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Punk Music and Culture in the UCLA Library

This guide will point researchers to relevant collections and resources. If you have any questions or suggestions for additions to the guide, please email

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This guide is intended to accompany Avalon

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Toward Ethical and Inclusive Descriptive Practices in UCLA Library Special Collections

LSC is committed to remediating harmful description by creating and implementing an anti-oppressive approach to discovery and access. We aim to:

  • Be clear about what we know, how we know it, and what we don't know
  • Embrace baseline description as a tool to improve the discoverability of all our materials
  • Demonstrate an understanding that description is a continuous and necessarily iterative endeavor

Read more about our past and current approaches to description in Toward Ethical and Inclusive Descriptive Practices in UCLA Library Special Collections.

About the UCLA Library Special Collections Punk Archive

UCLA Library Special Collections created its Punk Archive to document punk music and lifestyle as it has developed and been expressed in Los Angeles both within and outside of the traditional LA/Hollywood punk narrative. We are collecting the primary source materials of punk musicians, promoters, producers, managers, photographers, roadies, groupies, reviewers, artists, and any voices involved to highlight the diverse music and culture of LA punk. By archiving and preserving personal and business papers, photographs, sound recordings, oral histories, 'zines, publications, ephemera, flyers, buttons, and other items, it is our mission to inspire punk discovery and advance punk research.                                                                       

For information and/or questions regarding this Research Guide, please email

Los Angeles Punk Collections in the LSC Punk Archive

The zines and ephemera assembled in this collection document the California punk music scene, primarily the greater Los Angeles scene, from 1977 to 2016.

Better Youth Organization issue     Superdope issue


Slash Magazine was published by Steve Samiof and Malanie Nissen from 1977 to 1980. Contributors include Claude Bessy, Philomena Winstansley, David Allen, Robert Biggs, Pleasant Gehmen, V. Vale, and many others.


Maximumrocknroll is a San Francisco based punk rock fanzine established in 1982. The collection includes a nearly complete chronology of issues from 1991-2003, along with a small assortment of punk rock zines from 1992-2003 including Book Your Own Fucking LifeRazorcakeSuburban VoiceHeartattack, and Linfit.

Maximumrocknroll issue

The collection contains production materials, administrative records, press and promotional materials, and correspondence from late 1970’s San Francisco punk zine Search & Destroy and subcultural publishing outfit RE/Search Publications (briefly V/Search Publications). Established in 1981, RE/Search documents underground trends including body modification, industrial culture, and zines, as well as countercultural literary figures such as J. G. Ballard and William S. Burroughs. Material represented in this collection was accumulated by San Francisco-based publisher, writer, musician, and artist V. Vale. 

save the masque flyer     In Fact by Louis R. Biro     Hell and How it Happened by Robyn Hitchcock

Blog posts by students who processed this collection:

Razorcake is a Los Angeles-based punk rock fanzine established in 2001 and published by Sean Carswell and Todd Taylor. The collection includes zine issues, microcassettes of interviews, and punk memorabilia and ephemera.

Razorcake 49     Razorcake 70

S.A. Griffin is a poet, performance artist, publisher, and actor with deep roots in the Los Angeles poetry and punk scenes beginning in the 1980s. The collection contains monographs, serials, manuscripts, correspondence, ephemera, audiovisual material, artwork, and memorabilia reflective of Griffin’s extensive connections to Los Angeles poets and performance, including the Venice West Beat scene. The collection also includes the papers of fellow poet Scott Wannberg. 


The American Hotel and Al's Bar Project was a grassroots creative complex on the corner of Hewitt Street and Traction Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. Conceptual artist Marc Kreisel designed the project as a work of functional sculpture to circulate money and creative support back into the community. The collection spans from 1976-2004 and consists of flyers, posters, photographs, correspondence, scripts, Rolodexes, calendars, theater programs, press releases, financial records, and bar memorabilia such as the cash can, the jukebox records, the beer taps, t-shirts, signs, and a microphone. 


Collection, assembled by Deborah "Darby" Romeo, consists of privately printed and distributed arts and literary magazines. Zines are heavily illustrated. Romeo created LA-based zine, Ben is Dead, and is one of the editors of the book Retro Hell.

