924 Gilman’s block party celebrates punk ethos

Madeline Wells/Staff

On the outside, 924 Gilman appears rather nondescript. It sits on the corner of 8th and Gilman streets in West Berkeley, and during the daytime, you might pass by it without a second glance. But on a weekend evening, the proliferation of leather-clad punks spilling out of the venue gives a hint of what lies inside.

Serving as the launchpad for various major 90s pop punk bands including Green Day, Operation Ivy, Rancid and the Offspring, 924 Gilman is an important beacon of the East Bay’s musical history.

Last weekend, the music nonprofit for all ages hosted the First Annual Gilman Reunion and Block Party. The event featured record labels, book publishers and other local businesses — as well as music and tours of the venue. The doors of the venue were left open to allow visitors to explore the colorful, mural-covered interior of 924 Gilman. The block party served as a fantastic opportunity for both longtime Gilman fans and newcomers alike to check out the venue and get a taste for its vibrant community.

 

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A visitor admires the eclectic, art-covered walls inside the venue.

 

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A local business sells “Baked in Blood” cookies. While the cookies were not actually baked in blood, their flavors were all named after black metal references, including highlights such as “Kill the Fetus Dead” and “Manifestation of Evil.”

 

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Another vendor sells carefully crafted punk zines to block partygoers.

 

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“Girls Are Not Chicks” is a coloring book sold at a book publishing vendor. Inside, the book challenges gender stereotypes, relaying the message that little girls can do whatever they want to, despite societal norms.  

 

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A vendor sells punk paraphernalia, including T-shirts and bumper stickers with eye-catching lines such as “Saving Souls for Satan since 1979.”

 

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Community members explore the array of punk-related merchandise local businesses on the block had to offer.  

 

 

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Groups of punk fans huddle together inside the venue, appreciating the DIY atmosphere and the company of others sharing similar music tastes.

 

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A local vendor sells the music gear every aspiring punk musician needs to get started, complete with enticingly shiny new Stratocasters.

 

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While perhaps not fans of punk music themselves, dogs were welcome guests at the Gilman Block Party, fascillating new friendships between other punk dog-lovers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Madeline Wells covers music. Contact her at [email protected].