Lawson Desrochers (aka Lawson Jealous)

Like everyone, I had heard about the Sex Pistols and the Clash, even dug some of their tunes early on, but punk truly came to my world in 1981 via the older kids in Santa Monica, the skaters and surfers who suddenly cut off their long hair and either dyed it wild colors or shaved it off completely and started getting into bands or buying punk records from Rhino in Westwood. Aerosmith and Zeppelin shirts were replaced by homemade shirts of The Oziehares and Sin 34. I was the local neighborhood “barber” for my fellow junior high skate rats because I had the Sunbeam clippers, and I would shave heads and crop mohawks out of my bedroom window, hair falling in chunks into my neighbor’s yard. We hung out at the boarded up remains of our local outdoor mall which had fallen on hard times — skateboarding, playing thrash music on a boom box, kids being kids. Some days we were lucky and got to watch Black Flag in their rehearsal studio at Unicorn Studios West on 5th and Broadway, near where the Vans store is today. We played their pinball machine and brought the band pizza slices and cokes to trade for “Damaged” posters and promo records, until the boss, Daphne, chased us out. We went to gigs either at the Santa Monica Civic or got rides via our older friends’ moms, shows in East LA, Long Beach, all over. I started writing my favorite bands from other cities and trading flyers with them — they craved anything LA — and we started getting into Midwest, Boston and especially DC bands, so it was fair trade and cool to make new friends the old fashioned way, US Mail! The touring Necros even skated our backyard half-pipe, and the Misfits came to our amusement pier! I ran an ad in Flipside Magazine looking to buy and trade flyers in 1983, and that led to an avalanche of new friends and contacts — I was a punk rock flier and sticker dealer suddenly! I even had a comic printed in their “artist” issue next to heroes of mine like Pushead and Raymond Pettibon. Pretty soon, older schoolmates Suicidal Tendencies started playing all the local parties, and the scene got pretty big and wild fast. Punk was everywhere, and I grew out my hair, and got more into reggae thanks to HR living with my friend in Venice. I continue to listen to my old records to this day, catch the occasional reunion show, and support the bands and music I love so much. 

(Pen, watercolor, gouache on hot press paper, 7″x 10″ – SS)

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