Former first-generation Southern California punk guitarist Mike Atta might not be as known as some of the peers he and his band the Middle Class influenced, but his place in the annals of L.A. rebel music is understood. The band was founded in 1977, and was one of the region's first hard-core punk bands -- if not the first.
Need evidence? The lineup for Friday night's benefit concert at the Echoplex, which has been organized in an effort to stem Atta's medical bills from cancer treatments, will feature some of the great names of early L.A. punk. They will include Alice Bag, Channel 3, 45 Grave, Mike Watt (ex of Minutemen) and his Missingmen, Channel 3, Shattered Faith, the Urinals, White Flag, Agent Orange and others. Toss in younger punks, including one of the region's best in Audacity, and the result is a night of chords and screams in honor of Atta's riffs.
Atta, who now owns and operates the excellent vintage furniture shop Out of Vogue in Fullerton, has as good a taste in antiques as in riffs.
Want an expert's opinion? How about the late Brendan Mullen, founder of the underground Hollywood punk club the Masque, who spoke to the OC Weekly in 2002 about the Atta brothers' band: "Many hold the Middle Class up as probably the first American hard-core band, which basically meant playing faster downbeat tempos than the first wave of 'Hollywood' proto-hard-core bands like the Germs and the Bags."