Coloring Outside the Lines: A Punk Rock Memoir – Book
by Aimee Cooper
In the late 1970s, a young woman by the name of Aimee Cooper wandered into a club while Johny Thunders was playing a show. The experience was something so new and exciting to her that it opened up a whole new world for her to explore. That world was a small and new one that was called punk rock. Determined to get involved with it as much as possible, upon seeing her first issue of Slash Magazine, she made a vow to herself that she was going to move to Los Angeles and she was going to work for the magazine, all the while exploring that new exciting world of punk rock.
Back in the late 70s and into the early 80s, punk rock wasn’t what it is now. It was new, underground, different, and viewed as dangerous to mainstream society. Back then you would get hassled, and often times attacked for looking “weird” and being a punk. The scene was so small that everyone pretty much knew each other, and if you ran into a fellow punk on the street, if you didn’t know them, you felt an instant bond as you were both part of the same group. Aimee learned all this first had as she landed that job at Slash, and had a whole lot of punk rock adventures to share.
The book is a fairly quick and easy read, and it definitely held my interest throughout the whole thing, and left me wishing for a little more when it was over. In the span of a couple years of living out there, her tale was one that you could say might have been an influence for the movie Suburbia (and I would be it is no small coincidence). Aimee met up with a group of punks known as TC, who ended up shacking up in the house Aimee and her friend were renting. They all became one big punk rock family, much like what was portrayed in the aforementioned film. The tales range from things like discovering bands and shows, to skateboarding, surfing, being attacked by gangs, hassled by cops, riots at shows, and lots more.
Aimee’s crossed paths with people who would be in, or soon form such great bands as The Plugz, Black Flag and lots more. You also got to see a different side to the Slash mythos, one from behind the scenes, and it also is an interesting coming of age story, as time progressed, people changed and not always for the better.
If there is one complaint I have, it is that I wish the stories could have been longer and even more detailed. In many instances I think the stories could have benefited from a lot more details (and thus would have made for a longer book), however what is there certainly kept me interested throughout the entire thing. It was really neat to hear some stories from someone who was around at the time, and completely lacks any sort of agenda and isn’t trying to rewrite history, she simply is sharing the stories of what happened to her during her punk rock days. It was a really fun read and well worth the time.