Graduate archives punk memorabilia in the city

As a Temple student, Jim Locascio used to drink Jolt Cola with his friends and throw the empty cans into the trees. Their target became known as the “Jolt Tree.”

“A lot of the original Philadelphia punks came from Temple,” Locascio, founder of the Philly Punk Archive, said.

As an active member of the Philadelphia punk scene, Locascio was looking for a way to gather old photographs, fliers, show reviews and other media. He saw that other scenes were archiving memorabilia online and decided to start his own website, the Philly Punk Archive, five years ago. Locascio focused on the early Philly punk scene, but is currently working to put together a more complete collection.

When Locascio started the website, Facebook was gaining popularity. The high cost of maintaining the website, coupled with low traffic, forced Locascio to move the archive to the social networking site. Facebook’s interactive features allow users to gather fliers, photographs and reviews to contribute to the archive.

The content on Philly Punk Archive’s page is divided by the venues where the shows were held. Locascio devoted a section of the page to venues off campus in the Temple area. The archive allows Locascio and others to keep the memories of the punk scene alive.

“A lot of people had those fliers up on their walls and they are probably in the trash bin somewhere at this point,” said Peter Santa Maria, guitarist and vocalist of group, Jukebox Zeros.

Santa Maria started attending all-ages shows in the early ‘90s before eventually joining local bands and is still active today in Jukebox Zeros, Sonic Screemers and The Thirteen.

“We should be proud of the bands that have come through here, that have played here, that have formed here, that call this city their home and that aren’t necessarily transplants,” Santa Maria said.

Rachel Starlett, bassist of The Droogettes, is a New Jersey native and joined the Philly punk scene after moving from her home state in 2006. Starlett stopped playing in bands to pursue a degree, but reconnected with an old friend and was inspired again to play music. Starlett connected with Locascio through show listings on Facebook.

Facebook has continued to allow the Philly Punk Archive to grow and retain the history of the Philly punk scene.

“It’s definitely important to have a sense of history, especially because everything is disposable nowadays,” Santa Maria said.

Tim Mulhern can be reached at tim.mulhern@temple.edu.

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