The children were not organized enough to keep the fire from going out. (from Lord of the Flies by W. Golding)
So - they developed a DIY (do-it-yourself) approach to making music. Their goal was simply to play and hear music they wanted to hear. Everything else regarding the punk ethos was secondary. They admired the punks in London and New York, but that wasn't their scene. They were not anarchic. They were not violent. Actually, they just wanted friends, play music and have some fun.
Darby at the Masque
For awhile life was good. It was punks living in a world of their own making. They consumed large quantities of alcohol. There was music, parties and getting stoned on Quaaludes, acid and speed. For many, taking these drugs was a part of the whole punk ethos.
However, a new drug was being introduce at the Canterbury apartments. Heroin came onto the scene. It had been around awhile in the London and New York scene. After all, their idol, Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistos was a known user. (He would die soon of a heroin overdose February 2, 1979) . One of their fav cool bands, The Velvet Underground, sang about it.
Until now, the Hollywood punk scene had been pretty much removed from this sort of junk. But to some punks, it had a dark and mysterious allure. It was believed to be the final solution. What ever that means.
Hollywood punks living at the Canterbury began to split up over the myth of the beast. Some did not believe in it, others believed strongly (and quickly became addicted).
Smack became the great divide. Tribes developed. Factions formed. Those who used it separated from those who did not.
the antithesis of civilized middle-class values. Doing drugs, wearing tattered clothes and safety pins in facial piercings, living in squalor, and never paying more than a dollar for anything were not only lifestyle choices but part of the punk ethos.
Is it just human nature that, when left unchecked by society, a few will spoil it for everyone else? Is this why civilizations developed rules of engagement?
In early 1979 both The Masque and the Canterbury came to an abrupt halt. Both were shut down by city authorities.
The punks had left the building.