IMAGERY OF REVOLT: AK-47’S THE BADGE AND THE MACHINE MANDALA (1980)

One of the most iconic records to come out of the first wave Houston punk scene, AK-47’s The Badge Means You Suck (/Kiss My Machine, 1980) was a protest anthem against Houston’s Police Department (HPD), which had a documented history of racism and extreme violence during the 1970s. Nine victims are named on the cover of Badge, among them 23-year-old veteran Joe Campos Torres and 21-year-old activist Carl Hampton. The HPD tried unsuccessfully to sue the band after the flipside’s release in 1980.

 Album artwork by Jimmy Bryan; media courtesy of Wild Dog Archives.

Album artwork by Jimmy Bryan; media courtesy of Wild Dog Archives.

 Flipside of The Badge Means You Suck; courtesy of Wild Dog Archives.

Flipside of The Badge Means You Suck; courtesy of Wild Dog Archives.

 Original signed lyric sheet courtesy of Wild Dog Archives.

Original signed lyric sheet courtesy of Wild Dog Archives.