As well as spiked Technicolor dye jobs, studded leathers and weekly worship of Our Lord of the West London Sandinistas – otherwise known as Joe Strummer – one of the core principles of punk rock is a rowdy kind of irresponsibility, coupled with a desire to never want to grow up.
Think of it as a skewed version of Peter Pan syndrome, with the impish one played by a less murderous Sid Vicious. So what the hell happens when punk rockers hit middle age, have kids and simply have to grow the fuck up?
New documentary The Other F Word – executive produced by Super Size Me’s Morgan Spurlock – tackles that very dilemma, with West Coast punks from the 1980s and 1990s, including members of Blink 182, NOFX, Pennywise, Black Flag, Rancid, The Adolescents and Red Hot Chili Peppers as well as legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk, all struggling with becoming the man they’d always urged their fans to stick it to.
This is what happens to punks when they finally mature…
Mark Hoppus, Blink 182
Revealing that he now has to buy the clean versions of his own albums to play in the car in case his young son hears just how foul-mouthed his dad’s day job can be, Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus explains that having kids and fast approaching 40 makes you less keen on singing about jerking off. Funny, that.
Fat Mike, NOFX
For a man who was last year investigated for spiking fans’ tequila shots with his own piss, it’s fair to say that fatherhood has not changed Fat Mike. Portrayed on camera trying to convince his cute daughter to attend her posh private school in a skull decorated top and slagging off the other straight-laced parents, he is the Daily Mail’s worst nightmare. “The two dominatrixes on my arm?” he says pointing to his tattoos. “The one tied up with a ball gag? I mean, how do you explain that to a four year old?”
Flea, Red Hot Chili Peppers
Taking the top prize for the most emotional of all the fathers in The Other F Word, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bass man Flea plays some piano with his teenage daughter before getting all teary eyed about how his kids have made him not just a better person but a more complete person. “My kids gave me life,” he blubs. “They gave me a reason.”
Ron Reyes, Black Flag
Affable Ron Reyes was the second vocalist with the pre-Henry Rollins version of hardcore titans Black Flag. He didn’t last long, quitting the band during the middle of a gig because of his issues with the crowd’s fondness for beating the crap out of each other. Now a congenial middle aged man with a trio of well-rounded teenagers to his name, he’s living proof of the benefits of a wasted youth.
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Jim Lindberg, Pennywise
“Got to keep the dream alive,” says Jim Lindberg, while dabbing his goatee with black hair dye. The Other F Word shows why the former frontman of Pennywise quit the band in 2009 – because he wanted to see his three daughters growing up while his bandmates were nagging him to spend more time on the road. And thanks, also, to the evident shame of having to use Just For Men beard retoucher.
The Other F Word is out now