George Hurchalla

George Hurchalla

Turned on to the Sex Pistols and the Vibrators through magazines in 1980, a 14 year old George Hurchalla systematically began a Stalinist purge of his classic rock record collection to replace almost all of it with punk and new wave. The unusual appearance near small town Stuart, Florida of a surprisingly progressive small commercial radio station aided this transformation. He became aware of the American punk rock underground when his older brother came home from a show in West Palm Beach in 1981 with his mind exploded – the local radio station had advertised the show, saying they had no music of this band the Bad Brains, but word was they had recently blown the Clash off the stage at Bonds Casino in New York. From there his brother Bob helped him launch into a complete immersion of everything punk and underground in the US, amassing tapes, 7″s, and LP’s. Attending Swarthmore College outside Philadelphia in 1983, George threw himself completely into the Philly punk scene and regularly went to shows in New York and Trenton as well.

He became one of the only hardcore punk DJ’s at his college radio station, and with his band the Gutless Meanies, befriended and opened for young bands like the Dead Milkmen when they came out to the college
to play. After his immersion in underground punk waned in the early 90’s, he went on to travel and photograph for publications like Snowboard Life, Heckler, Florida Water, the Miami Herald, and others.

His other books include two guides to Florida beaches, an edited collection of journalism “The Hell With Politics: The Life and Writings of Jane Wood Reno”, and “Backcountry Snowboarding and Skiing in the Northern Sierra”. In 2020 his new extensive biography of pioneering woman journalist, adventurer, Miccosukee Indian friend and chronicler, and all around hell raiser Jane Wood Reno was published with University Press of Florida, “The Extraordinary Life of Jane Wood Reno: Miami’s Trailblazing Journalist” and won the Charlton Tebeau Award in 2021. After spending a decade living in Oaxaca, Mexico, Hurchalla presently lives in San Antonio with his family. Never one to shy from embroiling himself in a good story, Hurchalla found his wife, son, and daughter living in Mexico as seven year kidnap victims of a San Antonio drug fugitive, and helped repatriate them to Texas.

Going Underground: American Punk 1979–1989, Second Edition

Going Underground: American Punk 1979–1989, Second Edition

SKU: 9781629631134
Author: George Hurchalla
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 9781629631134
Published: 4/2016
Format: Paperback, ePub, PDF, mobi
Size: 9 x 6
Page count: 416
Subjects: Music-Punk/Counterculture


“Hurchalla’s efforts are impressive, given the fragmented and regional nature of American hardcore in the Eighties, a time well before the Web made for a truly Punk Planet. Mimicking an Eighties-era tour, it meanders all over the place without ever fully wearing out its welcome.”
—Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle

“Chapter by chapter, Hurchalla captures each major cities’ contribution, with the formation and rise of seminal clubs, bands, and indie record labels, all told through the anecdotes of the musicians, club promoters, zine publishers and scenesters themselves. Peppered with original show flyers and rare photographs, this anthropological perfect storm might leave latter-day punks thirsty at the trough, as baby, those were truly the golden years.”
—John James, Cincinnati CityBeat

“What makes Hurchalla’s book so important is that it captures the spirit of the movement, its idealistic sense of purpose that, despite punk’s many shortcomings, has managed to survive and continues to influence a wide swath of people.… Going Underground now stands as the definitive statement on the history of America’s punk/hardcore scene. George, I tip my worn-out beret to you.”
—Jimmy Alvarado, Razorcake

“Drawn in large part from zines of the times, every page brings another memory. Naked Raygun on one, countered by Black Flag or the Butthole Surfers on the next. This isn’t some prettied-up, big publisher look at ancient history, but rather like the music it documents, it’s a raw and passionate take on a revolution of sorts. This music never died, but it did get co-opted, yet Hurchalla steers clear of all that, and just records what matters. Good stuff!”
—James Mann, The Big Takeover

“Punk is an integrated part of American culture now, but it hasn’t always been that way. Hurchalla’s book serves as a window into a time and place where punk meant something completely different. Celebrities didn’t have Mohawks and people didn’t always think you were cool for dressing totally punk. But it was an independent movement where people were taking complete control over their music and culture.”
Encore Weekly, Wilmington, NC

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