“I think you have different types of levels of sensibility, you know, and what you can absorb in pain…and there’s some people, you know, they just need a little thing and it’s going to be fine…but you have some people that need a lot of pain, just to put their feelings and depression and all those bad stuff you have, and you know, sometimes to get it out”
John Gaudry, Headline Records
John was the first person I got to interview in Los Angeles. I was introduced to him through Trevor Zimmer, a punk rock aficionado in Toronto who wanted a Cramps tshirt. John’s shop was the only place we could find it.
I cold emailed John. He got back to me the next day. Headline Records, on Melrose, is bursting with punk rock iconography and paraphernalia from artists all over the world. John still gets phone calls from individual bands looking to have their physical tapes, cd’s, records, tshirts, buttons, pins, anything physical sold in his shop. I was mostly astounded by the extremely detailed organization of all this information and the cataloging of the history of a music culture. After 20 years, John’s still standing on a street that’s changed a lot and a scene that’s constantly reinventing itself. There are fewer and fewer physical spaces for punk, or experiments like punk culture. Rents are rising everywhere and the online world is a hard place to slam dance – yelling in all caps just isn’t the same yelling at the top of your lungs at a show. John reminded me it’s never been about paraphernalia anyway – it’s always been about the honesty of emotion.
John’s originally from France and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his punk rock dream, to open Headline Records. John spoke with me about that something that brought him to LA, the feeling of hearing a great punk song and how he’s made himself a punk rock home in Los Angeles. Here’s a small clip from our conversation:
How John came to punk:
How people connect in person in his shop:
You can find Headline Records online at https://www.facebook.com/headlinerecords/
or in person in Los Angeles at 7706 Melrose Ave.
Photos by B.Singh