Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mexican Menu Punk Rock

At its height, Paco's Tacos had three Boston area locations, one of which was in Kenmore Square downtown at one of the busiest places in the city. Kenmore Square was a center for live music and music clubs, where bands both famous and obscure could play. In the late '70s while the world was amusing itself with slick, glitzy disco, the punk rock scene was also flourishing in all its deliberate obnoxiousness and intentional lack of artifice. There was one music venue, the "Rathskeller," right next to the Paco's at Kenmore. The "Rathskeller" was the center of Boston's punk performances, and it was known by fans as the "Rat." 

Since many of my Kenmore Square menu boards featured music of various kinds, I naturally did a "punk rock" themed board. This one, done in the collage format favored by punk graphics and design, references a number of bands which were popular at the time, such as Devo, the 2 by 4's, "Human Sexual Response," and the "Specials," who were not a punk group at all but a "ska" band. I also included rockabilly great Duane Eddy simply because I had an album with his picture on the cover, which I copied into the composition (at right). The "Duane" also refers to "Duane Glasscock," the comedy pseudonym of Boston's radio personality Charles Laquidara. There is a cartoon of my then-boss at Paco's, "Kevin," in the center with a one-shouldered T-shirt holding up a burrito. My face also appears to the right of Kevin, with glasses shattered into my starlike art monogram. At the top it says, "Everyone could hear what went on in the Rat." All of this scene is now long gone, even the buildings, replaced by a luxury hotel.

Collage and markers on posterboard, 21" x 13", winter 1980.

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