One song to the next pulls me

Punk Rock Colleague & Historian and Professional Consultant

Hudley Flipside

I coined the word punk@lullaby. It means that the whole time I was in the punk rock scene, from beginning to end, it was all about a song. One song to the next pulled me though the scene. Once that loud music got into my blood there was nothing like it.

~My Punk@lullaby, Journal One by Hudley Flipside.

Everyone is talking about our loss of Tom Petty. A guy whose songs play on the radio. I mean one cannot go by a day without hearing one of his songs.

It wasn’t always that way. A guy from Gainesville, Florida that made it big. You can read his story. I will be focusing on one song that has magnified my life.

I am sure also too, all the good girl and bad boys of the San Fernando Valley.

“Free Fallin'” is the opening track from Tom Petty’s solo debut album, Full Moon Fever (1989). Ya one can hear it all the time.

It is a strange song because it always makes me embarrassed because he is singing about my life. That is what good song writing does. It is inclusive. I grew up in the San Fernando Valley! I grew up walking Ventura Blvd every day.

I played in the Hills of Mulholland too! Loving Elvis and riding my horse were real! It all happened for me in the 1970s. Somehow this song and the lyrics especially speak of a punk edge, a drug edge… and that wildness.

The conflict between the good girls and the bad boys is real. In my life I did not stay home with a broken heart because I eventually joined the vampires on Ventura Blvd.

I instead, ironically, headed east with the bad boys. Yet I know what he is talking about.

I wonder how he knew so much about the valley for not actually growing up there. I guess some help from other artists he knew. Or found this insight hanging with friends and listening to their stories. He does dig deep into the experience of being a valley girl or guy.

Anyone that grew up here as a kid all the way through to their teens has done some “free fallin’…over Mulholland.”

“I wanna glide down over Mulholland

I wanna write her name in the sky

I’m gonna free fall out into nothin’

Gonna leave this world for awhile”

“Listen to the boulevard, listen to the falling rain

I believe in love now, with all of its joys and pains

Sick boy, sick girl, looking nice dressed up on a Saturday night

Take a walk downtown for a while and chase the pale moonlight

I can still hear the mission bells and the train rolling’ through your town

Goanna leave this world behind, we’re Southern California bound.”

Chatsworth_Tunnel_27.jpg (936×960)

Chatsworth Tunnel

I never went to a Tom Petty show or bought one of his records!  Social Distortion I knew like the back of my hand once. Both reached a place of musical fame.

We should honor them for their generational symbol of something unique and different in this world.

In music, however, they manifest in our life or culture as something special about a way of life. Both songs hold value in my life and tell a damn good story.

One that we all can relate to personally or collectively. Especially if you have been there and experienced it personally.


All About A Song III big gorilla


One band I have seen live more then Charged GBH and The Adolescents are The Dickies; how many times,,,who knows but close to the stars in the Milky Way. An excellent band and even if Leonard Graves Phillips blocked me from his Facebook site I will always love his band and one song in particular, You Drive Me Ape.

I remember in the late 70s and early 80s the Pogo, jumping up and down as on a Pogo stick, was still part of the punk rock experience. You Drive Me Ape was the perfect song to Pogo to. The audience,  at a Dickie’s show,  all jumped up at certain times in the song…it is enthusiastic musical ecstasy. A belly full of beer guaranteed to be sweat-off at the end of a Dickies set.

And even though I have arthritis in my lower spine probably due to Pogoing to songs like this one: I won’t harbor any ill feelings against this band or their songs!! It is.just part of the old punk rocker battle cry…. of wild punks gone by. The Dickies a San Fernando Valley Punk band adored by a San Fernando Valley gal,,,you big gorilla!!


A high standard

Music is about good character, loyalty, good friendship and integrity. Rock & Roll is more than goo goo eyes and stupid sluts with wet panties. Rock & Roll is a revolution of words and style. Yes, this is a high standard…so be it!!

While growing up my home had a lot of musical diversity around the house. The German Telefunken radio was usually playing what my mom or dad liked; Jazz or local radio channels. There was not a large section of radio channels back from the 1950s through to the 1970s. This made is easy to hear your favorite songs.  Just like TV,  everyone was listening to the same channels and that had a community sense of continuity to it.

