In 1988, Penelope Spheeris released a documentary that the chief of the LAPD demanded, via a strongly worded letter, never be shown again in the city of Los Angeles. Forty years later, The Decline of Western Civilization is just one chapter in a trilogy that so perfectly captures an era of music and culture it’s now included in the Library of Congress. Spheeris documented the L.A. punk and metal scenes in their nascent stages better than any outsider ever could, as she was immersed in the counterculture of the time. “I lived that lifestyle,” she said. “So I knew most of the people in that movie before I filmed them.” She sat down with Ashley Ray-Harris to dive into how and why she first decided to document what was happening around her and, of course, share plenty of stories about navigating the entertainment industry, from doing coke with Lemmy at a restaurant to falling in love with a gutter punk. You know, real hard-core stuff!