Ziggy/Linda D

My Punk Rock story is not always a ‘pretty one’. It is a miracle I am alive. I was homeless on the street at 14, very out of my mind, traumatized, mentally ill, drugged up, drunk. You get the picture. ‘Suburbia’ punksploitation? Shit I already was a real life ‘Suburbia/T.R punk! I first heard of ‘punk Rock’ in 1976 at the grocery store when I was 10. It was terrifying & I was in L>O>V>E….I did not start calling myself ‘punk ‘ until 1979 when I was 13, the year I saw DEVO and could not get to punk shows in Hollyweird until 1980, when I was 14. I was young and did not have any older friends to bring me to shows. So in 1980, hung around a scummy little new wave/punk disco in Canoga Park called Phases with our little crew of underage fucked up and wasted kids. I hung out at Topanga Plaza Shopping mall (because punks worked at Orange Julius)and I was regularly chased out by security guards for giving cheerleaders & surfer girls punk mohawks and chemo cuts in the restrooms. Crying screaming moms and security guards would run after me, chasing me through the mall calling me a ‘monster’. I carried scissors with me to give punk hair cuts…..It was revolutionary and liberating for these girls who were sick of being ‘perfect & normal’. By 1981, I was in Hollyweird on the street. A 9th grade jr high school reject… I was one of the first three punk kids at my junior high and the very first punk girl there. It was dangerous to be punk Rock out in the San Fernando Valley, people physically attacked me, screamed at me, spit at me, threw bottles/cans and even a chunk of concrete at me from a passing truck, tried to attack me with a machete, set their dogs on me and tried to kill me on a regular basis – no provocation – just for ‘walking while punk rock’. I never finished school, ( I was able to do that in England) had severe unacknowledged Dyslexia/etc and was homeless on and off between 1980 & 1985 in LA & SF I actually left the scene in LA in 1981 and went to SF, there were no punk gangs, smaller scene, the shows were not violent like in LA for the most part( in SF I went to shows at The Mab, Tool & Die, On Broadway,The Temple and lived at the infamous ‘Vats’ – but that’s another story) and I could pogo (yes !!!) -without getting beat up or called a poseur and did not get harassed on a constant basis on the street for being punk like I did in L.A. I flip flopped between the LA/Hollyweird & SF punk scene until 1985 when I emigrated to England, and the punk scene there. The early LA punk scene was so amazing and liberating for me as a young girl and equally such a shit show in so many ways. Love/Hate. I can still smell those early days and the stench of Oki Dogs. Saying all that, punk rock saved my life – there is no doubt about this. My early time on the scene in L.A was the most exciting time of my life in so many ways, also some of the worst times of my life. It’s a love/hate thing. Here I am nearly 60 and a punk rock grandma, still involved in the scene, still ‘look’ punk, and go to shows when I go to the city. punk rock has always been about doing it yourself, smashing the system, the roots of what punk is/was originally about, not any kind of big $$$ making thing like today’s huge ‘punk festivals’, or shows that poorer kids/punk elders can not afford. WTF ?! I hate that shit. Punk as fuck-forever !! it was not a phase. I also want to remember all my dead old original punk friends, about half of them are dead from crazy life…

I am not sure what my first punk gig was. I was so young. I started going to shows in 1980. My very first shows were at The Starwood, Anti Club, The Vex, Stardust Ballroom, The Palladium. The first bands I saw were the Dickies, Ramones, Redd Cross, Black Flag, FEAR, etc etc etc etc, I just missed Darby Crash’s last show at the Starwood cause I could not get a ride! I was at most if not all of the early L.A punk riots. Just hanging outside was also as important as seeing the bands. Some clubs I could not get in since I was under 18, had to sneak in. So the hang out scene was just as important, and hanging out at Oki Dogs was the best……

I did a short stint singing for ADS/Another Destructive System in 2008. With Danny from Wasted Youth and Mark McDonald/original LADS. We played the LADS BBQ. I do not support the LADS as a gang, but friends still with many of the old guys..

I wrote to early Flipside! – me writing a lot of angry letters, people making fun of and bullying me in Flipside!..! My current zine/self published mini book is called ‘Fermentation and Preservation Frenzy’. I have sold over 300 copies so far..

As far as punk movies and tv roles, I was in some punksploitation ones. Valley Girl, CHIPS punk episode, I tried to get on the Quincy punk episode and Suburbia. I was doing a lot of punk extra work. I can’t even remember everything I was in! We would get scouted at Oki Dogs – all the time.

I was part of the punk rock penpal scene where I met my former British husband through Punk Magazine (that really glossy magazine) and emigrated to England in 1985 and got married at 19.

Random factos – I am on 3 Fer Youz posters that I know of. I am mentioned, interviewed or photographed in 4 books on the early LA punk scene, various early LA punk violence reports on LA t.v news…

These days I am a live in home caregiver (IHSS) caring for an old early LA punk. I am also a craftswoman/creative. I was a property caretaker/organic gardener/horse caretaker/homesteader on a horse ranch up in Northern California (Mendocino County/Emerald Triangle) for 8 years after returning to the US in 2008 after 25 years in England. I had spent 2 years hitchhiking around the US work trading on Organic farms and ended up here. I love living in the city ? NO! I hate living in the city! We were burned out in the firestorm in October 2017. I have spent the last nearly 5 years recovering from the injuries, mental trauma, and ongoing health issues. I am working towards being out on the land again as a property caretaker or owning some rural property to start an organic veggie farm/teach survival skills, DIY/homesteading skills, farmers market garden, and a place for old punks to go. My passions are wild-plant identification for food/dye/medicine etc. I am a tour guide at our local rural museum, I share my knowledge of the local native plants and local Indigenous tribes uses of the plants. I also do free wild food walks around my town. I am a grassroots advocate in my small rural town, around issues of street homelessness and mental health, food justice, tribal sovereignty, saving and protecting the ancient forests here. I am currently working on my early LA punk book/autobiography/possible documentary. I am working class. I have never stopped being ‘punk’ or looking punk ( But I have got clean & sober and stopped being self destructive) I am 56. I love being a punk rock grandma. I thank the universe I also found anarcho punk, Feminism and DIY culture. This helped me to start loving & caring for myself, and not end up yet another dead self destructive chaos/gutter punk kid. My punk rock outlook now is on making a positive contribution to the world and my community, being sober/clean, mentally and physically well and never going ‘normal’ and still being very deeply involved in DIY/underground culture.

Gouache on cold press paper, 6″x8″, July 2023

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