Monday, October 20, 2008

Erba - Part II


Erba fronting Face Value at the Uni Sound Club in Reading PA, yours truly (Tim DCXX) with the fingerpoint sing along, Photo: Traci McMahon

Tony Erba delivers the goods again and dishes out more on the notorious Clevo hardcore scene of which he has been a long time staple. Hope you are digging this like we are...


-Gordo DCXX

Confront and Outface really started the SXE scene in this town. The first SXE band was YOUTH INC. which featured the Kuebler Bros.,later of Confront, Bob Zeiger (drums, later played with Domestic Crisis, Ringworm, Integrity and now I play with him in the DARVOCETS) and Jerry Beck on vox (who became a famous comic book artist, he did ICP's comic). Youth Inc. played out of town and in Kent a lot. They became tight with a great band that became a Clevo favorite, Canada's SONS OF ISHMAEL. That's how I met the great Stephen Perry, who sang for M.S.I., they played the Smurf House (Sockeye and Hyper As Hell kids house in Kent) with CRUCIAL YOUTH!! Stephen went on to sing for One Blood and does the awesome EQUALIZING DISTORT zine and radio show in Toronto. A great man.

After Youth Inc. folded, it was Confront and Outface and False Hope that built the second-wave scene. They found halls and booked some great shows at this deli on Coventry called Irv's, and at the old Ritz, and of course Diversion's. Outface's crew was called the Positive Posse and Confront's was the One-Life Crew. The old guard (Guns, Offbeats, Starvation Army) were dying out, and even though Knifedance were going strong, Tom Dark (Knifedance, The Dark) had a rep as a dick, even back then, and wasn't helpful to newer bands. I later lived with Tom for three years and played with him in the popular version of STEPSISTER and let me tell you, besides Dwid, I think he may be the worst person I've ever been involved with in punk. Anyhow, Steve, Tom, Charlie, the Kueblers, Scum and Spike really built this thing. They blazed the trail and left breadcrumbs for me to follow.


Erba with Face Value, Photo jacked from Good & Plenty issue 7

As far as who the best bands were that I saw come through and play Cleveland, that's a wide-ranging question. I mean I could go on and on about James Brown @ the Front Row, the World Series Of Rock in '78 @ Cleveland Municipal Stadium (my first show, my Dad took me, lineup was AC/DC, Lizzy, Scorps, Nugent, Aerosmith, Journey, and Ace), Toxic Reasons @ the Variety, BGK @ the Lakefront with Raw Power(!!!), Hawkwind @ the Empire, Motorhead, Mercyful Fate and Exciter @ the Variety, but I assume you mean shows geared to the readership of DCXX. So I'd have to say GORILLA BISCUITS, PROJECT X, BEYOND, JUDGE, LIFE'S BLOOD and CONFRONT @ Irv's was certainly an all-time classic. $5. All those bands ON ONE BILL. No one had ever heard of Life's Blood...but HOLY FUUUCCCKKK!!! Man they were fucking AMAZING!! PROJECT X were fucking HARD!!! Judge with Jimmy Yu on bass going berserk! What an unbelievable gig...everyone going insane and having a blast. Confront were at their peak and fucking absolutely destroyed. We all hung out all night, went to Kelly's house, it seemed like summer would never end and the world was wide open and hardcore would always rule and we'd all be friends forever...I can't tell you how much I miss it. Those were truly the best days of my life.

Other all-time classic gigs were DEAD KENNEDYS with The Dark @ the Variety, DRI and COC @ JB's Down in Kent, DISCHARGE with the Plague @ Shadow's (this was the gig where Discharge was touring for 'Grave New World' with their new glam-rock style that everyone hated and they opened with 'Grave New World' and crazy-ass Bob Sablack from the Plague was like 'fuck THIS shit!!' and ran onto the stage and decked Cal! And Discharge headed for the hills and that was the end of the show!), D.O.A, KNIFEDANCE and CONFRONT at the Cleveland Public Theatre (fatass Chubby Flesh steamrolled me and broke my ankle at that gig, summer of '87), YOUTH OF TODAY, OUTFACE and CONFRONT at a rich girl's party in Orange (her parents paid YOT to play their house, that's where the pic of the YOT van with all the Clevo graffiti that's on the 'Disengage' 7" was taken, there's some Erba tags there too!).


