I chatted with writer/director Scott Crawford about the new DC '80s punk/hardcore doc Salad Days | A Decade of Punk in Washington,D.C. (1980-1990) for the Chicago Reader.
Having grown-up around the D.C. punk scene, I started soaking up the most important records, the local folk tales, the characters and as much inside info as I could from my pre-teen years into my show-going and show-playing years and especially when I was home from college in the late 80s, early 90s. I continued to pick up bits and pieces of the hardcore story well into my late twenties. From an early age, I regarded DCHC as important culture with an important cultural history. I'm not the student of DCHC I once was, but I still love to jaw about the great records and historic shows when given the chance.
Salad Days is a bit of a primer for the casual music fan or younger punks. It'll school you in the basic timeline, the major players and the major acts of the early-to-mid '80s in Washington, D.C.. I'm glad it's been made and I love seeing the footage of the bands and legendary shows which I was just too young or not quite in the loop to see.
MacKaye and Henry Rollins are magnetic in their comfort with the material and knack for storytelling, as usual. One wonders how long it is before their tales of punk life in Georgetown are officially American folklore. Some of the doc’s best moments occur when those not heard from as often (Sab Grey of Iron Cross, Michael Hampton of of SOA/Faith/One Last Wish/Manifesto, Mark Sullivan of Slinkees/King Face, Mark Haggerty of Iron Cross/Gray Matter) deliver pithy insights.
Someday soon, I'll get around to posting my own D.C. punk videos, filmed on my family Realistic camcorder, but until then you can get by with Sohrab's incredible archive, available on Vimeo.