This Is Boston, Not L.A.

This Is Boston, Not L.A.
Compilation album by various artists
Released 1982
  • Radiobeat
  • Oak Grove
  • Newbury Sound
Genre Hardcore punk
Length 36:46
Language English
Label Modern Method
  • Michel Bastarache
  • Jimmy Dufour
Professional ratings
Review scores

This Is Boston, Not L.A. is a hardcore punk compilation released in 1982. It is considered the definitive album from the Boston hardcore scene, as several of its most prominent bands appear on the record, namely, Jerry's Kids, the Proletariat, Groinoids, the F.U.'s, Gang Green, Decadence, and the Freeze.[1] For all of them, with the exception of the last one, This Is Boston, Not L.A. was also their debut release.

The album was named after its closing track, the eponymous song by the Freeze:

If you dance the same and dress the same
It won't be long 'til you are the same
You look the same and act the same
There's nothing new and you're to blame
This is Boston, not L.A.
This is Boston, fuck L.A.

          The Freeze, "This Is Boston, Not L.A."

According to Clif Hanger, vocalist for the Freeze, the title song was written not to insult Los Angeles scene, but to encourage other Boston acts to find their own unique, local sound rather than emulate other bands from other areas.[3][4] However, Boston audiences often took away a different meaning. They assumed the song asserted Boston's superiority to Los Angeles.[3]

The album's front cover features a black-and-white image of a mosh pit, taken by Bostonian punk photographer Phil In Phlash.

This Is Boston, Not L.A. would be followed up a few months later by a six-song complementary record, the Unsafe at Any Speed EP.[nb 1]


Consisting of only previously unreleased material, This Is Boston, Not L.A. was originally released in 1982 on Modern Method Records,[5] on LP,[nb 2] in two pressings,[6][7] and on Compact Cassette.[nb 2][8]

Critical reception

In his review for AllMusic, Alex Henderson said:

"... in the late '70s and early '80s. While Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco were famous for their punk scenes, Boston's punk scene didn't enjoy nearly as much publicity. But make no mistake: Boston was a punk hotbed back then, and Modern Method Records tried to spread the word with this obscure but excellent compilation ... This Is Boston, Not L.A. ... paints an impressive picture of the Beantown punks who were active during that era."[1]

Unsafe at Any Speed EP

Unsafe at Any Speed
EP by various artists
Released 1982
Genre Hardcore punk
Length 11:48
Language English
Label Modern Method

A few months after the release of This Is Boston, Not L.A.,[nb 2] Modern Method issued a follow-up companion record, the 7-inch EP titled Unsafe at Any Speed,[nb 1][5][9] featuring one unreleased song apiece from six of the bands which had appeared on the original compilation.

Also featuring a Phil In Phlash's photograph of a mosh pit, and bold typography, the record's front cover is of a similar design to that on the original album.

The tracks that make up the EP resurfaced in 1995 as the last six songs on the CD re-release of This Is Boston, Not L.A.[nb 3][10][11][12]

Track listing

Side A
No. TitleArtist Length
1. "Selfish"  Gang Green 1:44
2. "Empty Skull"  Groinoids 1:18
3. "Voodoo Economics"  The Proletariat 2:51
Side B
No. TitleArtist Length
1. "Machine Gun"  Jerry's Kids 1:17
2. "CETA Suckers"  The F.U.'s 0:57
3. "Refrigerator Heaven"  The Freeze 3:41
Total length:


After the record's release, Boston natives took to mocking the title with T-shirts that proclaimed in large type: "This is L.A. (Lower Allston), not Boston" in reference to Allston, Massachusetts. In the early to mid-1980s, the T-shirt appropriately mimicked the NBA rivalry between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers.

The Boston-based ska-punk band Big D and the Kids Table printed T-shirts referencing the song and compilation. They featured "L.A" with a strike through it on the front and "This is Boston Not L.A." on the back. South shore pop-punk band A Loss for Words also made shirts that featured a modified version of the Celtics logo and the same saying on the reverse side. This alludes to both the compilation and the Celtics' victory in the 1984 NBA Finals.

In 1994 Zafio Records released the This is Berkeley Not West Bay 4-way split EP with Black Fork, Dead and Gone, Screw 32 and AFI on it. As a response, in 2000 the Amsterdam-based Kangaroo Records label released the compilation EP This is Kangaroo Not Berkely, with 12 bands from different countries playing 'straight forward hardcore. Like the way it SHOULD be.'[13]

The compilation was mentioned by the punk rock band NOFX on their song "We Got Two Jealous Agains", featured on their album The War on Errorism, released in 2003. A verse of the lyrics reads: "But when I saw Christ on Parade, and This is Boston, Not LA, I knew you were the one".

