‘Pump Me Up’ Opening Revels in ’80s Subculture

Scenes collided at the Corcoran’s “Pump Me Up: D.C. Subculture of the 1980s” at the exhibit’s opening reception Feb. 22. The exhibit chronicles D.C.’s graffiti, Go-Go and hardcore punk scenes from the late 1970s through the early 1990s and was curated by Roger Gastman, a graffiti historian from Bethesda, Md. Georgetown native Henry Rollins, deejayed the night with a selection of ’80s jams. Rollins grew up on 30th and R Streets, NW, across from Montrose Park.

Rollins, of hardcore punk group Black Flag, and Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat and Fugazi, both worked in Georgetown businesses when they were young adults, first at the Georgetown Theater and later at the Haagen-Dazs, a location now occupied by Avocado Cafe. Rollins recounted how the two went to the Bayou to see Bad Brains open for the Damned in June 1979.

“They were terrifying,” said Rollins. “Our jaws were on the ground.”

The night reunited a lot of participants and enthusiasts in ’80s subculture.

“Pump Me Up” will be on display at the Corcoran Gallery of Art through April 7.


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