The original Underdogs of the underground:

By Miss Oblivious

 
 Miss Oblivious recently had another epiphany to add to all the others. I want to talk to the underground persons who experienced punk and art in 70's that haven't yet been told on paper. My first victim is Ray (Flame) and he grew up here in San Jose and has remembered a lot of the times and feelings of then. There are a couple people doing this, yet we tend to hear from the same circle of people in London, N.Y. and now L.A, I want to know what the others did what was the point to were they said no more and shed there skins.  The year of 2006 we will have a different person monthly and a whole new viewpoint focused and revealed. 
 
Name: Ray (Flame)

Age: 48
(I let Ray tell his tale no questions just answers)
I think Bowie was the out for a lot of people, he borrowed a lot of things that allowed you to separate you from your substance, and you could adopt another identity for yourself.
To me it's always been a crime to only live one life through your chronological lifetime.. There are 1,000's of images you can come up with.
 For a lot of our friends that are no longer here yet live inside of us, we revive the image that they were, a way they would dress, use them as one of the colors in the crayon box, again Bowie was a big part of that, letting you be whomever you wanted to be. Bi-sexual, bum on Monday and Millionaire on Friday just based of your mood.
 
I'd like to talk about the San Jose scene and how important it was and how different it was from thee others, to me thee important part was that there was no ready made anything.  It had Forced us to work,  SJ was not a hipster sort of town, the thrift stores were not picked over, to me that was an  important factor, a great toolbox for how San Jose punks. What you wore to a show, to a friend's house or to disturb others was what you found at thrift village that week. Those were very magical times, your friends would ask where did you get that, important part of the poly identity, trying to exhilarate with the rocky horror crowd included. You never had to adhere to any fabricated designation for your self. The San Jose scene was very self made and uncontrived, people were different the U.K was driven from poverty, and U.S especially San Jose was driven by boredom which is a very powerful tool.
 
 People who Wisk about the 70's didn't live in that era, we had to sit through Fleetwood Mac at day on the green, doing witchy dances. That's the way you can understand how bands like the The Sleeper;s and Dead Boy;s. They were a reaction against all the self absorbed shit,
 
 A great book by an author from a horrible magazine (by Gorier (sp?) Marcus) he looked at all the underground scenes in the 20th century. The Dada scene in 1916 Switzerland was a lot like punk they;d had had enough and said no more and started questioning everything they;d known, creating their own identity. It;s as if you blast your self into space to look from above, your not so close and it really helps you do new things, which was the same for punk and how post punk started death rock, hardcore etc, Youth culture in the early 1900;s had ceased to exist, from the Situationist in France, they questioned everything. They almost took over Paris France, they were days away from it, they were fed up and that was what Malcolm M had grabbed onto in 70;s! Which is the force behind of punk, you're raised as a suburban child and reach an  age and have been told things are a certain way and you realize wait a minute this is not the only way, you've been lied to and it's all false basically everyone's in it for themselves, it is the start of many beautiful people, not wanting 4-h or boy scouts separating themselves from the routine.
 
It started for me in high school! My best friend came and told me he was gay, and I was fine with it. I never questioned my gender so I was comfortable going to the Gay establishment. That leads us into the early punk scene here (SJ) and S.F; the gay bars were the only places that would have punk shows and music.  The stud (S.F) was the first on Tuesday nights. Cross-pollination was the key ingredient. The daring dress of punks was highly influenced by the gay scene, courageous drag queens and not giving a shit what anyone thinks. Some punks don't like to hear it (they are on the consumer side of things), not on the creation side. Then the message gets lost.
 
 Utopia and Faux (hair salon in SJ, Miss O worked at for years) were the only ones that kept in touch (still do) with around the world fashion and would cut your hair the way you wanted. This was also a great place you'd meet all the people. When the scene was being created. SF is always hip, height St, beatniks, etc. San Jose was and still is driven by DIY. (Music, clothes.) There weren't many like you here, so this was one place you'd find 'em (Utopia/FAUX)..
 
I saw Blondie opening up REO speed wagon and the crowd were so mixed, people were booing and cheering vice versa on either side.  I met Cathy Hill (drummer for Ribzy); Greg O around this time. Amanda Richardson was our photographer in the scene.
 
 Hotel Deanza was a squat along with the St, Claire. (Note: are now SJ's premiere hotels) Joey (Coelho) would go on the roof and Skate the pools. It proved how downtown SJ had been beautiful in the 20's and 30's and now had been abanded; there was a half built freeway that had been featured in many publications. The malls started being built in the suburbs and people would be standing in a circle you'd walk over and a girl with a cat woman do and crazy clothes and you'd ask her "where'd you come from?," let's be friends', that's another way we all met and banded together. There were not many of us it wasn't spread out to Milpitas etc til the 80's. 
 

We weren't afraid to be spit on, have things thrown at us, you just wanted your own identity, and people were willing to would die for it. 'I want to put this on' or 'Cut my hair this way or that' and I don't care if the cops hated me. You�re either a leader or a follower and there were so many people isolated in SJ, taking what few resources were here and making something exciting is what it was about. SJ state students were getting involved.  Tim .T made the first punk zine in SJ called 'Ripper'. He tried to get things together for us, him and Murray Bowles really documented the SJ scene. A lot of us didn't think about it cause it was so exciting we thought It'd never end. There was a huge discovery of bands and zines. More people became curious. City Hall always got in the way of any establishment. Greg O of Ribzy found a location to revamp into a music hall under the freeway and the city told him he'd have to make 50 parking spots without using any of the cities property! Which was impossible.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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