This Is Not Sarah Palin’s Alaska: Photos From the 80s Anchorage Punk Scene
Let’s be honest: no one actually knows anyone from Alaska or has ever been there, and our concept of what daily life is like is based on “Northern Exposure” and nature documentaries. If you told me Alaskans ride polar bears to work, I’d probably believe it.
So when I stumbled across a set of photos from what appeared to be a punk squat in Anchorage in the 80s, obviously I was intrigued. This was not at all the Alaska I imagined. I contacted the photographer, Gregory Granquist and got him to tell me a little bit more about his experience living there.
The “Werehaus”, as it was called, started as a hippie commune in the late 60′s inside a defunct candy warehouse. Gregory moved in the mid-80′s, and used his experience as a college radio DJ to organize a series of punk shows. The Werehaus became the epicenter of the Anchorage punk scene, which was small but thriving.
As you might imagine, Alaska isn’t a frequent tour stop for bands doing shoestring budget tours, so getting legendary punk band DOA to come there was a big deal (check out photos of the band drinking inside their van).
What I love about these photos is that the kids look like they are having the most fun day of their lives in every picture. They’re living the ultimate young person dream: living in a house with all your friends, no parents (or mama grizzlies), graffiti on the walls, drinking beers, and listening to loud music.
All photos by Gregory Granquist.
Additional photos: Werehaus on Flickr
Additional viewing: Alaska punk band Clyng Onz performing at the Werehaus Halloween party, 1984
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