Punk rock has always run through my veins. My brother and I grew up in the South Bay of Los Angeles where bands like Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Descendents, The Minutemen, Redd Kross, and Pennywise were born. It was normal to hear loud, crusty chords screaming from a neighborhood garage. Instances of punk bands duping unsuspecting bar, bowling alley, and coffee shop owners into booking their acts (and subsequently wrecking the place) were frequent. As a kid, I loved the sound and speed of punk rock, but it really didn’t totally envelope my soul until I began to understand the art form in its entirety. It wasn’t until my teen years that I would figure that out. And, by then, I would live in another bastion of punk rock, the East Bay.
The East Bay of San Francisco is home to punk rock legends Operation Ivy, Rancid, Jawbreaker, Crimpshrine, Fifteen, and the famous 924 Gilman Street venue. In the late 1980s-early 1990s, the scene was perfect for young punks as it centered more around the music and less around drugs and alcohol. The East Bay punkosphere served a larger purpose to give teenage outcasts a place to call home and stay out of trouble. If the L.A. punk scene was about aggression and destruction, the Oakland/Berkeley punk scene was about the community and its youth. One of the habitats most dominated by the punk rock youth was Telegraph Avenue, a swath of road that stretches from Old Historic Oakland to the campus of the University of California, Berkeley.