Ben is Dead issue             Ink zine issue 15

The collection consists of materials collected by drummer Max Ward related to the powerviolence scene from the 1990s to early 2000s. Includes original fliers, posters, handbills, correspondence, photographs, stickers, zines and patches, documenting the emergence of the scene in the San Francisco Bay Area through to when Ward moved to Japan in the early 2000s.

Neurosis flyer     Black Flag flyer     Spazz flyer

Portfolio of ten photographs selected by the photographer, Glen E. Friedman, to commemorate his first thirty years of work. The photographer is a progressive political activist whose photography of skateboards and musicians first became known in the 1980s. His early photos of friends who were skateboarders earned him a place on the staff of SkateBoarder magazine. Friedman went on to shoot photos at punk shows he attended, and was one of the first to document proto-punks such as Black Flag, Bad Brains, and the Dead Kennedys, as well as all of the Def Jam artists and hip-hop artists such as Rum-DMC, Public Enemy, Ice-T, and L.L. Cool J. He published many of these photos in his photo-zine My Rules.

Exene Cervenka is an American singer, artist, and poet. She is best known for her work as a singer in the California punk rock band X.

The Tequila Mockingbird LA Punk Museum collection ranges in date from 1976-2018 and contains U-Matic tapes from record labels for Tequila TV; VHS tapes from Dude TV, Tequila TV, and Van Gogh; an LA Punk Museum calendar and coffee mug; More Mayonnaise issues 4-7, Lost Anarchy issue 13; Bomb City and Duchess de Sade posters; and The Weirdos singer John Denney's jacket and pants.

fliers from Tequila Mockingbird's LA Punk Museum collection

The Janet Cunningham papers range in date from 1967-2018 and contain Cunningham's handwritten diaries, C.A.S.H. files, photographs, audio and audiovisual materials, personal files, punk rock memorabilia, and NOLA files related to her documentary on the survival of African culture within New Orleans.

Punks at Oki Dog

Victor Sedillo documented the early LA punk scene of the late 1970s, with an emphasis on San Pedro, Wilmington, and Long Beach. Sedillo's photographs have been exhibited at LA Harbor College, Cameravision Gallery, and Angels Gate Cultural Center. Additionally, his photographs have been published in numerous publications, including the book, A Wailing of a Town: "An Oral History of Early San Pedro Punk and More," 1977-1985 by Craig Ibarra. The Victor Sedillo photographs range in date from 1979-1980 and include black and white images of performances, bands, fans, and venues across Los Angeles.

Kidd Spike of Controllers

Larry Harmon started the independent Genetic Disorder zine in 1987. Harmon's zine included detailed researching and reporting of the odd tales of Southern California. Harmon participated in the Kill Zinesters Summer Vacation Tour of 1996 with Darby Romeo of Ben Is Dead and Noel Tolentino of Bunnyhop among other zinesters. The Larry Harmon zine collection ranges from 1984-2018 and contains Harmon's collection of zines, including issues of his own zine Genetic Disorder.

The Dawn Wirth punk ephemera collection ranges in date from 1977-2008 with the bulk of the materials created between 1977-1978 and contains The Weirdos flyers and postcards, Punk Rock by Virginia Boston, 1988 The New Wave Punk Rock Explosion by Caroline Coon, a Blondie press kit, an issue of New Wave News, clippings, and the documentary Ghost on the Highway: A Portrait of Jeffrey Lee Pierce and The Gun Club.

Sharif Dumani is a first-generation Costa Rican/Lebanese American native of Los Angeles, an archivist with an MLIS degree from UCLA, and a multi-instrumental musician. As a musician he has played, recorded, and toured with a wide range of underground artists including Alice Bag (The Bags), Terry Graham (The Bags, Gun Club, Cramps), Jowe Head (Swell Maps, Television Personalities), Cody ChesnuTT, Silver Apples, Nick Garrie, as well as groups Exploding Flowers, Sex Stains (ex Bratmobile, Warpaint), and Classics of Love (ex Operation Ivy). The Sharif Dumani collection of punk flyers ranges in date from 1990-2000 and contains 120 flyers from shows in and around Los Angeles.