This book by Michael Essington is first and foremost written by someone who grew up in Southern California in the so called golden age of Punk Rock. I say golden age with a bit of tongue in the cheek due to the fact that the term golden age would not normally refer to a time that could be violent, oppressive (thanks to the cops) and downright dangerous, but damn was it exciting and a hell of a lot of fun!
This is not another book about Punk in the late 70’s early 80’s but rather a book about growing up during that time through a compilation of essays written by Michael for his weekly “Mike Check” column. Putting these together in a book was a damn good idea and I am glad he got around to doing it. Growing up at the same time as Michael and not too far away from him, I honestly related to the book a lot so I may be a bit biased recommending it to people. Hey, I am honest at least, and I do indeed recommend it.
It is an easy read, honest, and at times moving as Michael writes about some of his personal struggles and of those around him. You read about his life as a young man on that Punk lifestyle path many of us took and later you can not help but feel for him as a Father doing the best he can while dealing with the obstacles life can bring. This is a “life up until now” story that you do not need to be a punk to enjoy, and that my friends is an added benefit.