Giant Robot Store and GR2 News
Way back in high school, Fishbone‘s self-titled debut EP was the first cassette I ever bought. When I went away to college at UCLA, I got to see the band all the time: opening for the Chili Peppers at CSULB’s cafeteria, playing the massive Scream club at the Park Plaza Hotel, headlining an outdoor festival at UCSB… There were a few Trulio Disgracias shows, too. The last time I saw them was at Raji’s with Rage Against The Machine opening. Talk about bands going in different directions. Fishbone never became an iota as big as any of its peers or bands it toured with (RCHP, No Doubt, Primus, Beastie Boys…) yet soldiers on to this day. A new and excellent documentary, Everyday Sunshine, details the Los Angeles band’s existence–evolving from ska to funk to free jazz and prog rock but always with a punk rock attitude–and the struggles it has faced. Yes, they are a unique and awesome band that could only emerge from the City of Angels’ cultural melting pot and original punk scene, but they have also been cursed by the town’s conservative entertainment industry, unimaginative mainstream media, and very real race issues.