For Los Angeles punk rockers, sprawl of the city, the swaths of freeways gave punks from all parts of the city–the Valley to the South Bay– opportunities to merge and mosh. When sixteen year old Dave Travis’ dad gave him a video camera, Dave began documenting the flourishing scene, and out of thousands of hours of footage comes A History Lesson Pt 1 which links four bands that helped shape modern American music.
SST Records was a pivot point for punk music with a roster of acts and a flourishing touring network. In A History Lesson Pt 1, we meet four different acts associated with SST: The Meat Puppets, the Minutemen, Twisted Roots and Redd Kross. Live footage–including full length songs–is interspersed with interviews from the bands. The anarchistic roots of SST are clear in the story of the Meat Puppets–the band shared a bill with SST’s Black Flag in Phoenix and was invited to open for them in Costa Mesa, CA. The Meat Puppet’s country-tinged psychedelic punk jams caused a riot a the club; surf soaked hard core fans just couldn’t wrap their heads around the jams. The musical anarchy appealed to Black Flag guitarist/SST founder Greg Ginn who immediately signed the Meat Puppets to his label.