You Weren't There – A History Of Chicago Punk 1977-1984 looks back on the impact that the Punk movement had on the Windy City. Though overlooked in the annals of Rock history when compared to media-centric Los Angeles, New York, and London, Chicago served as an important early supporter of this burgeoning and controversial scene.
From what is now considered to be the first Punk dance club in America (La Mere Vipere), to proto-hardcore clubs (Oz, O'Banions), and All Ages DIY scene (Centro-Am Hall), Chicagoans made sure that there were outlets for the genre that was often blacklisted by the mainstream local live music scene. This small, but dedicated scene had to endure harassment from the Police, City Hall, Neo-Nazis, and even the audience, as well as making uneasy alliances with the ever-present Chicago criminal underworld. It was a scene that could be violent and unsavory at times,but always tempered with large doses of humor, art, and intelligence.
You Weren't There talks to the DJ's, musicians, promoters, artists, and fans who were pivotal in creating the Chicago Punk scene. The film also features classic archival footage of such great Chicago bands as Naked Raygun, the Effigies, Strike Under, Big Black, Articles Of Faith as well as lesser known greats Silver Abuse, the Mentally Ill, the Subverts, Negative Element, and many more. This is a rare glimpse into a truly one-of-a-kind American underground music scene.