5 Books That Show Latinxs’ Important Role in Punk History

Lead Photo: Art by Alan Lopez for Remezcla
Art by Alan Lopez for Remezcla
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Latinxs have been part of punk history pretty much since The Ramones hit the stage at CBGB’s for the first time in the mid-70s. We’ve yet to see a definitive book dedicated to exploring the role Latinxs played in the development of the movement, but there is plenty to read if you want to learn about the experiences of artists and fans in different time periods and scenes, as well as ideas of how punk itself can inspire change. From the early days of scenes in Los Angeles and New York to memoirs set in Miami, this list offers an introduction to the longstanding presence of Latinxs in punk.




Violence Girl: East L.A. Rage to Hollywood Stage, a Chicana Punk Story by Alice Bag

The story of Alicia Armendariz began in East LA, with rancheras blasting on the radio in an abusive home. Soon after, she migrated to the nascent punk scene in 70s Hollywood, where she transformed herself into Alice Bag, leader of pioneering band The Bags and contemporary of legends like The Germs, X, The Weirdos, and The Go Go’s. This memoir celebrates Bag’s feminist views and unique perspective, and the narrative slowly unravels into a story of discovery and self-realization.

Purchase the book here.


The Spitboy Rule: Tales of a Xicana in a Female Punk Band by Michelle Gonzales

The Bay Area has boasted one of the most inclusive punk scenes since before the days of Dead Kennedys, but that didn’t make life for 90s hardcore champs Spitboy any easier. Although they coincided with the riot grrrl movement, the band battled misogyny for most of their time together. What’s more, drummer Michelle Gonzales also had to deal with racism as part of the underground tour circuit. Although punk was brought into the mainstream during her time, some of its worst tendencies managed to survive. Gonzales’ memoir captures her journey in the world of 90s punk, and features a foreword from Los Crudos and Limp Wrist legend Martín Sorrondeguy.

Purchase the book here.


Indestructible: Growing Up Queer, Cuban, and Punk in Miami by Cristy C. Road

The spirit of punk is usually harnessed in personal stories of people struggling to fit in in spaces where they’re not accepted. In the coming-of-age memoir Indestructible, author and illustrator Cristy C. Road recounts her experience growing up in a Miami high school where she had to defend her identity, gender, queerness, and Cuban roots through words and bold illustrations. Road starting writing by self-publishing a zine about Green Day, which evolved into a platform for her current work.

Purchase the book here.


Punk and Revolution: Seven More Interpretations of Peruvian Reality by Shane Greene

There’s a strong belief that punk was born in Perú, thanks to the distorted, wild garage recordings Los Saicos made a few years before Iggy Pop ripped off his T-shirt and dove headfirst into a crowd. Shane Greene’s Punk and Revolution explores some of Peru’s punk history, although it is not an exhaustive historical document of the country’s contribution to the genre. Greene uses punk principles to present a theoretical study of the revolutionary possibilities the movement could offer Peruvian politics and society. Even the prose here observes no rules, so you know it’s true to its subject.

Purchase the book here.


My Riot: Agnostic Front, Grit, Guts & Glory by Roger Miret with Jon Wiederhorn

Courtesy of Lesser Gods Books

One of hardcore’s most intense and respected frontmen, Agnostic Front’s Roger Miret was at the forefront of the New York hardcore scene back when it was cemented in violent legend. My Riot is a firsthand account of Miret’s youth, starting in Cuba when he was born. The memoir follows Miret’s immigration story to New Jersey and the hard streets of the Lower East Side, when drugs, gangs, and other criminals reigned.

Purchase the book here.