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Guidepost sent its original Punk Rockers, the Gut-Wrenching Gourmets, to check
out the punk scene. Read their vivid and fast-moving fun report!

by Ann Fox
Photos: A Fox unless noted otherwise


Ana, punk party guest

From the pop-up Eighties parties to the production of Good Vibrations, a punk rock musical at the Irish Arts Center in Hell’s Kitchen, it appears punk is alive and well and looking like good, clean fun. Guidepost sent its original Punk Rockers, the Gut-Wrenching Gourmets, to check out the punk scene.

Kaka de Luxe guitarist Enrique Sierra at a live performance in 1983 during the Movida Madrileña

While those of us living La Movida in Spain in the seventies and eighties were gyrating to the sounds of Paralysis Permanente, Alaska, Kaka de Luxe and Loquillo y los Trogloditas, Belfast, Ireland had a concurrent punk scene with The Outcasts, The Undertones and Stiff Little Fingers.  The Gut-Wrenchers were mesmerized by the great, authentic punk sounds coming from” Good Vibrations” but you have to give it to the Spanish- they had better names.

The Good Vibrations punk rock musical is based on the comedy-drama film of the same title (see poster).

The  Good Vibrations play that is making the rounds, is a Lyric Theatre, Belfast, production. It’s the foot-stomping, feel-good story of Terri Hooley a punk rock legend who opened a record store on “Bomb Alley” in Belfast and successfully brought together punk rockers from both sides of the religious divide – an almost unheard of happening in deeply divided Northern Ireland during The Troubles. 

If the Gut-Wrenching Gourmets, aka Guidepost Galloping Gourmets, were going to eat and die, they might as well do it in Hell’s Kitchen even if the restaurant was so “pijo” there were no scurrying (punky?) cockroaches about, they say.

Paraphrasing the hero’s motto when he opened the record shop in war-torn Belfast, “If we’re gonna stay here and we’re gonna die, we might as well die from doing something we like”, the Gourmets decided if they’re going to eat and they’re going to die, might as well do it in Hell’s Kitchen. This is an area on the west side of Manhattan loosely defined as between 34th Street and 59th, from Eighth Avenue to the Hudson, including all the “slaughter” on Tenth Avenue.  The nomenclature is obscure. Some say it comes from a German restaurant called Heil’s Kitchen. I prefer the story of the two cops on the beat. One exclaims, “This place feels like hell”  and the other answers “It’s more like hell’s kitchen”. More gentrified, attractive names never stuck. 

Zoey Ramone, a Guidepost punk, keeps on groovin’ even after the show

But alas, gentrification has taken over anyway.  The area is no longer the domain of ptomaine. No more scurrying of cockroaches as you pull up your chair. The Guidepost punks still groovin’ from the show, and daydreaming about the possibility of a world tour of Kaka De Luxe, ate in a very decent Peruvian/ Mexican fusion place, worthy of the best “pijo” restaurant in Madrid. After some guacamole, ceviche and lots of sangria, we half expected to see Iggy Pop and Johnny Rotten to walk by.  

We didn’t die eating in Hell’s Kitchen and were glad to see punk lives.


Featured image: AI-generated punk woman/SamMino, Pixabay; background-frame/Jason Leung, Unsplash
Enrique Sierra/Enrique Sierra, PD via Wikimedia Commons
Good Vibrations film poster/le rödeur. Source: le website nanarland. CC BY-SA4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Punk rock band/xThunderx, Pixabay, vignetted

The Troubles, seen in the following 1971 newsreel which examines causes of strife in Northern Ireland – DVD copied by IASL Scanner John Williams – ARC 1633583 / LI 263.1034.
Source: https://archive.org/details/gov.archives.arc.1633583
Author: National Archives — Ulster — National Security Council Central Intelligence Agency
Public domain