Thursday, September 20, 2012

Salad Days: The Birth of Punk Rock in the Nation's Capital

The legendary punk scene that emanated from Washington DC is still being felt today. Many of those band members went on to create bigger projects and represented the birth of a new movement within punk rock. For that, we cannot thank them enough as it helped to shape our punk and hardcore musical influence.

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"A documentary film about the legendary (and often misunderstood) Washington, DC punk scene in the 1980s.


SALAD DAYS is a documentary-in-progress that examines the fertile Washington, DC punk scene of the 1980s. This was a particularly important time in the evolution of punk and independent music, with DC based bands like Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Black Market Baby, the Faith, the Slickee Boys, Void, Government Issue, Marginal Man, Dag Nasty, 9353, Gray Matter, Beefeater, Scream, Rites of Spring, Fugazi, Shudder to Think, Nation of Ulysses, Jawbox and others defining the DC aesthetic. Local record labels like Dischord, Fountain of Youth, Teen Beat, and Simple Machines would become standard-bearers for the DIY revolution.


Much has been written about the pre-Nirvana period of American punk rock, but there's never been an examination of DC's contribution. We've spent the last year interviewing dozens of the participants who helped create the local music scene in the 1980s— musicians, photographers, DJs, activists, and writers—to tell the story of one of the most inspiring (and misunderstood) decades in independent music. We've also sorted through hundreds of photos, live videos, flyers and zines for inclusion in the film.

Like countless others, I discovered punk rock as a kid. Growing up in the Washington, DC area I was so taken with what I was witnessing that I started a fanzine and began to document the local scene. Almost 30 years later, I wanted to revisit the people and places that have informed my life and so many others. It's been a hell of a journey so far—but we're not done yet.


As we finish up the pre-production phase, we need your help. Your donations will offset the upcoming costs of editing, animation, graphics, mastering, color correction, sound editing, travel and more. We have a daunting task ahead of us—and yet we’re so passionate about telling this story that we’re anxious to share it with the world as soon as we can. We hope SALAD DAYS will see a Q3 2013 release and we have high hopes for its festival run. Thanks in advance for your support—we can’t do it without you!

With Ian Mackaye during his interview for SALAD DAYS.
With Ian Mackaye during his interview for SALAD DAYS.
With Dave Grohl during the filming of SALAD DAYS
With Dave Grohl during the filming of SALAD DAYS

An August 1985 Washington City Paper article on Crawford entitled "Punktrepeneur"...
An August 1985 Washington City Paper article on Crawford entitled "Punktrepeneur"...
SALAD DAYS Director/writer SCOTT CRAWFORD is a music journalist, musician and graphic designer. As a teenager in the DC suburbs, he started a fanzine called Metrozine that documented much of what was happening in the DC hardcore punk scene in the 1980s. In 1985, Metrozine (and WGNS) released a 7" compilation called "Alive & Kicking" that featured unreleased tracks by DC area bands Gray Matter, United Mutation, Marginal Man, Beefeater, Cereal Killer and Mission Impossible (featuring a 16 year old Dave Grohl). He was quoted in both Dance of Days and Banned in DC—the two most definitive books on the early DC punk scene. In 2001, he launched Harp magazine and served as its Editor-in-Chief for over 7 years. Crawford also launched the online music portal Blurt ( in 2009.

Serving as Director of Photography for SALAD DAYS, Jim Saah ( is a native of Washington, DC who has worked professionally in photography and video for over 25 years. He has shot for a variety of publications and websites ranging from the Washington Post to Rolling Stone.
He's also an experienced videographer whose credits range from union organizing films to music documentaries. Recent films he has worked on include movies about the bands Wilco, Death Cab for Cutie and Eddie Vedder.


Kickstarter is an amazing funding platform for creative projects like ours. However, it's an all or nothing process—if we don't reach our goal, we lose EVERYTHING. We've given ourselves 30 days to fund this project. Please help us in any way you can. We have something for everyone—regardless of how much you give.


Absolutely! Every penny we receive is going towards making the best film we can possibly make. Therefore, anything we can make beyond or goal can be put towards covering all of the many unexpected costs that will no doubt occur along the way."


Scott Crawford
Director/writer SALAD DAYS
SALAD DAYS on Twitter
SALAD DAYS on Facebook
Interviews include:
  • Ian Mackaye (Minor Threat, Embrace, Fugazi, Evens, Dischord)
  • Henry Rollins (SOA, Black Flag, Rollins Band)
  • Dave Grohl (Scream, Nirvana, Foo FIghters)
  • John Stabb (Government Issue)
  • Pete & Franz Stahl (Scream, Wool)
  • HR (Bad Brains)
  • Joe Lally (Fugazi)
  • Kenny Inouye (Marginal Man)
  • Dante Ferrando (Iron Cross, Gray Matter, Ignition)
  • Jeff Nelson (Minor Threat, 3, Dischord)
  • Mary Timony (Helium, Wild Flag)
  • Alec Mackaye (the Faith, Ignition, the Warmers)
  • Fred Armisen (SNL, Portlandia)
  • Dave Smalley (DYS, Dag Nasty, All, Down By Law)
  • Steve Niles (Gray Matter, 3)
  • Monica Richards (Strange Boutique)
  • Bruce Miles Hellington (9353)
  • Jon Wurster (Superchunk, Mountain Goats)
  • Jenny Toomey (Tsunami, Simple Machines)
  • Boyd Farrell (Black Market Baby)
  • Bobby Sullivan (Soulside)
  • Jason Farrell (Swiz, Bluetip, Retisonic)
  • J. Robbins (Government Issue, Jawbox, Burning Airlines)
  • Kevin Seconds (7 Seconds)
  • Mark Andersen (Positive Force founder, author of "Dance of Days")
  • Mark Sullivan (Kingface)
  • Tonie Joy (Moss Icon)
  • Shawn Brown (Dag Nasty, Swiz)
  • Jim Spellman (High Back Chairs, Velocity Girl)
  • Steve Hansgen (Minor Threat, Second Wind)
  • Brian Baker (Minor Threat, Dag Nasty, Bad Religion)
  • Jon Spencer (Pussy Galore, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion)
  • Mark Robinson (Unrest, Teen Beat)
  • Amy Pickering (Fire Party)
  • Skeeter Enoch Thompson (Scream)
  • Fred "Freak" Smith (Beefeater, Strange Boutique)