Best Archive of Old-School Arizona Punk - 2009
As groovy as it can be to catch shows at Valley rock clubs like Jugheads and Hollywood Alley, these joints ultimately bow to the awesomeness that was Madison Square Garden back in the day. A scuzzy mecca for punk and hardcore gigs during the early '80s, the defunct east Phoenix gymnasium/nightclub is where both renowned locals (JFA, The Feederz) and nationally known acts (Dead Kennedys, TSOL) unleashed three-chord anarchy inside a wrestling ring surrounded by cyclone fencing. Though it's been 25 years since Mad Gardens closed down and faded into local lore, you can revisit those mayhem-filled days through Bill Cuevas' online archive chronicling our state's Reagan-era punk scene. The former Tucsonan's Web site boasts a virtual treasure trove of vintage ephemera (including fliers, stickers, and photographs) for Arizona bands and dives that have long since gone the way of Joey Ramone — like Bundini's Warehouse in Tempe, or Tucson's legendary Stumble Inn. A few bootleg MP3s of classic shows (such as Black Flag performing at the Calderon Ballroom in 1982) are also available for download. See, punk's not dead; it just lives on over the Internet.