As Portland Public Art reports, there’s going to be a very special film event at Cinema 21. Mike Lastra, who videotaped and recorded most of the initial punk/ new music scene here in PDX during the late 70s, will present a montage of those videos. I fully expect to see people I have not seen in years in these videos and just like how I remembered them.
I once recounted online how my heart raced when I saw The Filth and the Fury, again at Cinema 21. Same deal: I looked for my friends, or even not my friends, but this nameless pack completely memorable because there were so few of them and because they were all so truly unique. Kids invented, and that kind of invention was a real risk. My boyfriend was beaten up and I was screamed at from cars all of the time. Not called a punk, mind you. They hadn’t read Newsweek yet. They figured I was some kind of weird hooker.
We most certainly did not have just the slash-and-burn fast music. PDX was an undercover arty town and some of the best sounds came from that category: Smegma, Lastra’s own band, is legendary. We used their basement as a practice place, as did many bands. Looking back, that alone is such a generous act. Nobody had any money and they never asked for any.