Hudley Flipside – Interview

18 Oct

Hudley Flipside
Fanzine: Flipside
Label: Flipside Records
Video: Flipside Video

I contacted Hudley Flipside about doing an interview for Strange Reaction back in August of 2009. Lucky for me she agreed. I wrote up the questions and then emailed them off. Then, as an after thought I told her that she could rearrange the questions any way she wanted, or create her own questions, as I’m sure she has done 100’s of interviews, and knows if they are not done well they can be boring as hell. So, Hudley scrapped the whole interview, and instead took us on a trip done memory lane. Oh, for those who don’t know Hudley, read this and you’ll get a bit of an understanding. – Mike E.

Hudley Flipside: Michael Essington wants the readers here at Strange Reaction to get know Hudley Flipside, by answering some simple questions. I had plenty of time to digest those questions between a crashing computer and random acts of emotional attacks from family, the economy, and perimenopausal rouge attacks on my body. I will answer the questions not in a linear way but in my circular way. I will do so by emotionally and mentally writing though the world of imaginational memory, facts, and emotional intelligence. Readers, your access to the computer is wonderful. I will not even try to compete with the vast acquired information that one can obtain on the subjects of punk rock or Flipside Fanzine. Yet, one cannot find the essence of the individual told within the confines of a story via search mode. This is a little bit of my essence story…now image a praying mantis very still on a purple flower…listen! Don’t get to close or I might reach out and bite you.

After I left the punk rock scene at the end of the 1980’s I eventually met a man, got married and gave birth to two boys. I also went back to college and got a BA in Religious Studies. Then I went on to try and complete a Masters in Religious Studies at Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles. I did not belong to a religious dogma or the Catholic Church because my goal was to continue to study the diversity of faith and creation stories. The stories are great no matter where the source comes from. Then they tried to brainwash me into their religious way of thinking, I learned from them what they think happens when we are born and why we need to be baptized to be saved and stamped with the Holy Spirit on out souls? STOP…

Well, I think that is really weird and strange… because when I was born I had an altogether different stamp whacked on my soul… it was the stamp of punkism. Many from my generation, were stamped with this. That is what I have come to realize. We were meant to question authority, promote individualism, and be creativity in… wild action. This is my wild nature and these are my gifts to share with this fucked up world we live in. I am just a sample of my generation. Flipside is the way I chose to express it. I fought it for some time, but now I don’t and I let it take me where it will. The only thing that has brought order into my life since Flipside are my two boys and my husband “dancing John”. It is very difficult for me to stay in a controlled way of thinking or environment… it is fucking painful for me. Yet, I find that writing and art do help to set me free. Going to the local pub and seeing local bands around Los Angeles helps as well. I am a little tickled pink when I see a younger generation taking on elements of the 1980’s punk scene. I find it kind of nice to be acknowledged for the people I have known, like Darby Crash or Charged GBH. I think of it as the “continuity of punk”. Or as I have partly titled it for my memoir, My Punkalullaby, which mean one note since the beginning until I die. I think the first authentic punk note I heard was from the Sex Pistols, then the Saints, and then the Vibrators. Then my first live band notes were from the Dickies, The Avengers and the Middle Class at the Whisky A Go Go on Sunset Blvd.

The curse as a wild thing in my youth and throughout my growing up is paralleled with so many people from my generation. Not everyone though. I was never cool enough or smart enough to make it anywhere else. I was wild and grew up as a tomboy close to nature. Climbing trees, racing boys and riding horses bare back. I had the ability to play the piano without lessons. I never took classes in journalism in Jr high or high school: only paste-up art classes. I was a natural born artist as well. I think that is what the punk scene represents to me. We are individuals doing things differently and naturally. In a simple, new and rouge kind of way with bolts of eternal wisdom ragging throughout. I always try to keep an innocent edge on everything I do. I am not a collector, or music historian or one of those “knows it alls”. I just know things about music and books that I never forget, ‘cause I feel it!

The early punk scene was small enough to where you knew everyone, if only by constant sight. I met Al Flipside through a friend and we hit it off. We talked about music and magazines. I was reading and corresponding with Slash magazine at the time. So Al asked if I would be interested in working on his fanzine. I was just at the right place at the right time. We romanced and then marriage fooled us. Flipside became ours in the sense that we lived together and put out the fanzine together. We met so many creative and interesting people through our work on Flipside. I hope to put together a web page with everyone that worked on the magazine. I want to ask them to write their own bios.

