In the late 1980’s Tom Meyer, Pat Haley and I taped punk rock shows in San Diego, CA. We taped over a 100 bands. The promoters, were usually very cool to us. Tim Mays for one saw the documentary value in making these videos. The band managers would sometimes say No. No you can’t video. Bad Brains said no. The Cramps said no (but we were able to sneak into The California Theater and tape that one.) Black Flag said yes, but then stole the tape.
This particular video was shot at San Diego’s Carpenter’s Hall. My uncles used to go down there to wait for construction jobs in the 70s. IN the 90’s it was called The Art Union building. Pat Haley actually had a studio in there where he painted his masterpieces. Today the building is the new home of The San Diego Reader. Ha. But In the 80s Tim Maze Presents put on some great punk shows there. We saw Bad Brains, GBH, The Grim… and local bands like The Front. We started taping this particular show. We taped Frontline, a band from San Jose and Blast… and only this one song from The Exploited. They were making their own two-camera video on that tour and wanted exclusivity. It’s fine.
At the start of the video, Wattie references another show 2 years before “that was bullshit eh?” at the State Theater. That was a great show even though the power went off. The kids were chanting Exploited songs until Wattie got pissed and threw the mic stand which hit the drum kit and they went off stage. A great day in punk rock history. There was an Anarchist Picnic at Mission Bay earlier where we saw Ministry of Truth, Manifest Destiny and a bunch of other bands. When the cops came to break it up, the punks start throwing rocks and bottles. Wattie dedicated the first song that night to the kids who went to jail. The theater was condemned and ‘Exploited UK Subs and Dr. Know’ remained on the marquee for 5 years.
The thing we should never forget about the 80s was the terror we experienced worrying about Ronald Reagan with his shaking hand on the nuclear apocalypse button. And since Maggie Thatcher, one of his cohorts, died yesterday, I thought I would post this video in her honor. Wattie from the Exploited famously said (or inspired) the truism ‘Punk’s not dead,’ but also said “We’re not a fascist band.” This song decrying Thatcher’s war in the Falkland Islands gives his claim street credibility. ‘Let’s star a war said Maggie one day/ with unemployed masses, we’ll just do away…” So Fuck You to Thatcher, Reagan and anyone who uses fear to rule over people.