The magic and mayhem of Baton Rouge’s Chimes Street Scene and Baton Rouge’s underground during the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s is the stuff of legend. Alums of this scene often reminisce in person and on social media about the creative and exuberant culture of this era. For the most part, these times are largely un-documented, and today, the story of Baton Rouge’s underground music-art-cultural scene has quickly become a lost chapter in Baton Rouge and punk/indie music history.
NOW is the time to make our mark and uncover this story from first hand accounts while we still can.
That’s where we come in! A writer, a librarian, and a film maker, all with roots in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s Chimes St./ Red Stick underground scene, have teamed up to develop a documentary film project which explores and captures the story of how Baton Rouge became a noted punk rock/indie music town.
Our vision is to interview a large number of people who were there to create a permanent record that captures the essence of what was happening culturally, politically, socially and musically in Baton Rouge during this era. The ultimate goal is to develop these interviews into a full length documentary film, and as funding permits, other resources that illustrate and preserve Baton Rouge’s underground legacy.
Who the core team is:
The brainchild of the project, Rebecca Hamilton, grew up in and around this music scene as a teenager in the 1980s and today holds the esteemed position of being the State Librarian of Louisiana. A lifelong proponent of punk music, Rebecca was responsible for getting punk author-historian Legs McNeil to the Louisiana Book Festival in 2014 and John Doe from the legendary Los Angeles punk band, X, in 2016. Seeing the growing number of punk books and documentaries, she believes that Baton Rouge is deserving of its own resource and place in the international punk rock story. One of the roles of the State Library is to record and provide resources on Louisiana’s history. This project helps to open up the door to an overllooked and under-documented moment in Baton Rouge and Louisiana history. Hamilton is the Producer of the film.
Baton Rouge Native, Tim Parrish, was the lead singer of the popular underground bands Lower Chakras and Human Rayz. Today he is a recognized author, english professor and the architect of the MFA in the Creative Writing program at Southern Connecticut State University. Tim brings to the project first hand insight to the birth of Baton Rouge’s Punk/Indie scene, starting when he attended the historic Sex Pistols show that came to the city in 1978. Since leaving Baton Rouge, Tim has been one of the few voices to reflect and write about this period in his books and other essays.
Bennet Rhodes, became a part of the scene in the early 1990’s. He is one of the many unofficial historians of the Chimes St. and Baton Rouge underground. He has been in multiple bands since this time, including Hank Sucks, the noise band of legendary Chimes St. eccentric, Hank Pratts. Since 1993 he has pursued a career in video production and documentary film making. Having experience in oral history projects, film making, and music, Rhodes will serve as the director of this film.
Hamilton began informally planning for this project as far back as 2013, tracking down people and researching books and documentaries on scenes in other places. Since the summer of 2015, when Rebecca officially hired Bennet to work on the project, the team began investing their spare time into developing this project.
Preliminary production for Red Stick Punk began at the Lower Chakras Reunion show on August 29, 2015. This show drew a capacity crowd at Chelsea's Cafe in Baton Rouge so much so that many had to enjoy the music from outside. Portions of the show was filmed and a handful of interviews were conducted.
This project has no dedicated cash and is funded with in-kind donations by the three principal partners. Funding is needed to continue and to see the project through. This initial fundraising campaign will provide us with the money needed to further develop this project and a teaser that can be used to raise the full budget needed to produce the film.
Beyond that, your support and donation will help us to begin a archive that documents the spirit and creativity of these memorable times that are such an important part of Baton Rouge history. These archives will hopefully be a source of inspiration for future generations as they take on the ever threatening homogenization of our world.
Please consider donating towards our project and keeping the Red Stick Punk torch alive.