There was two kinds of punk/new wave on TV in the 80's.
The MTV kind, that was about the same as when the Beverly Hillbillies portrayed "Beatniks".
And there was the Night Flight kind, where you couldn't believe it was actually on television. Like the show New Wave Theatre
New Wave Theatre a glimpse into the Los Angeles punk scene in 1982 - The A.V. Club:
"New Wave Theatre was the brainchild of David Jove and then Billboard magazine editor Ed Ochs. Broadcast on Los Angeles area UHF station channel 18, the show featured a high-energy, low-budget format that jived with the punk movement’s D.I.Y attitude. Host Peter Ivers, the ringmaster of this musical circus–generally clad in sunglasses, skinny ties, and other hallmarks of early ‘80s new wave style fashions—provided the glue in-between performances, interviews, and comedy sketches that held the show together. New Wave Theatre was broadcast nationally on the USA Network—long before Suits and Psych marathons—as part of their Night Flight block of programming.
|Night Flight Promo|
I did not know that Peter Ivers was murdered, causing the show to end. It just wasn't on anymore, and that was all I knew about it.
There is a book about his unresolved death called -
In Heaven Everything Is Fine: The Unsolved Life of Peter Ivers and the Lost History of New Wave Theatre.
The show forged a groundbreaking union between comedy and punk, placing comedians like John Belushi, Chevy Chase, and Harold Ramis onstage with Black Flag, the Dead Kennedys, and Fear. On the cusp of mainstream recognition.
The show was forgotten, but Ivers’s influence on pop culture has lasted. A magnetic creative force, his circle included Doug Kenney, Jello Biafra, David Lynch, Ramis, and Belushi.
He was also a fascinating musician: in addition to composing the centerpiece song on the soundtrack of Lynch’s cult classic film Eraserhead, Ivers recorded seven albums.
Josh Frank’s research inspired renewed interest in Ivers, and the abandoned murder investigation was reopened. Through his narration and interviews with the LAPD and those close to Ivers, Frank brings this under-appreciated and compelling creative figure to life.