80’s “Punkers” vs today’s “Scenesters”

Boy oh boy did I have a LOT going on in my nut all at once. It’s all sorted now and all is well on all fronts. 🙂 I’ll be relocating since I rent and my landlord told me they pretty much went broke and have asked me to move out because they now have to live here….. nice. I don’t plan to write about any of it with the exception of my friend. We’re all good now, albeit in a different way. 🙂 Friendship saved!

What brought me out of hiding today was that I was noticing an advertisement online for IMVU. Its a chat program with avatars that are, well, scenesters/emo’s. It put me onto www.urbandictionary.com to read a bit more about these “scenesters”.

It’s not such a foreign thing after all… turns out, I was an 80’s version of a scenester (Not Emo) in my teens for a short period of time when I was about 14 – 15. I even had a mohawk, not a wimpy fauxhawk of today mind you. I shaved off all my hair on the sides and dated a guitar player named Tommy in a punk rock band called The Accused for almost a year. I wasn’t a groupie damnit, I was a girlfriend! There’s a difference! LOL Although 25 years ago… it wasn’t called “Scene”. It was more punk and there were of course some differences that 25 years can account for. My phase lasted all of maybe a year or 2 before I grew out of it. My hair, well, it grew out too! 🙂 The only reason I did it was because of Tommy. I never felt any need to be nonconformist or to rebel against “The man” or anything. I just liked a guy and did what he did. Here is where you can sample some of the noise they created back in the 80’s that we called hardcore punk. http://splatterrock.com/ There’s a play button at the bottom…  Here is a sample of what is being listened to today which has apparently been dubbed Screamo

I should say, I have not seen Tommy in probably 20 some odd years. I have no idea what he’s doing today but it appears he’s still in the hard core music industry at least as of 2006.

The differences, Then and Now

Cell 80s80s Car Phone.   NewPhone  Today’s cellular/computer

Technology.  In the 80’s we didn’t we didn’t even have cell phones yet because at that time only the really wealthy had them and they were the size of a cinder block and weren’t practical to carry around so they were called “car phones”. Today’s scenesters are apparently bordering on obsessive about taking pictures of themselves in weird poses. Hundreds of pictures and loading them onto Myspace. We didn’t have Myspace accounts or even internet. There was an internet service called “Prodigy” at the time and that was NOT something ordinary. Home computers? Almost nobody had them. The cameras current day scenesters use which is likely their iphones their parents bought them which is why I mentioned cell phones in the first place. We didn’t have squat but today’s phones with mini computers have it all in one small, pocket size item. Because we didn’t have them, we weren’t always able to capture ourselves in all our wondrous glory while at punk and other hard core shows, or scenes as they’re called today.

mosh-pit Slam dance VS Mosh. No different today than 25 yrs ago.

Slam Dance. Only the name has changed. There was always what we called a mosh pit. That’s where we’d all slam dance. That’s what we called it. Slam dancing. Where you basically slam into people and they slam into you. There was no dancing of any kind… I think it’s now called moshing since it’s done in said mosh pit. Many times there were injuries. We didn’t care. Well, I did but I wasn’t “Real”. I was just following along with Tommy. He was my first real love. I once saw a guy do a stage dive into the crowd and everyone moved and he hit the concrete floor. He was a jerk that nobody liked and hence, nobody caught him. He was seriously injured.

Tommy and Chewy Tommy in the 80s. SceneHair Some other guy today.

mohawk1 80’s mohawk style.

Hair. The blond in the top right pic above, yeah, that’s Tommy back in the 80’s and those would be his dreads there on his head. The pic appears to be copywrited but to who I cannot tell… this was when he was in The Accused and lived in the Splatter Pad. I’ll explain the splatter pad in a bit.  80’s hair was a lot different as we all know. Of course as I said, I had a real mohawk. No pics though because we lacked the technology or at least possession of it. LOL I rarely wore it spiked up because it was to long. We cut it on a dare at a drunken party and everyone freaked because my hair was always something everyone liked. A guy named Chuck did the honors. Tommy, pictured above, hadn’t combed or brushed his hair in years – as you can see. He had blonde dreads. Not hair. Dreads. Dread locks. Like Bob Marley dreads but blonde. Dreads are what you get when you don’t comb your hair. It gets matted, just like a cat or dogs when it isn’t combed. He isn’t a natural blonde either and he bleached it, dreads and all. One time, Tommy and I cut one of his dreads off and cut it open to see what was inside of it. Quite nasty really is the inside of a dreadlock.  Today’s “scenesters” seem to treat their hair much better albeit damaged to high hell from all the bleaching and dye jobs. They comb theirs even if they cut it all screwey! 

