Wednesday, 12 August 2015

L A PUNK ROCKER by Brenda Perlin and others

4 out of 5 stars

Teenage memoir

On Amazon UK HERE

The main part of this book is Brenda Perlin's memoir from her teenage years, when she was a rebellious middle class schoolgirl flirting with the punk scene of Hollywood.  It's no Sid and Nancy type story, which was what I was expecting; it's actually rather sweet, a memory of Brenda and her friends having a great time together seeing bands, meeting people like Billy Idol and Iggy Pop, and having arguments with her mum.   Brenda's punk experience seemed fairly innocent as she wisely stayed on the periphery, just dipping her toe into sex, drugs and rock and roll.  The affection she has for that time comes across very clearly.

I wasn't into punk; it started in 1976 in England, which was the year I left school (and I was a long hair and heavy rock type!), but in my very early 20s I hung around with a few people who were into that scene, so it was interesting to read about it from the golden hills of Hollywood as opposed to a grey English town.  If you have similar memories to Brenda you will enjoy reading about the bands she saw, the places she went - it's highly enviable!  I would have liked to hear more about Skid Row and the darker side of life at the time, but I imagine that the decision was made to keep the book fairly upbeat.  At the back there are some of her own photos of the bands she saw.

Also in the book are some other peoples' memories, plus an introduction and story about Billy Idol by the fabulous Mark Barry - which, I hear, Billy Idol has actually read!  This is certainly worth a read if you're on a punk nostalgia trip, and I imagine it's something Brenda will always treasure.


  1. Beautifully colourful review T! Love it :-)

    1. Ha ha, thanks! I like to match the review to the covers where possible, just because it pleases my eye to do so, and I thought this one should follow the colour scheme of 'Never Mind the Bollocks', like Brenda's cover!!!