Punk Rock Riot on Sunset Boulevard!

 Jan. 10, 1983, Nicholas Nickelby

How about this retro artwork on the ad for “Nicholas Nickleby?” Sort of Peter Max via “Yellow Submarine.”

Jan. 10, 1983, Punk Rock Riot

Jan. 10, 1983: A riot breaks out among an estimated 2,000 punk rockers during a concert at Studio Instrument Rentals at 6048 Sunset Blvd., The Times’ Michael Liedtke writes.

At first, everything was mellow:

“They were just punching each other and cutting each other a little with razor blades,” a studio employee said. “But that’s their forte. That’s what they do. They were fairly orderly.”

The 6000 block of Sunset Boulevard, the approximate location of Studio Instrument Rentals, site of the punk rock riot, via Google’s Street View.

The disturbance began when someone sprayed a fire extinguisher on a ” slam-dancing throng,” touching off a 90-minute riot in which people spilled out onto the street. (Police estimated the number at 500, while studio employees said it was 1,000 to 1,500).

Police barricaded several blocks of Sunset Boulevard and broke up the crowd.  Five unidentified people were arrested.

The story, alas, does not identify the bands.

A proposed bullet train is generating controversy. This one would have been between San Diego and Los Angeles.

The planned state office building on Spring Street between 3rd and 4th streets is targeted by a lawsuit that says its estimated 2,600 employees “would be exposed to increased air pollution, noise and traffic congestion downtown.” Opponents charged that state employees were being used as “guinea pigs” “for Spring Street’s revitalization.” Opponents also raised concerns about crime in the area, a block from skid row.

But supporters of the project noted that according to the LAPD, the Central Division had 228 murders in the previous four years and nearly 8,000 robberies. That’s contrasted with 350 murders and a similar number of robberies in Rampart Division and 197 murders and 10,000 robberies in Wilshire Division.

On TV: The Royal Shakespeare Company’s nine-hour version of “Nicholas Nickleby,”  which was a sensation.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Architecture, Downtown, Hollywood, Music, Spring Street, Television and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Punk Rock Riot on Sunset Boulevard!

  1. aryedirect says:

    Had Sam Katzman still been working, he’d of made ‘Riot on Sunset Strip II’. Shoddily. As was his wont to do.


  2. Greg Clancey says:

    Illustrated by Seymour Chwast of Push Pin Studios.


  3. Patricia Reed says:

    It was a tsol show and it got started when we were trying to “rush” the gate in back and a bouncer started hitting one of us. Everyone started going crazy after that. The riot squad showed up and that is when the punks came out. .. i got the hell out of there. Back then they would throw us in jail for next to nothing so we didn’t wait around for what came next. It was crazy though. Especially the “long hairs” getting pulled out of cars and trucks and getting theirs assess kicked. (There was a nearby show and i guess they were cruising the strip afterwards) , jack from tsol has said it was his doing but the gutter punks of that day know the truth.


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