Thursday, July 16, 2015

Dead Kennedys/D.O.A./Sin 34 - Longshoremen's Memorial Hall, Wilmington, CA 6-24-83

This show is definitely one from the days when Punk was a threat. Wilmington is a neighborhood in south Los Angeles and in 1983 police actions against Punk Rock in L.A. were pretty heavy, apparently. At the end of the DK's set you can here the commentary outside about teargas and the helicopter overhead. Sounds like the show may have ended in quite a brawl with the cops. All three sets were recorded from the audience. Sound quality is a little rough but surely this is one for the archives just to be able to get an idea what it was like in those days. D.I. and Youth Brigade also played but I haven't come across recordings of their sets.

DK's gigography:

Dead Kennedys setlist: [from cassette tape]
01. Saturday Night Holocaust
02. Nazi Punks Fuck Off
03. Buzzbomb
04. Terminal Preppie
05. Life Sentence
06. I Am The Owl
07. Forest Fire
08. Police Truck
09. Halloween
10. A Child And His Lawnmower
11. Bleed For Me
12. Holiday In Cambodia

D.O.A. setlist:
01. War
02. Out Of Place
03. I'm Right You're Wrong
04. Race Riot
05. Badlands
06. Singin' In The Rain
07. Let's Wreck The Party
08. Murder In Hollywood
09. Burn It Down
10. D.O.A.
11. Liar For Hire
12. War In The East
13. Class War
14. America The Beautiful

Sin 34 setlist: [from cassette tape]
01. title unknown
02. Turn On Tune In Drop Out
03. Children Shall Not Be Heard
04. Join The Race
05. title unknown
06. title unknown
07. Only Love
08. title unknown
09. title unknown
10. title unknown
11. Do You Feel Safe


  1. Yeah! It was a full on riot! In the very early 80's, the LAPD and surrounding suburban law enforcement were completely caught off guard by the sheer audacity of Punk Rockers fighting back against police harassment and brutality. In many cases the punks were the aggressors. In the 70's, the LAPD had free reign to beat the crap out of hippies and minorities with impunity. Punk Rockers turned the tables on this, even predating the gang violence of the 1980's.

    At this gig the cops came prepared to do battle, replete in riot gear. Unfortunately, this was common place in 1983. I remember one gig in Hunting Park where the pigs stormed the hall and started swinging their batons at anyone and everyone. This included teenage girls! I remember hiding in some bushes next to a parking lot toward the end of a riot, and observed cops smashing car windows and knocking side mirrors off of cars, because there were no more flesh and blood bodies to beat on!

    My dad had a programmable police scanner in the late 70's, and I would listen to police calls from all over LA County. It was commonplace to refer to black people as "niggers" and Mexicans as "wetbacks" and "beaners." Sadly, not much has changed in American policing over the years. Except for cops being more stupid than ever, and better armed with military equipment.

  2. The 2nd track on the D.O.A. set is "Out Of Place" an old Subhumans song, oddly sung by Joey Shithead rather than Wimpy Roy.

    Also not sure if this is the place to ask, but back in December you mentioned a Toxic Reasons show in the works, is that (or any Toxics, really) still possible?


  3. Thanks for identifying that song title. I knew it sounded familiar and looked through the D.O.A. discography but couldn't figure it out.

    I have three Toxics show that will be up before the end of the year, I hope.

  4. I was at this show and it was out of control. Can't wait to listen to this...thanks!

  5. Cool, I was at that show too, and anyone who was REALLY there, will recall that there was a group of hardcore skinheads who chased ALL of the security out of the building then started thrashing the place, we all had to exit the building, with our hands on our heads, thru a a line of police...

    fun times!

  6. At this time in the LA punk scene, there were usually more punks hanging around outside of venues causing trouble, than actually going inside to see the bands. At this gig, I was in the back when the vandalism started. At the same time, I remember rocks and bottles being thrown from outside of the hall coming through the windows. My friend and I fled the hall, and were greeted by what appeared to be an entire police force in riot gear, with helicopters, sirens, and flashing lights. I'm not sure who started the violence? It could have easily been the punks inside or outside of the hall. After far too many incidents such as this, hardcore punk rock gigs in LA were eventually relegated to the Olympic Auditorium. A virtual concrete fortress impervious to vandalism and violence. Fun times? I suppose?

  7. I was there but I don't remember the DKs getting through their whole set. I thought they only made it through a few songs before the shit really started happening. I was way in back, by the main double doors, when the riot police came in. We couldn't go out yhe main doors because they had them locked toght with huge chains. I had to fight me way all the way to the stage and out one of the side doors, as the police wete shoving in, and around to the front of the building. Once I got out front, one cop hollered "STOP!" and another hollering "Get outta here!" They both had sidearms, so we ran to our car and hoped for the best!

  8. I was at this show as well. I remember the clearstory windows being broken and Jello yelling "trash this place!" I don't remember DK's getting through the entire set also. I also remember seeing a cop chase down some punks and club them with his billy club and a fire engine squirting the hose.

  9. I was at that show as well, the last song I remember the DK's playing was Police Truck and Jello informed us the LAPD were waiting outside in riot gear. Not too much later tear gas came through the windows

  10. I was 15 and attendied the show with some punks from Redlands. I just remember the tear gas and the police hitting random punks on the way out with their sticks. The Police made me go the opposite direction of our car. Long story short, I was left in Wilmington lost, and drunk. I found a seat at a bus stop where I was contemplating my next move when some punks I was drinking with in line at the show picked me up and gave me a place to crash for he night. All and all, it was a great night.

    1. I had a similar experience. Got run off past my mom’s truck by cops off into the hood. Was with another kid I didn’t know. I was only 12. I wish I could crack a beer with that other kid today if he’s still around. That was insane.

  11. Sin 34 - r.i.p Juli & Phil. Do you have anything else by them? They did a great version of Uncontrollable Urge.

  12. Also was there that night, but we mostly hung out near the stage. I remember when people started streaming out of the bathrooms because tear gas was coming in through the windows. DK stopped their set short and told everyone the cops were there. They looked scared. Next thing we know cops in full riot gear are pushing inside and its mass confusion. Me and my buddy tried to exit out the side stage doors, but DK and their crew locked the door with quite a few of outside it and told us to take off. So a group of us got caught on stage surrounded by cops and put up our hands and jumped off the stage to leave. Every cop either clubbed or kicked us. I got a big boot up the ass, which pissed me off but it's not like we could do much. Outside it was like a war zone with the spotlights coming off a low flying helicopter and cops marching in formation. I heard outside that the punks inside had kicked out the building security who then told the cops the show was out of control. It was also interesting during the show they were selling cups of beer to whoever wanted one, regardless of how young they were.

  13. I was there that night, the dude who mentions the Security getting kicked out was correct. About three songs into the DK's set fire extinguishers were being set off near the entrance. I was up front to the right of the stage about 30 feet from an exit with my friends when there was a pounding on the door. Someone opened it and there was a bunch of bouncers bleeding from the face holding pipes chains etc. They came rushing in and it was on, 5 minutes later the show ended. Best show I ever been to for 6 bucks. Riot and all.