then kept the name alive through his We Got Power Films. He cowrote and directed "Desperate Teenage Lovedolls" in 1984. He photographed, edited, cowrote, and directed "Lovedolls Superstar" in 1986. Also that year, his band Painted Willie toured with Black Flag for six months, a period depicted in his film "Reality 86'd." Later, he traveled with Sonic Youth and Nirvana across Europe to make "1991: The Year Punk Broke." Markey has directed music videos for Meat Puppets, fIREHOSE, Shonen Knife, Mudhoney, and Pat Smear, and collaborated with visual artists Cameron Jamie, Raymond Pettibon, and Kim Gordon. In 2005, he accidentally discovered he was adopted, leading to work on the autobiography Dark Circles. Markey directed the documentaries "The Reinactors; Dinosaur Jr. Bug (Live) at 9:30"; and the Circle Jerks film My "Career as a Jerk."
JORDAN SCHWARTZ met David Markey while skateboarding in a flooded Santa Monica parking garage in 1979. As they discovered the growing Los Angeles hardcore punk rock scene, Jordan teamed up with David, his sister, Jennifer, and Alan Gilbert to found "We Got Power" magazine. Jordan contributed in many roles, including that of staff photographer. Jordan had producing and acting roles in "Desperate Teenage Lovedolls" and the sequel, "Lovedolls Superstar," notably appearing as the rock star Brews Springstein. Jordan facilitated the release of three "Black Flag" skateboards featuring original artwork by Raymond Pettibon. In 1984, Jordan began working and living at SST Records' Global Network Agency booking gigs and tours for various high-profile bands on and off of the label during the pioneering years of the U.S. independent scene. In 1988, Jordan began a career working with computers connected to the Internet. He lives in Santa Monica with his wife and dog, still hangs out at Rip City on the weekends, and makes it to local gigs.

General Fields

  • : 9781935950073
  • : BAZ
  • : January 2013
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Schwartz Jordan & Markey Dave
  • : Hardback
  • : 912
  • : 306