Mike Atta, Punk Legend, Passes Away From Cancer

mike_atta.jpg
Josue Rivas/OC Weekly
Mike Atta, R.I.P.
Trailblazing punk guitarist Mike Atta died after a lengthy battle with cancer on Easter Sunday. Atta's band with his brothers Jeff and Bruce, the Middle Class, is often credited with being one of the first hardcore bands ever. The Santa Ana based band was active from 1977 to 1982, but inspired countless hardcore punk bands from OC and beyond for years to come.

He later found a new generation of fans and friends when he opened the Out Of Vogue (aptly named after the Middle Class' most iconic song) vintage store in downtown Fullerton.

Atta was diagnosed with Stage IV kidney cancer in January of 2010. The disease returned and spread to his lungs in 2012. This next round of cancer inspired benefit concerts across the Southland with punks like the Adolescents, Mike Watt, 45 Grave and many more gladly joined on the bill of "Save Mike Atta" shows for their old friend.

The Middle Class reunited in recent years, and Atta, along with his brothers, spent the last few years of his life bravely fighting cancer, and shredding the guitar on stage once again. He is survived by his wife Pam and son Van.

Friends, fans and family took to social media to express their condolences and memories of Mike. See their tributes on the next page.



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15 comments
splinter1968
splinter1968

My husband and I met Mike 12 years ago when we first moved down to Fullerton from Los Angeles. We love all things mid-century and couldn't believe our luck in finding Out of Vogue in our neighborhood. Mike was the definition of cool. He was kind, gregarious, compassionate, witty, intelligent, brave and a devoted family man. It was commonplace for me to walk in his store and leave an hour and a half later because we had talked so long. My love and soul-felt condolences go out to his beautiful wife, son and beloved circle of family and friends. I'm looking around my house and over half my furniture and wall art came from Out of Vogue. That makes me smile. Mike Atta will never be forgotten.

joncleir19
joncleir19

Say hello to Mohammed. (Forgive the punk sensibility.) 


dkdc.oberbeck
dkdc.oberbeck

So glad we got to share the stage with you in the good old days so many times and even more glad we crossed paths more than 30 years later, and got hang out And talk about collecting furniture, raising families and making music that matters. Thank you Mike for inspiring all of us to be brave and kind.

RIP - Danny Oberbeck

Jeremy Climer
Jeremy Climer

Very sad to hear the news - because guys like him did what he did, the road was much easier for the rest of us to travel. May he rest in peace.

Jonny Hicks
Jonny Hicks

One of the nicest people have ever met. I always knew as just mike till recently when he started playing shows in the recent years i found out who he was. Ill miss talking to him about guitars and banjos. and the roots of Fullerton. itsis been about 7 years since i first met him. and till this day he is and will be one of the friendliest Fulerton locals i have ever met. RIP Mike.

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

I remember Mike Atta's (& Jeff's) very first shows at Saddleback and some dive bar on G.G. Blvd.  We were still in high school and if memory serves me correctly, Mike was playing a Flying V.  During the show at Saddleback, someone walked right up to Mike and started giving him a ton of shit -- Mike's response was perfect (i.e. a punk rock rejoinder, HA!)


I regret not re-introducing myself.  Thank you for the fond memories. 

Leah DeLong Lmt
Leah DeLong Lmt

the local punk scene raged back in the day!!! RIP Mike and thank you for inspiring so many local SoCal bands!!!

Marlon Soriano
Marlon Soriano

I never knew he was a musician or knew of his legacy. I did meet him though when Out of Vogue first opened its doors. He was always welcoming whenever I walked into the shop. He had a genuine smile and a kind spirit. So sad to hear of his passing. My condolences to his wife and son...

Ricky Stauffer
Ricky Stauffer

RIP Mike. You will be missed by many. My condolences to the whole Atta family and friends.

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