Posters Promoting the 1970s L.A. Punk Scene: Black Flag, The Plimsouls, The Runaways & More

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Fred Patterson, aka Phast Phreddie, Senior Archivist of the ARChive of Contemporary Music, DJ, music journalist and former punk rock zinester has undeniable street cred.

He also has a handful of flyers documenting the late ‘70s LA punk scene.

Talk about ephemera!

Man, psychedelic concert posters of the period were suitable for framing, and the utilitarian boxing style window cards’ cool quotient ensured their longevity. Amateur whip outs (such as those Patterson managed to preserve) rarely survived beyond a season or two on a fan’s fridge door.

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His ragtag collection is what self-promotion looked like in the predigital age. The Plimsouls, the Runaways, and Black Flag excepting, few of these bands achieved the sort of status that would have allowed them to move away from the realm of the murky photocopy.

The amateurish aesthetic of these homemade efforts was anchored with a spiky humor that went nicely with the outrageous band names. Sketchy locations were heralded as the sorts of places where the popular teen set gathered. Word bubbles abounded.

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Cut and paste collage, Letraset, and scratchy hand lettering were the hallmark of necessity. Nowadays, these obsolete elements are co-opted for their implied authenticity, even if the final product is likely assembled in Photoshop.

See more of Phast Preddie’s collection here.

Related Content:

The Art of Punk, MOCA’s Series of Punk Documentaries, Begins with Black Flag

CBGB’s: The Roots of Punk Lets You Watch Vintage Footage from the Heyday of NYC’s Great Music Scene

Four Female Punk Bands That Changed Women’s Role in Rock

Ayun Halliday is an author, homeschooler, and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine. Follow her @AyunHalliday


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