California’s Bay Area was a punk-rock mecca for young kids across the United States in the early 1990s. The Gilman Street all-ages performance space in Berkeley, which epitomized the do-it-yourself ethic of punk rock, nurtured the underground scene. Bands that went on to stardom, like Green Day and Rancid, played their first shows at the youth-run center.
Michelle Cruz Gonzales, drummer from seminal feminist band Spitboy, has written a heartfelt memoir about the trail-blazing band that “rocked as hard as men but sounded like women.” The Spitboy Rule is an inspiring story of self-discovery by a proud Xicana [Ed. note: Gonzales’s use of the alternative spelling of “Chicana” is a nod to indigenous roots of the Chicano/a political identity] artist and a defiant look back at the San Francisco punk rock underground that continues to inspire outsider youth and musicians around the world.