City: Costa Mesa, California
Neighborhood: Costa Mesa
Address: 1714 Placentia Ave.
Closed doors in: Late '80s
Famous for: Appeared in documentaries Urban Struggle and We Were Feared
Serving as the hub and epicenter for punk-rock aficionados in California, the Cuckoo's Nest was home to the first slam pit by hosting bands like the Ramones, the Damned, XTC, Black Flag, the Cramps, Suicidal Tendencies, and more. In the meantime, Madame Wong's, in Los Angeles, was ran by emigrant Esther who would later be named "The Godmother of Punk." It was said that Wong was a no-nonsense woman who would listen to audition tapes in her car, throwing out the bad ones while driving on the highway. Even though the police constantly harassed both venues, they still served as a haven for punk-rock youth, becoming the most iconic punk venues in America. Although both clubs closed in the '80s, the venues' legacies lived on. Films such as We Were Feared and Urban Struggle documented the punk scene at Cuckoo's Nest, and another venue paying homage to Madame Wong's opened in 2009 with performances from Wavves and Vampire Weekend.