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Shawna Kenney and Rich Dolinger at Vacation Vinyl, Los Angeles

Vacation Vinyl | 4166 Santa Monica Blvd | Los Angeles, CA 90029

Live at the Safari Club is the uncensored oral history of a notorious underground punk venue in the nation’s capital, told by the very bands, fans, zinesters, promoters, graffiti artists, scenesters, senators’ kids and activists who made it happen.

From 1988 to 1997, the Safari Club was Washington, DC’s version of New York’s iconic CBGBs. An Ethiopian restaurant by day turned Go-Go club on Saturday nights, this windowless dive deep in the heart of the city then known as the “murder capital of the world” transformed into an all-ages venue every Sunday afternoon. New York bands Sick of it All, Murphy's Law, Bold, Earth Crisis and Gorilla Biscuits played their first DC shows on the Safari’s tiny mirrored stage. Southern California’s Chain of Strength, Insted, and Strife all breezed through at least once, while local legends Ignition, Kingface, Swiz, Battery, Damnation A.D. and Government Issue screamed for change.

Live at the Safari Club allows the scene to tell its own tales—the broken arms, bruised egos, back-stabbings, riots, rip-offs, fights, lifelong friendships and love stories revolving around the music.

Shawna Kenney authored the award-winning memoir I Was a Teenage Dominatrix (Last Gasp), edited the anthology Book Lovers (Seal Press) and co-wrote Imposters (Mark Batty Publishers). She contributed to the book 9:30: A Time and Place as well as Spoke: Images and Stories from the 1980s Washington, DC Punk Scene (Akashic Books). Her freelance work has appeared in The New York Times, Ms., Bust, Vice, Narratively, Alternative Press, Creative Nonfiction, and more.

Rich Dolinger has played in bands and has been involved in the hardcore scene since the late 80s. He’s dabbled in photography, music journalism, graphic design and film editing. His photography and articles have appeared in Spin Magazine, AP, Highwire Daze and While You Were Sleeping. He owns the Los Angeles-based contracting company Straight Edge Tile.