Acid Heroes

September 27, 2012

The Punk Rock summer of ’82


Every scene has its local stars.  Whether its the Hollywood scene, the homeless scene, or the high school scene, and every scene in between.  Every scene has their celebrities.  In Berkeley, in the punk rock summer of 1982 that would have been 17 year old Rob Noxious.

Physically, Rob always reminded me of a young John Lennon. He was like the punk rock ideal.   He worked at a punk rock record store, played in a punk rock band (Intensified Chaos, with circled A, natch) and had the punk rock look and attitude down to a tee. I’m sure half the punkettes on the scene had mad crushes on him.  And probably quite a few of the guys, too.   He looked a lot like Sid Vicious only better looking with the spikey black leather jacket, bullet belt and tight black pants.  You’d often see him lurching around Universal Records on Telegraph acting punk rock drunk.  Or maybe he really was drunk.  You could never quite tell with Rob.  How much of it was an act and how much of it was for real.   He was almost like a walking piece of punk rock performance art.  Ya know?  He was from the East Bay but he sang with an English accent.
The last time I saw Rob was in 1982. I was delivering a stack of Twisted Images to Rough Trade Records on 6th Street in San Francisco  (anybody remember that place?) and he was hanging out there. He must have thought I was just some delivery boy (I was dressed in my bike messenger uniform — I used to secretly deliver the latest issues of Twisted Image to all the San Francisco  record stores and rock clubs in between doing my bike deliveries)  because he said to me: “I’m gonna be interviewed in the next issue of that paper.” Which was a funny thing to say considering it was my paper and I hadn’t thought to do that. But in retrospect I wish I had.
Rob seemed poised to become the next great punk rock superstar, the Sid Vicious of Berkeley (Jello Biafra had already nailed the Johnny Rotten of San Francisco role). And then he just . . . disappeared. Which only added to his mystique.


  1. interesting that this article pops up now…..I am in the process of releasing a long overdue Intensified Chaos cd, which will include the unreleased demos, and what is apparently the only known live show to to be recorded.

    Comment by Fester Faceplant — September 30, 2012 @ 3:02 pm | Reply

    • Good luck with that. Intensified Chaos is a fascinating little time capsule of a long gone era.

      Comment by Ace Backwords — September 21, 2014 @ 4:28 am | Reply

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