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The Real Punk Lives of Orange County

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Saturday night the Long Beach Art Theater was host to the premiere of the documentary, "One More for All my True Friends", the story of Orange County punk band Channel 3. The film was produced by Erik Carreon of Homeschool Productions.

Channel 3 opened the bill at the very first gig I ever attended. Perennial openers, Channel 3's logo is prominent on many classic flyers. Other than that, there is not much that was really memorable about them. I should note here that the hardcore punk scene was heavily split across geographical lines. Whereas there weren’t formal “turf wars”, and there were few real gangs, everyone tended to keep to their locals. I was a “South Bay” punk. The bands I followed, and most my friends, came from Santa Monica to the North, down to Pedro, centering around SST records. Orange County and Oxnard were the most clannish of all of the groups, banding together around a weird kind of civic pride. So Channel 3 were not “my people”. I had seen them open a few shows, but I had never met them. When I asked friends about them after hearing about this movie, everyone had the same comment, “I don’t know about the music, but Kimm was always a really nice guy.” Not one person said anything positive about the band itself. So I went to the free screening/premier of “One More for all my True Friends” expecting to witness a train wreck. I brought along a fellow South Bay SST veteran to get a second opinion, and because she is especially fond of train wrecks.

To my surprise, there was a line around the block. The punk scene is alive and thriving in the OC. Channel 3 has a faithful following, and it was a little bit like attending someone else’s high school reunion. I had a nice chat with the filmmaker, Erik, over popcorn in the lobby. I asked him where he got the footage and he said, “Kimm is a real pack rat. He kept everything.” Now, I know Kimm could not have been filming while he was playing, so it did not bode well for classic live performances in the film. But Erik was cool, and the crowd was psyched in spite of having to wait in line outside for an hour past the movie’s scheduled start time. Maybe I was wrong about their second banana status. So I had high hopes going into the film.