I've lived in Berkeley the past ten years, so I sadly
arrived "too late" for its punk scene, instead hearing
the stories of my old landlord and well-known punk-scene
photographer, Larry Wolfley. I got the rave scene instead
and have my own stories.
Anyway, I saw Despite Everything on the bookshelves in
all the local bookstores, but didn't know what it was,
until a friend and coworker ** who just so happened to
be Aaron Cometbus' brother ** gave me an autographed
copy as a gift. Well, shoot, gotta read it, right?
I was completely hooked-- doubly because the in-credible
stories were actually true (you can imagine that my
friend added some "color"). You can practically feel
the trudge of the ten mile walks back to town, the
mosh pits, cops, thugs, etc. -- but you can also feel
the excitement of the time and the bands. Imagine
being there on the road with Green Day when they
were the local band... ok, it's more pot than I can
handle but you get the idea. and it's not my politics,
I'm more likely to wear a "smash capitalism" t-shirt
to a board of directors meeting, where aaron's more
of a kvetch about the commercialism type, but hey,
what's berkeley if not for bizarre political statements?
oh, and the writing is brilliant-- might of course
sound dated, but that's only because this is the
original and everybody else ripped them off.