Posts Tagged ‘Darby Crash’

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Lexicon Devil

September 5, 2007

Lexicon Devil is a biography about seminal L.A. punk Darby Crash and his band the Germs. The book was written and compiled by Brendan Mullen who had previously collaborated on We Got the Neutron Bomb with Marc Spitz, and support from Don Bolles and Adam Parfrey. For this annotation I am interested in exploring how the authors chose to structure the biography as an oral history that compiles primary source accounts, as opposed to forging an authoritative official story of the period. It reads like a documentary film intercutting elements from many sources to explore a subject. This format is true to the splintered and many voiced nature of the topic and time. It presents the material as alive and open for debate. The primary sources frequently disagree, but one version of the story isn’t necessarily privileged above another. Punk was antiauthority and this structure highlights the “do it yourself” ethic where anyone could grow up to not play their instruments and become a famous rock star in the process. The structure of this work is rigorously pluralistic, a form that highlights the ideals of the subject matter, while serving as a transcript of events surrounding the formation of L.A. punk and its eventual decay and collapse.

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