Their efforts are lit by a single lamp strategically placed on the makeshift stage at the back wall of the house. After a little searching, we find the other heads from the neighborhood—who came to the gig in two carloads—in the far corner of the yard with a keg between them. but we are by no means alone in the backyard. Kids from Montebello, Huntington Park, Highland Park, South Gate, Alhambra, El Sereno, Monterey Park, and other areas have also come out tonight to see the Sex Pistols, who are rumored to be making a rare appearance. I make my way through the crowd, can of Bud in hand, place my very scrawny self squarely in front of the stage, and begin heckling the members of Side Effects, who are friends from Whittier.
“You guys are too stupid to play and your drummer is a gimp,” I shout at them through the din of tuning instruments. Behind me, another critic chimes in with “Go back to Whittier you has-been scumbags.”
Their singer smiles. “Glad to see you guys, too,” he deadpans into the microphone. Their drummer four-clicks and, as the band begins their first song, the backyard erupts into the sea of ritualized violence we call dancing. Their singer smiles.