That's 'Peter Gunn' by Henry Mancini. He was the first punk rocker," says Vernon Vogt, an NIH technician, nodding at the video display above the 9:30 Club's back bar. Disjointed clips of double-jointed dancers and trashy still-lifes flicker.

A punk with a prove-it attitude brands hands in exchange for $6 admission. At the door at 930 F St. NW, those 18 to 21 are stamped "April"--restricting them to beer and wine--and under- 18s get a big red "X".

Looking extra pale against her fingerless black lace gloves, black spiked bracelet, vintage black dress and jet- black crimped hair, Tiffany Pruitt has arrived from Potomac and been X'd.

"I've been dyeing my hair since I was 13," she says. That was four years ago. "They made fun of me at Churchill (High School). But I switched to Holy Child. At a Catholic girls' school, people are much cooler."

About 20 early arrivals stare absently at the video snow on screens around the black-painted club. "There's nothin' else to do," says Cheryl Borden, who's visiting from Harrisburg to see the band, the Fleshtones, because her brother-in-law cuts the sax player's hair. Booths in the corridor between the main room and the rear bar are jammed, and bar stools, window ledges and leaning spaces are at a premium.

Volknar Schauer, 36, of Frankfurt, West Germany, spending his first Saturday night in Washington, pronounces 9:30 "too clean" for a real punk club. "The clothes are too normal. In Berlin, they really dress."

"I've been looking around for a choker," says Eric Hartmann of Silver Spring, a pre- vet student at Virginia Tech. He borrowed a spiked metal and black leather bracelet to go with his "Messiah" T-shirt with ripped-away sleeves, left over from the school's Christmas production.

Latecomer Mark Sttost, just returned from a skateboard contest in Annandale, says the "SKINS" on his midriff T--shirt referred to bald punks, not football.

Four coffin-size speakers angled downward from the ceiling blast the press of pageboys, skinheads and mohawks. The lyrics are unclear but the volume is impressive. Spot outbreaks of dancing occur in solos except for one threesome. There's no slam- dancing tonight.