The Los Angeles based fanzine Ink Disease has the best interview with Al and me. It was done during the 1980’s so it is fresh and current at that time and place for anyone wanting to know more about the early punk scene, Al, myself and the evolution of punk music etc. It is a great source and you can access it for free! (Just Google it and do it yourself, right!)

I don’t have a favorite issue of Flipside but I do have covers that I like best. Number one on my list is Flipside Issue 43.

I like this cover because I had the opportunity of taking this picture. It is funny because I asked Love Canal to take off their pants. I never thought they would do it. Love Canal is a fun band. This is when I experienced a little power while taking advantage of younger men. The next issue on my list is Issue 44, which was one of our best selling issues. Story art by Lee.

Publishing each issue took a lot of hard work and dedication. It was our advertisers that helped support our fanzine which were bands and independent record labels. I am hopeful that someday a Flipside compilation will be published: maybe in volume sets. I believe that is around 100 issues to date. This would give new readers a real look into the world of punk rock. We interviewed many punk bands and reviewed lots of records and fanzines, yet the letter section and the classified ad sections in Flipside fanzine documents what our readers were doing, and thinking at that time. We received these communications at our post office box, as Flipside P.O.Box 363 Whittier California. I know of people who formed their bands though these classified ads. It amazes me the stories I hear now. People send me emails telling me how much the letter section and classifieds helped them out. At the time it was a lot of typing for me to do. I grew to hate typing because it was a real repetitious type of job … now I am sorry I felt that way.

One of my most beloved bands what A.S.F. or Anti-Scrunti Faction. The excerpt included below is from My Punkalullaby: The Seminary of Praying Mantis, which I feel tells a nice little story bout these girls. The band members are Leslie Mau and Tracie Thomas. They wrote their songs and Leslie did the cover of the Album entitled Damsels In Distress put out on Flipside Records.

“A.S.F. were very nice women. We did not get the pleasure of seeing them play live when they came to visit us that summer, yet I was thrilled that they decided to give us a visit. I got my first tattoo with Leslie and Tracy. It was of an image I drew a lot in Flipside of a dancing stick person with wild hair. I got two on my right upper arm. Tracy got a parrot on her right forearm. Leslie got a tribal tattoo on her head. At the time she had a long Mohawk that she wore down on the side. The tattoo parlor was a dive and was located in Anaheim a block down from Disneyland… it really was a blast. The artist was a young guy I knew from the scene. As I was getting my tattoo, one of the more seasoned artists walked by and said to him, “Hey kid you doing your first tattoo…?” Then he looked at me and said in a very rogue voice, “Yea you are getting his first!” This particular artist’s name I have forgotten but I remember him rolling his tongue in concentration over his pierced tongue making a constant clicking sound as he needled my skin. He put the eyes in last because he said this contained the soul of each figure.”

Every day was Halloween when I was a hardcore punk. I lived it. It was like a cult I guess if you were looking at it from outside the scene. I felt it was a bit overwhelming at times. Especially when I would meet people whose expectations of me were weird. I mean what they thought a punk should be and how I was or how Al was wasn’t the same I guess. I cared too much about that back then. I don’t anymore. I feel more authentic as a punk now then I did then. I still feel it in my blood now, or when I hear punk music playing in a pub, or when I see a live band even today! That feeling vibrates genetically in my bones. Just because one gets older does not mean one has to lose that punk genuine genius. It stays with you always especially if you play with it and move with it. It is not about being cool or looking cool… it is just being there and enjoying it. Fuck what people say. As the Subhuman sing, “piss on you”!

As a graphic artist I developed my skills slowly. I started to develop my style of watercolor painting later in my life. I also developed it by the many doodlings that I drew on the pages of Flipside Fanzine. Those mostly out of boredom or inspiration. Now, I draw and paint as a form of meditation. I try and capture the essence of what I am focused upon. It is my impression. Also I have recently helped some local promoters such as Security Productions with flyers for shows at Mr. T’s Bowl and at the Legion in Highland Park Los Angeles. You can view my art on Hudley Flipside ~ Myspace or Facebook.

So what is punk rock to me and why the praying mantis. I believe both are about the continuity and adventure of life, death and rebirth. This can be applied to anything. I apply this to punk rock music. Which means more to me than just an ideal or symbol. Praying mantis is seeing through the eyes of a wild thing that has order within. It is my personal connection to this process as a misfit woman who is an anarchist. If this seems strange all I can say is that sometimes I am vague on purpose … I have viewed many a praying mantis on sidewalks and in alleys leading to the sounds of loud music…not just on pretty flowers!

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