24 Hour Party People

Lynwood Ditch Party

“Tonight, Fox Undercover shows you what is clearly one of the most objectionable acts of the party crews, the ditch party…”

Thanks to LA Eastside reader DJ Mr Ed for recommending this link. We posted it on our Facebook page last week and were surprised when some of our readers said they recognized people in the video. Do you?

As exploitive as Fox News was of Latino youth and our subcultures in the 90s, it’s kinda nice, 20 years later, to have some documentation of the DIY Eastside and Southeast LA backyard party scene. Interestingly, they never infiltrated the punk backyard gig scene of the same era, maybe it’s cause punks are a little smarter. Yeah, I stick by that statement.

This video also confirmed my suspicion that the “rebel” look (only a few guys in the video below have the rebel look – there’s more in the above clip) was just one incarnation of an enduring style on the Eastside, a gradual morphing of 80s rockabilly into rebel into swing/rockabilly into psychobilly and finally, into present day greasers. The look never really died. In the 90s, the pompadour and James Dean chic was a style reference to artists like Dave Gahan from Depeche Mode. A quick aside, everyone talks about the prolific “Mexican Morrissey fans” but in the 90s, it was Depeche Mode who sold out the Rose Bowl. They were more famous here than anywhere else (“These guys are god over here!”) and even inspired a riot at a local album signing. A huge part of their fan base were Latino/Chicano kids. Naturally, young folks would emulate this look and these folks were called “rebels.”

How about you? Do you know someone who has rocked a pompadour and creepers for more than twenty years?

The Rebel Party Scene

“It’s a Saturday night house party in Huntington Park. Strobe lights color an evening of dancing, drinking and dope smoking. Here, boy comes to meet girl in a ritual as old as time…”

6 thoughts on “24 Hour Party People

  1. I remember a house party on Van Horne in El Sereno the night Depeche Mode played at Dodger Stadium in 1990 and a lot of people had DM shirts on and the DJ played DM and Martin Gore solo songs.

  2. Blatchford would have rather had those kids in class learning how great white people are.

  3. I love the guys in the first video that are all like “No violence! We believe in peace!” Hoping they kept that spirit going…

  4. I went to a few ditching parties, some even got raided and busted up by the police, and they were fun. I remember those way more than any particular day at school. So in conclusion, remember to give ditching a try kids!

  5. DP’S!!!! That video brought back some memories. There actually WAS a lot of money to be made… it was pretty crazy then. I threw my first one in 1995 or 96 with a homie from L.A. Federation at a pad in City Terrace, got broken up by noon.

    Nothing beats nitrous oxide & 64oz bottles of Olde English 800 at 9 in the morning.

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