Famous for its revolutionary aspects in musical, political, sexual identity and consumerist ideas, punk rock also has its lesser-known gangster ethos as well, explained here by players in the various punk gangs.
The Los Angeles, Orange County, and South Bay punk scenes, populated by blue collar kids who responded to the violence and aggression of punk songs and shows. A number of them formed punk gangs that got into beatings, drug dealing and murder. Among them, no gang was more notorious than La Mirada Punks, or LMP.
Says LMP chieftain Frank the Shank after getting arrested by police for murder: “After having my hands in so much bloodshed over the years, I most certainly had it coming. I deserved whatever I got.”
Unexpectedly Frank was bailed out from prison by his father’s friend, a mob gangster.
“Too many people died at the hands of punk rock violence,” said Frank. “I got lucky, some didn’t. As an ultra-violent punk rock gangster, I admit my part in ruining the scene. L.A. punk was a magical moment of youth expression like no other. And the gangs ruined punk rock. I still have people telling me today that they quit punk because of LMP. I dig graves at a small cemetery just outside Los Angeles. What else would you expect for Frank the Shank?”
Cover illustration by the renowned Raymond Pettibon.
By Heath Mattioli & David Spacone