In 2012, appeared an unlabeled self-released EP titled This Is Boston and S.J., displaying on its cover art the same photograph and graphic style of the 1982 LP, but instead of it saying "Not L.A.", it's crossed off and says "and S.J.". Hostage and Swamps from Massachusetts share the record with Bad Times Crew, and True Hearted from San Jose, California.[14]


In October 1995, This Is Boston, Not L.A. was re-released as a remastered CD[nb 3][11][12][15] on Newbury Comics' in-house record label Wicked Disc,[12][15] a short-lived follow-up to the demised Modern Method Records.[16] This edition included, as bonus tracks, the entire Unsafe at Any Speed EP.[nb 1][12][15]

On July 29, 2016, Newbury Comics re-released the album as a limited repressing of 1,500 copies on colored vinyl,[nb 2][17] in four different design variations.[18]

Track listings

In the original LP from 1982, "Straight Jacket" is spelled "Strait Jacket" on the side A disc label[6] and on the inner sleeve, while "I Don't Know" appears as "I Don't Care" on the back cover and on the side B disc label, and "This Is Boston, Not L.A." is shortened to "Boston not L.A." on the back cover and on the side B disc label. In the Compact Cassette version, also from 1982, "I Don't Know" appears as "I Don't Care", and "This Is Boston, Not L.A." is shortened to "Boston not L.A."[8]

1982 LP and MC release

Side A
No. TitleWriter(s)Artist Length
1. "Straight Jacket"  Rick JonesJerry's Kids 0:27
2. "Uncontrollable"  R. JonesJerry's Kids 0:50
3. "Wired"  R. JonesJerry's Kids 1:22
4. "Desperate"  Bob CenciJerry's Kids 1:15
5. "Pressure"  Dave AronsonJerry's Kids 1:25
6. "I Don't Wanna"  CenciJerry's Kids 1:25
7. "Options"  Richard Brown, The ProletariatThe Proletariat 2:00
8. "Religion Is the Opium of the Masses"  Brown, The ProletariatThe Proletariat 2:14
9. "Allegiance"  Frank Michaels, The ProletariatThe Proletariat 1:39
10. "Angel"  Mongoloid, GroinoidsGroinoids 1:06
11. "Preskool Dropouts"  John Sox, Peter CristofonoThe F.U.'s 1:32
12. "Radio UNIX USA"  Steve GrimesThe F.U.'s 1:01
13. "Green Beret" (version)Robin Moore, Barry SadlerThe F.U.'s 1:39
14. "Time Is Money"  Bob Furapples, GrimesThe F.U.'s 0:20
Side B
No. TitleWriter(s)Artist Length
1. "Snob"  Chris DohertyGang Green 0:26
2. "Lie Lie"  Doherty, Mike DeanGang Green 0:33
3. "I Don't Know"  DohertyGang Green 1:01
4. "Rabies"  Doherty, DeanGang Green 1:26
5. "Narrow Mind"  DohertyGang Green 0:41
6. "Kill a Commie"  Doherty, DeanGang Green 1:07
7. "Have Fun"  DohertyGang Green 0:54
8. "Slam"  Jonathan AnastasDecadence 1:31
9. "Broken Bones"  C. CroceThe Freeze 1:31
10. "Idiots at Happy Hour"  CroceThe Freeze 0:58
11. "Now or Never"  Rob DeCradle, CroceThe Freeze 0:39
12. "Sacrifice Not Suicide"  CroceThe Freeze 1:08
13. "It's Only Alcohol"  DeCradle, CroceThe Freeze 1:24
14. "Trouble If You Hide"  DeCradle, CroceThe Freeze 2:49
15. "Time Bomb"  CroceThe Freeze 1:58
16. "This Is Boston, Not L.A."  CroceThe Freeze 0:25
Total length:

1995 remastered CD edition

Track 36 hides an untitled looped version of the final line of the title song: "This is Boston" is heard once, "fuck L.A." is the loop.


Jerry's Kids
  • Bryan Jones - vocals
  • Bob Cenci – guitar
  • Dave Aronson - guitar
  • Rick Jones – bass
  • Brian Betzger - drums
The Proletariat
  • Richard Brown - vocals
  • Frank Michaels - guitar
  • Peter Bevilacqua - bass, backing vocals
  • Tom McKnight - drums
  • Mongoloid - vocals
  • Rico Petroleum - guitar
  • Fetuchini (aka Cheesely) - bass
  • Red-Squirts (aka Big Daddy) - drums, horn
The F.U.'s
  • John Sox - vocals
  • Steve Grimes - guitar, vocals
  • Joe Rockhead - bass
  • Bob Furapples - drums
  • The John Wayne Memorial "Lick-the-Big-C" Boys' Choir - choir in "Green Beret"
Gang Green
  • Chris Doherty - guitar, vocals
  • Bill Manley - bass, vocals
  • Mike Dean - drums
  • Eric Wilkinson - vocals
  • Glenn Norton - guitar
  • Jon Anastas - bass
  • Wright Manley - drums
The Freeze
  • Clif "Hanger" Croce - vocals
  • Rob DeCradle - guitar
  • Rick Andrews - bass
  • Lou Cataldo - drums