Face Value at the Uni Sound again, this time with both Tim DCXX and Rettman in for the sing along, Photo: Justin Moulder

As far as who I really hung with in the early Clevo HC days...I rolled with the Confront, False Hope and Outface guys when I moved to Coventry. I lived with Chris Smith AKA Scum who went on to Knifedance, Keelhaul and Inmates; Blaine Berr who's sister Gretchen was hooking up with Porcell, then Dwid and Derrick (Outface and Sepultura) moved in. I mainly hung with the Kueblers (and still roll with Brian to this day, he's bitter as hell and a great guy), Dwid, Chunky Flesh, Charlie (Outface and CIV), Steve Murad and David Evey (Spike from False Hope). We went to stupid-ass clubs downtown like 9 Of Clubs and The Lift for 'progressive' night and macked on Cure chicks and occasionally straight-edged our way into their pants. Ate a lot of pizza at CBP and started a lot of harmless trouble. Booked a million shows, went to Buffalo to see the NYC bands a LOT. Although with Dwid, there was always unneeded drama.

Confront, now that was a fucking fantastic, brutal, amazing, ass-kicking band. A huge influence on me. They were enthusiastic, nerdy yet hard, and a GREAT FUCKING BAND. They had earlier songs that should've been their first 7" - they were asked to be on Schism, but I was told that Tom Brose felt they weren't ready to record, or their songs were too cheesy, but I'm tellin you, "Macho Man", "Together Forever", "Stand Your Ground", and particulary "X Marks The Spot" (man that song DESTROYED) were fast as fuck and catchier than crabs in Dwid's bed (trust me I got them from rooming with him, or sleeping with the same girl). Confront taught me about DIY booking, networking, touring, how a hardcore song is SUPPOSED to sound, how a guitar in a hardcore band is SUPPOSED to sound (Brian Kuebler with his massive Marshalls and Les Pauls - best guitar tone (besides Gauze) I've heard in hardcore TO THIS DAY - he was greatly influenced by Tom Lyle of Government Issue, as was I).

Confront, before they became a joke, were an amazing band made up of great friends that were my bros. They were NEVER a tough-guy band, they were chubby posi-Jews from the Heights that just played loud as fuck and fast as hell and were all about the pizza, chicks and punk rock. Later, Dwid pulled his svengali act and got into Steve's head and got him thinking he was all 'hard' and became 'Mean Steve'. The Kueblers said 'fuck this shit' and quit in disgust. Actually what broke that band apart was that Steve started banging Kelly Ulrich who was Brian's longtime girlfriend...she was an extremely wealthy girl from Mentor that had this amazing house and drove a BMW with plates that said 'Kelly's Beemer'...Steve has always wanted to be rich and drive fancy cars and bikes and he was entranced by her. She really fucked Brian over. It tore best friends apart and ruined a great band and shattered our circle of friends. I always though she was a plastic skank who bought her popularity, I mean, who wouldn't hang around a (somewhat) hot SXE chick that had kickass pool parties every weekend and had Youth Of Today and Beyond play her parties? It was like 90210 or some shit. Hey, I was just glad to be included. Free food was always a plus! Brian told me he finally talked to Steve just this past summer. And this is 20 YEARS LATER!! So you can see how shitty this was. The latter-day versions of Confront were pretty bogus, Dave Lucas and co. were our pals but it wasn't the same at all.


Another Face Value shot snagged from Good & Plenty issue 7, check out those snazzy Rev shorts on Erba

27 comments:

-cja said...

sweet read! moar moar moar!!!

also, i'd love to hear Erba talk about the following show in greater detail: World Series Of Rock in '78 @ Cleveland Municipal Stadium (my first show, my Dad took me, lineup was AC/DC, Lizzy, Scorps, Nugent, Aerosmith, Journey, and Ace)

Clevo said...

I screened those shorts. I think I gave them to a certain shady dude from my town, who gave them to Erba.

Matt said...

I've always wondered what this ("WASTED LIFE is about Tony Erba from Face Value, never our friend, never will be just a fucking fat faggot from Parma") meant in the Confront EP. Joke? Back story?

xYosefx said...

This Erba interview is probably the best tihng you guys have posted so far- fucking awesome, keep it coming!

OLCya said...

erba: name drop til death! talk shit on the people who made you whu U are! keep droppin names fruit!

wendell said...

Wasted Life is def about him.

J-Double said...

def me in the first G&P pic, front & center... great show in DeKalb,IL...

Anonymous said...

was that the show with iceburn?

J-Double said...

was that the show with iceburn?

pretty sure it was.

Tom Brose said...

Wasted life was not about Erba. It was written by Paul Schlachter (now of Inmates/Cider fame). I assumed the comments were put on by Dwid when he did the layout after the band was broken up. I'm not sure if Steve was in on it, but there was a lot of "youre my best friend- oh wait I hate that kid" some people got into. I know myself, Brian, jay and Kurt were all cool with Tony.

