The '80s and early '90s were an awesome time for music. One thing I never understood was the rift between the metalheads and the punk scene. You'd have the hairbags jamming on King Diamond in the parking lot but if you'd try and throw in a Flipper cassette you'd likely experience a lynching. Likewise the punk scene if you'd try and throw on some Slayer. Certainly not true 100% of the time. I can listen to either Pantera or Gang Green with perfect contentment.
I'm so happy that I was alive and in my early 20s for Grunge. Seems that people like to look back at it and laugh but to me this was a perfect marriage of punk and metal. We remember all the great bands which were picked up by a label but there were many more which were local gems and now long forgotten.
Was never part of the punk scene but I'd catch some shows during the '80s. Diddly Squat was a local favorite; Nate Mendel went on to join the Foo Fighters. We had some other skaish (brass section but not really ska) bands like Black Happy which continues to have a cult like following. In Nashville, my favorite local band was BR549; a punk band turned retro country. They played songs about Little Ramona trading in her Doc Martins for cowboy boots.
I like some of top 40 punk like DK, Rancid, Down by Law, NOFX, Bad Religion, etc. Other than that I wish there was more rockabilly to choose from. Love the Reverend Horton Heat and I'll never miss a Social D show within driving distance.
On a funny note, a guy I was stationed with played a couple shows with Rancid as an opening act. Apparently they had a disagreement over lunch and he threw a burrito at one of them.