By Michelle Cruz Gonzales
Spitboy Rule Author, Michelle Cruz Gonzales Featured in Green Day Produced Documentary
I was interviewed for Turn it Around: Story of East Bay Punk in 2014. I never worried that the movie wouldn’t see the light of day because if there’s someone you can have faith in, it’s the director, Corbett Redford, but I did worry that my hair might look stupid.
I had worked all day the day of the interview and gotten a haircut just before I was set to meet Spitboy bass player, Paula, and the film crew who I had been in contact with via e-mail. I had already started writing about being in Spitboy, had put out the Spitboy Rule zine, but I didn’t yet know that I would write a whole book. Corbett said that they wanted to interview everyone, people in bands, people not in bands, and they wanted to demonstrate how many women are, were, and always have been involved in East Bay punk scene. I figured, well if that’s the case, then mine and Paula’s interviews aren’t likely to end up on the cutting room floor. As it turns out, Spitboy is one of the bands featured in the movie.
The movie on a whole accomplishes several things at once: tells the story of the East Bay punk scene, how and why it distinguished itself from the San Francisco/West Bay scene; includes a very ethnically diverse cast of people in East Bay scene (including people who went to shows, organized related events, made zines, or contributed to the scene in a multitude of other creative ways), and it focuses in more closely on a handful of groundbreaking bands: Operation Ivy, Crimpshrine, Neurosis, Green Day, Spitboy, and a few others. While the focus on Spitboy is nowhere as in depth as The Spitboy Rule: Tales of a Xicana in a Female Punk Band, it does give Spitboy our rightful place in punk rock history, carefully distinguishing Spitboy from riot grrl, accurately portraying us as a product of the liberal Bay Area, where 1990’s feminist women didn’t want to be called girls.
If you watch the movie closely, you’ll see that my herstory in the East Bay punk scene goes back a few years before Spitboy. Turn it Around: Story of East Bay Punk opensnationally this summer – don’t miss it!