In april 1986, a few music fans, including Tim Yohannan, started a club at 924 Gilman Street. This club, named 'The 924 Gilman Street project', would become one of the biggest and most well known punk clubs worldwide. Often referred to simple as 'Gilman', this is a club where's no room for racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. It's an all ages non-profit punk club, run solely by volunteers, and there's no alcohol and drugs allowed. The atmosphere of the club, as coming from the documentary, is a friendly and almost family like one. This feels in contrast with the typical punk attitude at first, but it becomes logically while watching the documentary.
The documentary basically consists of two parts that are intertwined. One part is interviews with a lot of volunteers and artists. The other part is a series of live clips from various bands. One of the first people featured in the docu is Jesse from Operation Ivy. This immediately drew my attention, as Operation Ivy was one of the punk bands I used to listen to while I was a teenager. This docu promised to be a wonderful trip already.
And a wonderful trip it was. All the people that are interviewed speak of their love for Gilman, how it's run, how they are running it, how they performed there, what memories they have of Gilman, etc. In contrast with the idea most people have of punk, all of these people are actually working for something they stand for. They build something up and won't let it fall down easily. Because of this, the club has survived for so long already, and some of the people that came there in 1986 are still coming there today. To throw in some better known bands that are featured in this docu are for instance The Offspring and Rancid. Two iconic bands from punk, at least The Offspring was until their album Smash from 1994.
Though Gilman started out as punk, they've ventured in more different music styles like various hardcore styles. More recently they are also hosting acoustic shows. There's also way more art happening in Gilman than 'just' the music. For instance, while watching the docu, you'll see a lot of graffiti inside Gilman, covering every surface possible. The graffiti on the walls were different with the different shows, so people are constantly refreshing the art on the walls.
There's a lot more to be told about Gilman, and this docu has certainly persuaded to visit Gilman if I'd ever come to the USA. For everyone with an interest in the punk scene, whether you're from the USA or not, you'll love this docu. If you buy it, half of the money the label makes will go directly to the club.
Gilman, based on the fact that the artists, audience and staff are all equally important to the success of a show.