"Miles Per Gallon" by Mike Magrann
Miles Per Gallon is the journey of a band of friends traversing the strange world of North America during CH3’s 1983 summer tour. Culled from hazy memories and adolescent journal entries, Mike’s literary achievement chronicles the bonds of friendship, the drunken misadventures of a punk rock band out in the wild, and the kind of self-discovery that only long stretches of time spent cramped in a van can bring. This beautifully written story is funny and poignant, occasionally prurient, and painfully earnest. In it, Mike draws on his biracial family experiences to parallel his life as a young punk in the ultra-conservative ‘80s. Throughout the story Mike encounters revelations both profound and mundane as he and his closest friends discover an America their history books never taught them. Written as a novel and weaving adroitly through both past and present, this “true-to-life” narration of summer adventure is also filled with punk rock history of one of the genre’s most beloved bands. Think a punk rock Stand By Me meets Catcher in the Rye meets The Air Conditioned Nightmare, but with vibrant, real-life characters like Joey Shithead, Youth Brigade, and The Stretchmarks populating this diaspora of the 1983 North American hardcore circuit. This is much more than a band book or a punk history – it is a challenge. It is a soulful dig into the past; a search for reconciliation and meaning. It is an unwitting time capsule that effortlessly captures a 20th century spirit and aesthetic that is in danger of being lost forever.
Mike Magrann was born in 1960, the youngest of six children. He was raised in Cerritos, CA and graduated from Long Beach State with a degree in creative writing. An avid motocross fan and participant (Mike spent many years racing bikes), it was the discovery of music and a love of literature that led to his true calling.
Mike is the singer and songwriter of Channel 3 (CH3), a band he started with guitarist and childhood friend Kimm Gardener in the early '80s. CH3 was a highly respected band that shared stages with some of the most notable punk and hardcore bands of the era and were an integral and influential part of the burgeoning LA hardcore punk scene (even though they weren't even from LA!). CH3 toured extensively and released several albums and singles, most on the legendary Posh Boy record label. They are still playing today and recently celebrated their 40th anniversary.
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