The Texas Punk Problem
Help me get this book finished! Kickstarter Campaign launching next week.
Photographs by Bill Daniel 1980-1984
Texas, Land of Contrast, proclaims the visitor center on Interstate 10. Contrast indeed; the biggest, meanest, braggingest state spawned one of the freakiest punk rock scenes anywhere in the world---a crucial chapter in punk history that is best explained in a single word by that great Texan, George W. Bush: "Misunderestimated."
Misunderestimated until now, until The Texas Punk Problem blows the whole thing sky high. Here is a punk photography book like no other. Stunning, daring, brilliant b/w photographs shot point-blank at some of the most storied events in Texas history--- that certain period where the nascent Austin scene was growing from a small group of weirdos and film students (Huns, Standing Waves, The Skunks, Terminal Mind) into a nationally revered hardcore movement. Ground-breaking bands like The Big Boys, The Butthole Surfers, The Inserts, The Dicks (?!) plus many other super-creative not-punk Austin bands like Rank and File and The Buffalo Gals that were integral parts of the free ranging scene. And impossible to ignore; a cadre of hardcore bands that next-leveled it with a raw mix of aggression and expression, bands like the Offenders and DRI.
To make matters worse, Texas was a strategic stopping point for cross-country touring bands. So The Texas Punk Problem is compounded by photographs of legendary touring bands like Husker Du, The Minutemen, Bad Brains, Dead Kennedys, The Misfits (too loud!) and of course, Black Flag. Punk historians will be astounded to see in the front row of these small but hugely influential shows audience members that within months were starting their own bands, like The Stains (MDC), Toxic Shock (Scratch Acid, Jesus Lizard).
The Texas Punk Problem is a photography book with large b/w photographs, accented with texts by the participants themselves. The book includes an essay by Bill Daniel, obsessive footnotes, and a facsimile reproduction of The Western Roundup zine. It's both an art book and a photo documentation of that magic era: the post-Armadillo World Headquarters and pre-Slacker, and way pre-tech boom Austin. However, this book is not the definitive history of Texas punk, that story is going to require a giant stack of books to adequately cover. This book captures the action and sprit from the perspective of one photographer.
TTPP is the work of artist Bill Daniel, whose 30-year career as a countercultural documentarian began with intrepid attendance at these early punk shows. The influences of the music and punk DIY ethics, coupled with artistic influences at the time like Gerry Winogrand and Les Blank shaped the artist Daniel would become. Photobill, still operating as a van-based touring artist as well as a gallery artist, has been recognized by numerous awards including Creative Capital and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and is widely unknown for his cult hobo graffiti documentary, "Who is Bozo Texino?"
Texas bands I photographed: (not all will make it into the book)
Al Bino and Garcon Blanc Big Boys Bang Gang Body Night Club Buffalo Gals Burn Center Butthole Surfers Court Reporters Delinquents Dicks Doctor's Mob DRI Droogs Drooling Idiots Electros Foams Fudge Tunnels Funky Rat Show God on Drugs Guardez Lou Hugh Beaumont Experience Infected Inserts Jerry's Kids Jitters Kamikaze Refrigerators Marching Plague MDC Militants National Guard Next NOTA Offenders Pagans Rank and File Rattlecats Reactors Really Red Scratch Acid Shades Skunks Standing Waves Stick Figures Stick Men with Ray Guns Stinky Shits Tamaldge D'amour Terminal Mind Toe Jammers Toxic Shock