You just got good at hauling off and hitting someone. I wasn’t born and raised to do this — I’m a guy from Northwest. I went to private school. This really isn’t part of my metabolism. But it became it…
So muses Henry Rollins in a particularly epiphanous scene amidst the relentlessly edifying smorgasbord that is Scott Crawford and Jim Saah’s Salad Days: A Decade of Punk In Washington, DC (1980-90) — a documentary those of us who seemingly never tire of listening to Rollins and Ian MacKaye fondly recall Georgetown Haagan Dazs days and night street fights with punk hating meatheads were going to watch regardless, but which also happily proves to be an epic, smart, admiring-yet-not-uncritical, and — above all — fresh exploration of a seminal moments in time packed with insights and anecdotes that will likely surprise even chapter-and-verse devotees of Dance of Days and Banned in DC.
The film arrives on DVD September 18 and is available for streaming now, but we’ve got an exclusive clip this morning of Government Issue slaying at the Wilson Center back in ’83 — one of a crazy line-up of jaw-dropping blast-from-the-past live performances sprinkled throughout the film courtesy not-fade-away acts such as Minor Threat, Marginal Man, Void, Rites of Spring, Fugazi and more.
“The Wilson Center was actually a church basement but the site for some amazing shows in the 1980s,” director Scott Crawford tells Decibel. “The walls would be soaking wet after a show from the body heat in there. It’s currently a charter school in a now gentrified section of NW.”
If none of that floats your boat, check out the film for Minor Threat/Junkyard/Dag Nasty/Bad Religion guitarist Brian Baker’s immortal take on leaving D.C. during the much-vaunted “revolution Summer”: Later, nerds.