Released by MVD, it’s
a low-budget, mixed bag, but does contain some invaluable footage.
By Randy Harward
In A History Lesson Part 1: Punk Rock In Los Angeles in 1984 director Dave Travis
concerns himself with psychedelic punk rock, not trad punk, as the title implies.
Not that the bands covered (Meat Puppets, the Minutemen, Redd Kross, Twisted
Roots), despite having clear punk qualities, ever consistently adhered to one
the discussion of punk is more about attitude than sound. In that sense, the
film says nothing new. The bands all say it was exciting and fun to be
different and not give a shit in 1984, and tell stories often told. It’s
mundane unless they happen to be a viewer’s pet band, which certainly is
possible, considering who we’re talking about. That’s where History Lesson partly
redeems itself: It contains three to five full-length live songs per band. The
A/V isn’t up to snuff, but it’s unreleased footage either way, and at least a
taste of LA psych-punk in 1984. Otherwise, just a grainy, low-budget fanzine
feature in pictures.