The Simpsons Creator, Matt Groening Is A Punk Rocker
To say that The Simpsons had a profound impact on my comedic sensibility would be a huge understatement. Let's be honest, it influenced an entire generation of television viewers. At the helm, was Matt Groening, and the star of the show was Bart Simpson, who no-doubt was a punk rocker at heart, very anti-authority, a skateboard fanatic… Bart Simpson was cool as cool could be.
So it should come as no shock that Groening himself is an old-school punk rocker. In the photo attached to the post, you can see him with founding Black Flag bassist Chuck Dukowski at a recent book party for the Bazillion Points publishing book, WE GOT POWER!: Hardcore Punk Scenes from 1980s Southern California.
We Got Power! was an early 80s zine that Groening was a big fan of stating:
“We Got Power! is the goofiest, funniest of the local magazines reviewing police raids on a sarcastic one-to-five asterisk system…”
Sounds pretty great. Get more info on the book here.
After reading about this, I tried to found out more on Groening's punk rock roots. I found this interview with Groening talking about his early jobs, his love of zines and how he started his initial comic strip. Here is an excerpt about one of his first LA jobs:
After that, I worked at a Licorice Pizza record store on Sunset, directly across the street from the Whisky A Go-Go. Their gimmick was that they gave away free licorice to their customers. Unfortunately, there were enough people who lived along the street for whom that licorice was their main meal of the day. And after the fifteenth handful of licorice to the same lurching weirdo . . . Also punk was beginning to happen right then. I began to do a self-published comic book called Life in Hell, starring Binky the Rabbit. It was a xeroxed magazine. We had a little punk corner in the store, where we'd sell records by X, and the Deadbeats, and the Germs, and also little punk fanzines like Slash, Flipside and one called Starting Fires. . . Life in Hell actually sold copies..Sometimes the punks would tear up copies, but sometimes I sold them. I showed it to the editor of the Reader, and he hired me immediately–to deliver newspapers. So I worked my way up, I did everything you could do at a newspaper, except sell advertisements, I could never do that. I typeset, I pasted up, I edited, I answered phones, and finally I got my own cartoon strip in 1980. And I did it for 6 years. And, hey, I got fired yesterday.
The whole interview is worth a read, and Mr. Groening, I salute you.
I leave you with an Italian version of a Simpsons episode in which Metallica appeared.