I have written this before…my first 45 record was Love Me tender by Elvis.  I played the 45 on my little portable hand-held record player. Oh boy, It was rather large compared to hand-held devices of today and a lot cooler too. One of the older siblings had a 8 track cassette player in his car. I remember hearing the Beatles’ Rubber Soul in his Hot Rod Ford Falcon. By eight years old ! I knew all the songs off the album by heart. Then there were vinyl LP’s; Donovan, The Seeds and I think Cream might have been around in home somewhere?

Teen Idols and the world of music !?

thTeen idols were someone to mock and make faces at. I still feel even stronger about this today!!  For me it was the music that moved me. The lyrics and the tunes that got me going. Even Elvis Presley and the Beatles only got the ‘crush-thing-going’ pale in comparison. It is their character that got me. How they dressed and how they spoke. I always focused on who they were as a person then the usual sex object to be swooned over. Even with all my experiences with music and rock stars or anti-rockstarism over the years, I have kept this solid in my perspective as,

Love the music, love the character, try to be a good friend, dig the whole thing together!! Dance to it too…or roll around on the ground and throw up!!

Later on when deep in the bowels of the musical beast I made a promise to myself. If those overwhelming feelings of ‘Idol-love’ consumed me I would blow. I made a vow never to go out on a date or fall in love with a band member; even if only indirectly and from afar!! The idea of “Idol,” “Icon,” or “rock star,” repels me. It was not easy…but it can be done !!

Now imagine driving (before-drivers license) in you older brother’s Ford Falcon, when he is not around, and pushing on the gas pedal down to this song…. my first sense of musical power. Here comes Big Bruiser…the hill that helps you fly over the San Fernando Valley. Ha HA Ha !!


Coyote Hill

Wild thistle..Watercolor by Hudley

Saying goodbye to my family home that I was born to and grew up in is difficult. Seeing Coyote Hill as one of the last hills not to be claimed by a house is rewarding and comforting to me.

On top of Coyote Hill one can almost see the whole San Fernando Valley. It is close to a 360-degree view.

The Verdugo Mountains, Warner Center, turning, Canoga Park, turning, Topanga Canyon, turning, the Santa Monica Mountains, turning and then back to Woodland Hills; then to the house where I grew up.

Climbing to the top of Coyote Hill was a natural workout depending on the time of year. In summer and autumn, it is mostly dry dirt. During winter towards spring the hill had all sorts of wild weeds, flowers, and herbs. My favorite time is when the tall green grass and the purple lupine grew. The worst time is the beautiful but dangerous wild purple thistle that tore up your legs or the fox tails that got caught in my socks.

How many times did I climb Coyote Hill to get away to the place where silence was reachable? I followed the peaceful breeze and experienced the free and wonderful cool blowing sounds of life.

Silence is a more peaceful feeling inside than the absence of sound. Coyote Hill supplied all the silence a growing child needed!

While walking or driving by in-car or on my bike, I have watched a few wild coyotes take the path up this hill. Once on the very tip-top one turned to look at me.

My mom’s dreams come true.

She told us about the dreams she had where houses would be built up all around our home. Houses cover the hills now, but not Coyote Hill. As kids, my friends and I would tear down the realtor for sale signs to stop the builders. We could not stop them.

In my dreams I see a big gazebo on Coyote Hill. A path climbs up to it and a path down the other side. It is a free place for anyone to experience wild silence. In my dream I interfere with the natural cycle and plant some native California plants mixed with lots of lavender, rosemary, and sage. I would also supply some sort of water source for the dry months of summer and autumn.

The Verdugo Mountains, image taken from my family home where I grew up.

“The Verdugo Mountains are a small, rugged mountain range of the Transverse Ranges system in Los Angeles County. Sometimes called “the Front Range,” the Verdugos are entirely surrounded by urban development. The Verdugo Mountains represent an isolated wildlife island.”

Rocketdyne and Mission Burrito

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.

~ Alan Watts

Those eerie, wild feelings of youth have not changed !! A few local words and yes it is offbeat and serendipitous… thank you!!