Condemned_House Splatter Pad look alike. Today’s hang outs, who knows.

The Scene. The original Splatter Pad of The Accused was condemned and leveled years ago so there are no pics. I did find this pic online of a similar house. Behind the walls of all that beauty lay drunken passed out people, total disarray, trash, you name it. It was all in there and it smelled vile. The Splatter Pad was brown though. It’s where 2 of the band lived with a couple others. Plus of course, whoever passed out there which on occasion was me. I think there were 4 people actually living there. The trash was rarely taken out and I remember once there were like 6 large hefty bags of garbage just laying on the kitchen floor spilling out and there were flies, drunken passed out bodies laying all over where people had partied and just crashed where they fell. The walls were covered in graffiti and posters. Old food, beer cans, booze bottles and cigarette butts everywhere and furniture that likely had been in a dumpster at some point. There was crud all over it along with rips, tears, burns and spills. There was also a lot of drug use going on.  Today’s version I seriously doubt would live in a house like that. They might party in one but we’re a lot more sophisticated today than we were in the 80s and MUCH cleaner because parents pay for it.

Fashion This is the sort of garb and hair we wore in the 80s. EDIT: Updated photo to link back to the website of where the pic came from by request of site owner. 🙂 Thanks again Punkstory for letting me use the image!

SceneGirl This is what they look like now.

Fashion/Hair. I’m sure the pic I found online is copywrited too. Probably to the folks named on the top. The other’s, they appear to be in the free public domain. Fashion wise, the differences were just that we wore things that were attention getting and at times intentionally offensive. Today’s scenesters seem to have a handful of essentials that they ALL have. White leather belt, pink skulls and crossbones, tight pants, same choppy haircuts with one eye covered, stuff like that. It’s hard sometimes to tell one from another. We didn’t think so at the time but it was pretty much the same with us, although I guess it all really depends on the who is looking. I’m sure scenesters dont think they look alike either. In the 80s guys and gals both wore make up, especially eye liner. 80’s guys didn’t wear foundation and lipstick though. Just a large strip of black eye liner. Both guys and gals in the 80’s wore a lot of leather, metal studs and spikes, ripped and torn clothing and combat boots with or without heals. I was hip on the ultra short leather miniskirt that nowadays is called a micro-mini. Of course they weren’t made that short then so I cut mine with scissors. There was NOTHING cutesy about an 80’s punk however as you can see pictured above, she has all sorts of cutesy / anime going on.

What do they do when they grow up? Some of my old friends are doing the same as they always did. Tommy as near as I can tell is still involved in the hard core music industry as many others of them are as well although the last time I saw Tommy, I think I was about 17 or so. Many I lost track of. Some died of overdose. One is involved heavily in roller derby with funky names and she still dresses the same. I saw her myspace page not long ago. Happily in her 40’s and happily living her life according to HER rules. Me, well, I was just following Tommy and doing what he did. I grew up, had kids, became a mom, got a job and live a normal, middle class life in a normal middle class suburb. 🙂 When today’s “Scenesters” grow up, I imagine their futures to be equally as varied. 🙂


~ by Deena Kay on 02/02/2010.

4 Responses to “80’s “Punkers” vs today’s “Scenesters””

  1. Great comparisons, Deena! I didn’t experience a lot of the 80’s as I was having babies by 84 but those first few years while I was in college hold fond memories.

  2. Thanks Nicki! I couldn’t let it go. I’m doing a follow up on the finer details later today. It won’t be as long probably. I intent for it be somewhat topical and light. 🙂

  3. Hey – I enjoyed reading your blog 🙂
    Patrick from http://www.punkstory.com

  4. If you passed out at a party at the splatter pad you got your eyebrows shaved off! Great description of the place LOL That house looks just like it too! I felt like I was there again..

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