DeadRockers is punk with a purpose

With everything from leather jackets to Sex Pistols on vinyl, Lindsey Shaver’s punk rock paradise operates outside the bounds of the mainstream.

The punk rock genre cultivated its roots in the mid-1970s with music that boasted a rebellious anti-establishment message and a blisteringly urgent feeling of self-expression that compels anyone who’s listening to break the mold.

As an independent business owner carving a unique lane in Southern California’s punk rock scene, Lindsay Shaver and her store DeadRockers, is the absolute embodiment of punk rock. 

Shaver has assembled a one-stop shop for everything punk – from essentials like leather jackets, band tees, and Doc Martens to niche houseware items and limited edition vinyl.

The shelves of Dr. Martens shoes are illuminated by neon lights along the leopard print walls inside DeadRockers in October 2023. Richard H. Grant | Signal Tribune)
Lindsay Shaver of DeadRockers, a punk rock lifestyle retailer, examines some of vinyl presses made in conjunction with the store on October 10, 2023. Richard H. Grant, Signal Tribune| Signal Tribune)

“We’re a friendly punk store” 

DeadRockers, which originates from a song of the same name by British punk band Uproar, began as a pop-up in 2005 before evolving into an online shop through MySpace and then Shaver’s website. The first location was in Wilmington in 2010, before the store moved to Fourth Street, Long Beach in 2012. 

DeadRockers, who spent a decade in Fourth Street, has now celebrated its first year at the Cal Heights location at 1090 E. Wardlow Rd. The Cal Heights store opened officially on October 1, 2022.

The shop at Wardlow Road is larger than the former location and offers more space for events such as in-store signings and meet and greets as well as live performances. It also has better parking.

DeadRockers has moved to a location less than a quarter mile from the 405 Freeway. Travelers from Los Angeles or Orange Counties can now easily visit the store.

Shaver took little time to make her mark in the area as DeadRockers has already organized two shows this year with local bar Roxanne’s, and is working with various businesses in the area to offer pop-ups and special events on 2nd Saturdays to create a more walkable shopping experience.

Shaver said that 2018 marked a turning point in the store’s history, as she discovered its full potential.

This success is due to the fact that they have a good balance between niche items and larger, but more difficult-to-find brands like Doc Martens or Fred Perry. Deadrockers has also grown its presence on Instagram, Pinterest and created a flourishing online store. 

Shaver is not a fan of DeadRockers’ signature items or rare finds. 

“I would definitely say the brands we carry have helped significantly with the growth but also just being such a niche place,” Shaver said. “I also like to think that we’re very welcoming, we’re very friendly and that’s always been very important to me.”

Shaver says that it was intimidating to her as a child to visit punk shops. She wants to create a friendly and approachable atmosphere for those who want to get into the scene. She is a punk fan and has her own punk store, which allows her to live out her dream of introducing others into the subculture. 

“I would definitely say doing the record exclusives has been very personally rewarding for me because I’ve gotten to work with bands that I grew up loving and to be able to work with them now or even offer something from that band that’s exclusive to my store is really cool to me just as a collector and a fan,” Shaver said.

“Every day is Halloween”

DeadRockers’ seasonal collections go hand in hand with punk rock staples. With Halloween just around the corner Shaver says that items like fishnets and tights are particularly popular and bring customers to the store who may not have otherwise visited.   

“I feel like people who wouldn’t normally step foot in our shop will [at] This time of year. Kind of just out of curiosity or just enjoying spooky season and looking for places that they can go and experience that a little bit, I mean pretty much every day is Halloween for us in here,” Shaver said.

DeadRockers also offers men’s and women’s clothing lines that they design and manufacture, and they are currently building their first wholesale catalog, intending to offer these items nationally and manufacture more products in the future.

Shaver is particularly proud of the completely cruelty-free women’s line and garments from the collection that were made using over 30% recycled material. Repreve polyester fiber, made of 100% recycled materials, is a key element in the production process. It gives garments like their denim vest more than you might expect. 

On October 10, 2023, Lindsay Shaver, owner and manager of DeadRockers, a punk lifestyle retail store, adjusts a vegan leather jacket from the Cyanide brand. Signal Tribune| Signal Tribune)

“For example, we did like a classic denim vest which I feel is such a staple rock n’ roll item,” Shaver said. “We wanted to tailor it to our clientele so there’s a lot of inside pockets, things that I feel like have been skipped over by brands a little bit especially for women. You know you go to a show and maybe you don’t want to carry a purse, you got pockets in your jacket that can actually fit something more than a lipstick.”

A denim vest, for example, that not only has a long lifespan due to its versatility but is also environmentally sustainable gives a unique twist on the classic punk look. Shaver hopes to counter the support for fast fashion in punk culture by providing classic items that are environmentally friendly. 

“I mean there’s elements of punk rock where people are like, ‘I don’t care, I want [to buy] cheap’ and all that sort of thing, but I feel like we’re trying to shift the focus to be like, ‘No, buying a quality garment that’s going to last you a really long time and help the environment is worth the price,’” Shaver said. 

DeadRockers, located at 1090 E. Wardlow Rd. The DeadRockers is open every day from 12 pm to 6 pm.