  • Michel Bastarache (pka Mr. B) - production (tracks A1 to A6, B1 to B7)
  • Jimmy Dufour - production (A7, A8), co-production (A9, A11 to A14), engineering (A1 to A10, B1 to B7)[nb 4]
  • The Freeze - production (B9 to B16)
  • Lou Giordano - co-production (A9), engineering (A1 to A6, A11 to A14, B1 to B7)[nb 4]
  • Frank Michaels - co-production (A9)
  • Jay Snow - co-production (A10)
  • Groinoids - co-production (A10)
  • The F.U.'s - co-production (A11 to A14)
  • Nasty - co-production (B8)
  • Grub the Great - co-production (B8)
  • Emir Galevi - engineering (B9)[nb 5]
  • Ken Kanavous - engineering (B10 to B16)[nb 6]
  • Phil In Phlash - photography
Additional production (1995 remastered CD edition)
  • Mark McKay - editing
  • Sean Sweeney - editing
  • Henk Kooistra - remastering[nb 7]
  • Joe Cuneo - remastering (assistance)
  • Michel Bastarache (pka Mr. B) - technical assistance, artwork (flyers), liner notes
  • Rachel Kieserman - artwork (assistance)
  • Jack Kelly - artwork (flyers)
  • Mike Gitter (from xXx Fanzine) - liner notes


  1. 1 2 3 Modern Method #MM 014
  2. 1 2 3 4 Modern Method #MM 012
  3. 1 2 Wicked Disc #WIC 1001-2
  4. 1 2 At Radiobeat Studios in Boston, Massachusetts.
  5. At Oak Grove Studio in Malden, Massachusetts.
  6. At Newbury Sound in Boston, Massachusetts.
  7. At 9 West Mastering in Marlborough, Massachusetts.


  1. 1 2 3 Henderson, Alex. "This Is Boston, Not L.A.: AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson". AllMusic. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
  2. Various artists (1982), This Is Boston, Not L.A.. Modern Method Records. #MM 012. Inner sleeve.
  3. 1 2 Abbene, Jillian (February 2008). "On the record with... Clif Hanger - The Freeze". SugarBuzz Magazine. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  4. Carnes, Aaron (October 25, 2016). "The Return of Boston Hardcore Anomaly, The Proletariat" (interview). Noisey. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  5. 1 2 Blush, Steven (2001). American Hardcore: A Tribal History. Second ed., 2010. Feral House. ISBN 9781932595895. pp. 185-187.
  6. 1 2 This Is Boston, Not L.A., 1982 LP release cover art. Record Collectors of the World Unite. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
  7. This Is Boston, Not L.A., 1982 LP repressing cover art. Record Collectors of the World Unite. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
  8. 1 2 This Is Boston, Not L.A., 1982 MC release cover art. Record Collectors of the World Unite. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
  9. Unsafe at Any Speed, 1982 7" EP release cover art. Record Collectors of the World Unite. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  10. FuckYouOiOiOi (January 16, 2007). "Various: This Is Boston, Not L.A. (1982)". Punknews. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  11. 1 2 This Is Boston, Not L.A., 1995 CD edition cover art. Record Collectors of the World Unite. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
  12. 1 2 3 4 This Is Boston, Not L.A., 1995 CD edition advertisement. Official Website of the Proletariat and Churn. Retrieved October 6, 2016
  13. This is Kangaroo Not Berkeley 7" Kangaroo Records blog. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  14. Various artists, This Is Boston and S.J., 2012 CD EP, FLAC and MP3 files release review. Idioteq. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  15. 1 2 3 This Is Boston, Not L.A., 1995 CD edition. AllMusic. Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  16. LeBlanc, Larry. "Industry Profile: Mike Dreese". CelebrityAccess. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  17. Marotta, Michael (July 21, 2016). "Living History: Newbury Comics to re-press iconic 1982 record 'This Is Boston, Not L.A.'". Vanyaland. Retrieved July 23, 2016.
  18. This Is Boston, Not L.A., 2016 LP repressing cover art. Rackspace CDN. Retrieved July 30, 2016.

Further reading

  • Quint, Al (1982). "Various Artists: Unsafe at Any Speed (Modern Method)". Suburban Punk (1).

External links

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