Huntington Beach said...

Please tell me that is the Werciful1 that commented. His stories would rule! BE YOURSELF, NO ONE ELSE!

jay said...

I have a vivid memory of Erba, sun burnt beyond all reason, sporting an aqua Ron Jons tank top (awesome if you understand the reference)exposed motorhead tattoo, destroying in Palm Bay/Melbourne Florida. I remember Stand Up from PA. played also that night.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for setting that straight,Tom. It's unfortunate that such a great band's record was so shoddily put together,pressed off a cassette tape,terrible graphics,ridiculous shit-talking,etc.,all done by someone who wasn't even in the band. You and Steve were huge inspirations and influences on me,and have never been anything but friends. Steve and Filly would come out to our shitty basement LEK shows in Parma and you let me come over and watch you guys jam in your folk's basement,and made me feel like i was part of the 'club'. Meant a lot. Your bass line that opens 'Payday' is indelibly etched in HC history,brother.--TE

Anonymous said...

I am looking for any tapes / downloads of Youth Inc, False Hope, or Hyper as Hell.I seen them play in Toronto in January 1987, and have never seen anything by them anywhere!
It was the BEST show I ever seen in my life, and M.S.I.opened
I will probably lose this bookmark, as I always do on my computer.Please write.
mlotek@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

I just remember stage dives off of a table (which got broken), a bunch of "chorus" baseball jersey wearing kids, and tony victory doing push ups before the value so he could look "buff" when he took his shirt off! ahhhhhh dekalb.
cXr

NarqFyst said...

i wanted to go to that World Series Of Rock so bad to see Thin Lizzy, but my mom was like "you'll get killed down there by all those hippies & bikers!" (i was 11). i'm sure she shit herself after the news reported all the drunken drownings and fights and shit. Tony, i'll never forgive you for not taking me to that, even though we didn't meet until 10 years later (!?) and LEK still = @narchy.

Anonymous said...

get well soon Erba! looking forward to your benefit show!

Josh Stanton said...

get well soon tony! and please bring the face value tour to AZ when you are able to start gigging again. my dad also had triple bypass surgery and he was out of commission for a couple years, he just started slowly getting back on his own feet. Now he is about 70% what he was able to do before his heart attack. I know its a long and hard road ahead of you but try to keep positive!

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Shawn Weiss said...

Erba is trying so hard to get attention and is so upset with his friends successes that he has lost sight of what his bands original message was. Or perhaps i misunderstood Face Value? I always thought Erba and his band Face Value were a positive hardcore band, not a National Enquirer inspired group of vipers betraying their friends and the truth just for the desperate hope that someone would read this propaganda. I am truly disappointed that Erba has become so bitter and jaded.

Anonymous said...

Just read your post about Clevo and the hardcore scene in and around the heights, clubs and shows locally and it seems that your facts are not quite clear. Alot of holes and untrue facts that seem to have been tossed around as if they were ' truths' Anyone that was there and actively aware of what was going on at the clubs and shows whether at peoples homes and clubs know what happened. Not sure how you got your facts about False Hope and what we were doing and involved in with booking shows, gigging locally and in different states, the evolution of the group and the different band members, but I seem to recall you came on the scene quite a few years after we started the group. Maybe these opions are just from your enthusiasm as a hardcore lifestyle, but alot of them are inaccurate and seem filled with teen angst. When was this written - cause if we really want to go back over all the details of the events mentioned I have a memory that recalls almost 100% of them. peace....

Anonymous said...

Kids,

As someone who was born on the corner of 45th and Payne in 1972 I love every single one of these dudes no matter how old, bitter, crazy and broken down they get. Erba is one of the sweetest dudes a guy could know and even Dwid is too when it's just you and him. But with that said, everyone does things that in retrospect they wish they hadn't. From memory my first "edge" show would have been YOT/Beyond/Confront at a small Irish bar in the flats, soon after which I moved to Chicago only to find even more wonderful inspired kids, Tony & Chuck from X-Factor, later to become Even Score and Matt Burger from Sudden Stop/Worlds Collide. I'm still in contact with a few of the guys and even had some bands later on play at my art studio in Chicago. (9 Shocks Terror)

All of these guys are amazing interesting people for better or worse and to this day I'd hug everyone of them. Truly a time we'll all remember for the rest of our lives.

Chuck Booth

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Anonymous said...

tony erba was always jealous of false hope and still to this day is an unapologetic name dropper. he told friends of mine recently that he dates gwen stefani of no doubt. surely he can not be serious?

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Anonymous said...

haha erba is a joke