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


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.


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.


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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