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Ain’t It Fun: Peter Laughner & Proto-Punk in the Secret City

Ain’t It Fun: Peter Laughner & Proto-Punk in the Secret City

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By Aaron Lange

Stone Church Press

448 pages

10 X 7.5 X 1.20, perfect bound with French flaps

Cover: full color with spot matte

Interior: B&W, printed on 70lb white offset paper

Offset printed in a first edition of 2000 copies

In the 1970s, Peter Laughner was a founding figure in a primordial ooze of what would come to be called punk rock, in the somewhat unlikely, somewhat necessary place of Cleveland, Ohio. Bands like Pere Ubu, the electric eels, Rocket From the Tombs, the Dead Boys, Devo, and the Pagans all intermingled in this psychosphere; Laughner touched them all. In 1977 at the age of 24 he became punk rock’s first casualty. While his short life ended more than a half a century ago, his legacy continues to resonate; Henry Rollins and Guns N’ Roses have covered his songs, while Wilco and the Mountain Goats drop references to him in their lyrics.

Underground comix stalwart Aaron Lange makes his much-anticipated graphic novel debut with this deeply researched biography. Through extensive interviews with the people who were there, Ain’t It Fun charts the cultural, environmental, and societal factors that shaped both Laughner and the Midwestern proto-punk subculture he championed. Ain’t it fun when you know that you’re gonna die young?


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