You Weren’t There: A History of Chicago Punk Rock 1977-1984 (DVD)

There’s no denying that New York and Los Angeles get all the good press. When punk music finally made its way to the U.S. in the late 70’s, both coasts were claiming the title as punk rock capitals – with New York citing The Ramones and Los Angeles touting X. Though hundreds of miles away from both cities, Chicago – ever the modest mid westerner – was quietly hosting it’s on Punk Rock coming out party at the same time.

You Weren’t There, through a series of firsthand interviews, tells the story of the Windy City’s foray into the genre. In just over two hours, the doc does an exceptional job of capturing the scene through old footage, audio, pictures and flyers, underscored by some powerful interviews with members of Naked Raygun, Steve Albini, Strike Under and others. The punk scenes in NY and LA have been documented ad nauseum at this point. It’s nice to finally get a look into the often overlooked and underappreciated scene.

Rating: 8.9 out of 10

You Weren’t There: A History of Chicago Punk Rock 1977-1984 /1 DVDs/2009/Factory 25/130 mins./

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