Where to begin on 80’s Chicago Punk Rock

I don’t know where to begin with this band. When I think of 80’s old school, Chicago punk rock, I think of Naked Raygun. There were four members of Naked Raygun, I started to listen to them back in highschool. I went to one Naked Raygun show, I think it was at the Cabaret Metro if I am not mistaken.

Remembering Naked Raygun

Great band, that is very underrated. Their lyrics were pretty smart for punk rock. Also their sound is very unique. I simply just like them, always have liked them. They are a Chicago band. Whenever I play a Naked Raygun tune, it reminds me of better times, my carefree youth.  I first bought records (45’s and 33’s) There were two record shops where I frequented. When I could get a ride, I would venture to Hegewisch Records in Calumet City. That store was rumored to be mob controlled where records “fell off da truck”. Actually I think the owner got shot so, who knows. I just know they had good deals on records and all transactions were cash.

Where to get records on the Southside?

The second record place that was really good was the Record Swap in Homewood. This place would not only sell records but buy your used records. Between those two places, I got all my music. Later it was cassette tapes, which to me were horrible. You needed a pencil or a Bic ball point pen handy if you wanted to transport them in your car etc. You needed to tighten up the tape reel with by sticking the pencil in one of the reel holes. Also once you left a cassette tape on your dashboard, it did not sound good anymore. It was a horrible medium.  CD’s replaced cassette tapes. I also remember my very first CD purchase. It was Depeche Mode’s Violator album. I had quite a collection of CDs, I don’t know if I still have any records. Since I grew up with computers, (born in 72) I have been downloading MP3s or for better audio FLAC files. I know that I owned the very first Naked Raygun album “Basement Screams” . I hope I still  have my records somewhere.

Anyway, back to Naked Raygun. I think I saw them at the Metro in Chicago. Places in Chicago that I have been way back when were the Cabaret Metro, Medusas, the Aragon Ballroom. Etc. Talk  about records I also remember Wax Trax records, which I think was a recording label for awhile. I think that Ministry started off on the Wax Trax label. Not sure. I do know that Ministry started in Chicago.

“Vanilla Blue”

“Suspect Device” (A Stiff Little Fingers cover)

“Rat Patrol”


I could fill this post with Naked Raygun songs, there are just too many to post. They had a great body of work.

What else of my fond memories. I remember going up to Belmont Street there was a store there  where you could buy Dr. Marten boots and used, leather Chicago police jackets. You were not a cool Chicago punk if you did not wear a used leather Chicago police jacket at shows.

I am a 48 year old, Chicago punk. Thats it.

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