This is a long overdue look at the origins and story of the Los Angeles punk scene in the 1970s. Most books tend to overlook L.A. in favour of New York and London and this book goes some way to redressing the balance. It's made up entirely of quotes from the various musicians, promoters, journalists, groupies and scenesters. Although this means the book does lack a coherent overview, it does make it seem more vibrant and an accurate reflection of the sometimes fragmented and arbitrary nature of the scene.
The authors have managed to cover a wide range of bands from the likes of The Runaways, The Germs and X through to later bands like Black Flag and The Gun Club. I did feel the latter part of the book seemed to cover too many disparate bands in quite a short space but I think that reflects all the different directions the music scene went in. The authors have done a brilliant job in tracking down all these various people and getting them to tell their stories and putting them all together. It is a bit disappointing that there aren't more pictures in the book but overall, I really liked the book and thought it was an interesting read. I know a lot of people who are fans of Please Kill Me (which concentrates more on the New York punk scene) and I'd say that although We Got The Neutron Bomb isn't quite so well-known, it still acts as a worthy companion piece by giving the lesser known (but just as important) history of the Los Angeles punk scene.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED JULY 2013