Our local Orchard Supply went out of business and now the local Albertsons. I understand that life is change, but does community have to change too: at this particular time in my life? The routine and getting to know people is an art form that takes some work.  Unaccepted waves wash this all away. Yet, Mission Burrito is open again!

A UFO flew over the valley last Friday. It seems even though the Rocketdyne property is being sold, the aliens don’t seem to know this yet. They are flying over it as they always have: since my youth. I remember the rocket testing, the sonic booms and Friday alarms. It sounded like the end of the world!!


She is a good girl who breaks away from her family to find a kind of freedom.

Theresa: I’m alone, I’m not lonely. I’m depressed – you’re depressing me.

I always had the feeling as if I were dropping down an elevator or riding on a swing !

Memories fade. I know the theater was on Ventura Blvd in the San Fernando Valley. Was it in Tarzana no I think it was further out in Sherman Oaks. I believe it was the Rialto Theater. I remember going by myself and it was dark and the theater marquee was lit up and very bright in contrast.  It was 1977 a year after graduation from High school. Everything was changing. Friends were going off in opposite directions, which is why I found myself alone.  Looking For Mr. Goodbar is the first film that highlights this change.

The real deal 1970s flick !!

I was pulled into this film, into a character, because I related to this dark but beautiful heroine Theresa Dunn played by Diane Keaton. She is a good girl who breaks away from her family to find a kind of freedom. Her character is dualistic in nature. At night she goes to bars and dances, drinks and picks up men. During the day she is a teacher for the blind. She is now sensitive, caring and compassionate. I think it is because of the opposite parts of her that she eventually finds herself.. but by then it is too late. The ending of this film leaves us with a dark conclusion.

Bartender: Confidentially, with me… one’s too many and a millions not enough. [drinks]

Theresa: I got the same problem with men.


Theresa’s conflict begins with her spine and a past surgery as a child. Worried that her disease would be carried onto the next generation she steps one step up from abortion.  She has herself sterilized. The 70s were a time when issues like this were handled without all the political regression of today. The doctor did what Theresa Dunn wanted to do with her body. What she did echoed in my mind.

Without all the political regression of today.


This is a film worth viewing. The 1970s are different from any other generation.

I always had the feeling as if I were dropping down an elevator or riding on a swing.  Looking For Mr. Goodbar takes you to the depth of the cold underbelly of 1977. The real deal 1970s flick !!


Next in this series is The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane (1977) and The Sandpipers (1965) which is on the cusp leading into the 1970s. A ball breaking film showing us the 1970s motif.


Banners from Kubrick’s exhibition or glorious rebellious madness.


Now some 30 years later his face mocks me.

Alex: What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.

My first printing project was with a hand mechanical printing press. I took print shop as one of my class electives: leading me on to West Valley Occupational School to take a paste-up class. This training got me a job working for a short time at a local adult book publisher on Venture Blvd. I pasted page numbers on each page. They were small paperback adult books.

But, back in high school the image I printed for my first project was the face of Alex from the film A Clockwork Orange. My project was stationary with Alex saying,

“Hello my little droogs”

Holly's stationary 1975

With all of his glorious rebellious madness.

Now throughout the valley I am haunted by banners all over the place advertising the Los Angeles Museum of Art Stanley Kubrick exhibition, as  I drive along the same streets where I grew up; there is Alex’s face grinning down at me with all of his glorious rebellious madness.

Everyone in the print shop class did not have a clue to who this character was: not even the teacher.  Now some 30 years later his face mocks me. He takes me back to those beginning days of the 1970s ; to the place of that transforming rebellious power that stirred my soul.

Now I hold up a challenge. I am thinking of all the banners I now viddy around the San Fernando Valley .

I am saying this,

“Would you or could you  rip-off one of these banners for me?”

 I will make you a home cooked spaghetti dinner. 

spaghetti 3

No lie… or maybe I will buy you a brew from my favorite pub.

The point being I would do it myself but my back is not what it was, so late one night if you find yourself under such a banner of Alex… it could be done.!?

Just climb up the pole and pull it down.

Regardless I find the whole thing pretty ironically  &  mockingly…weird.