The goings-on in Malibu this week have offered a unique opportunity to play some songs I heard when I was a kid.
Malibu is presently, of course, the site of a showdown over a long-planned restoration in the western lagoon part of the state park. Low dissolved oxygen and seasonally high bacteria levels mean that the waters aren't supporting a healthy ecosystem. State and local agencies have won funding and permits to begin reshaping the lagoon. But for all of the surfers, environmentalists, scientists and beach lovers on the side of getting this restoration done, Malibu locals, including some celebrities and surfers, are among the opponents to it, joined by Westside naturalists and conservationists. This fight has a distinctly local and even "locals only" feel. Just like the band the Surf Punks did, in the early eighties.
The band itself was actually born in the mid-to-late-seventies, so I've got a kinship with them. Dennis Dragon, whose brother was in Captain and Tennille, along with other Malibu locals, made a pop-punk band whose music was on KROQ in the early eighties.
Song of the week is the Surf Punks' classic "My Beach."
Of course, the parameters of their fight were different. If you weren't a local, you were a valley, and valleys, like Rodney Dangerfield, get no respect. And yes, Surf Punks made videos. Not the same as watching The Monkees tool up and down the same beaches on camels and horses, but not bad, either.