Monday, October 27, 2008

Turning Point - Reunion April 8th, 1994

TURNING POINT - Reunion Show from Larry Ransom on Vimeo.

Turning Point - Reunion, April 8th 1994, Pennsauken NJ, video by: Larry Ransom

I remember this show pretty well, it was Friday April 8th 1994. The club was called G-Willikers and it was in Pennsauken New Jersey. I had been to the club once before back in 1990 with my band Mouthpiece. It was one of our early shows that we played with Release. It was one of these bar band type of clubs, the type of place you'd expect a constant flow of cover bands playing "Sweet Child O' Mine" to a room full of trashy toothless drunks. Not exactly the picture perfect club for a Turning Point reunion.

Going into this show I recall a few things that set the backdrop. Kurt Cobain had just killed himself on April 5th and I think it took a few days until they found his body. I remember being at the Turning Point show and the talk of Kurt Cobain's suicide being discussed quite a bit. I also remember a week before this show our bass player from Mouthpiece, Dave Rosenberg got drunk at a party. I caught wind of it and pretty much immediately gave Dave the boot. As much as I loved the kid, Mouthpiece was without question, a straight edge band. If someone wasn't on board, they were out. Because of Dave, we went through a few months where we didn't know what was going to happen with the band. There was talk of us breaking up until we finally found Sean McGrath to step in and take Dave's place. I also remember going to this show with a handful of friends, one of them being Sweet Pete. Before the show I remember sitting down in a pizza place with Pete and talking about how much we both loved pizza and how neither of us would probably ever go vegan. It couldn't have been much longer than a week or two before Pete went vegan, me on the other hand, never did. I'll stick with being a vegetarian.

As for the show, I loved Turning Point, they were one of my favorite bands. With that being said, after they broke up, some of the guys in the band defintely moved on and left behind some of those messages that seemed so important when Turning Point was still a band. The X'ed fists became fists clenching beer bottles and at the time, nothing could have bummed me out more. I had been a huge fan from the first note of the demo, on through the last note on the Turning Point / No Escape split. So going into this show I was bit unsure of how I felt. As much as I wanted to get another chance to climb on top of a crowd and sing along to one of my favorite bands, I wanted it to mean as much to the band as it did to me. Because of this, I ended up spending most of the set standing to the side being a spectator. I do recall forcing myself into the crowd during songs like "Thursday" and "Behind This Wall", just because while Turning Point were together, they had yet to release those songs, so this was my first opportuntiy to actually sing along to those songs. I guess I kind of looked at that later era almost as a different band.

Looking back, I realize I probably should have taken the opportunity to just go out and have a good time. There I was in New Jersey seeing one of my favorite bands and instead of enjoying it, I stood there against a wall for the majority of the set. Now if I had the chance today in 2008 to see a Turning Point reunion, I definitely wouldn't get caught up in what I did then. I guess age and experience has made me confident and comfortable enough with my own convictions to not worry so much about others. But hey, nothing I can do about it now and unfortuantely with the death of Turning Point front man, Skip, that was the last time I'd ever get to see Turning Point. At least I know that I did see them a handful of times when they were still together. One of the best for sure. -Tim DCXX


Damaged said...

I got to see Turning Point at the Anthrax in, I think, 1990. I forgetthe timeline, but I think their 7-inch had been out at that point. We were pretty hyped up hearing a straight edge band at a time when that seemed less frequent. The two songs on the split 7-inch and then the song on the compilation with Burn, Citizen's Arrest and others were my favorite songs of theirs - yes, I prefered the new to the old. I once read somewhere that their two songs on that split with No Escape paved the path for the 'Emo' sound that was to come. Has anyone else heard this? Yes, I know Embrace were really the trail blazers of that genre, but perhaps what was intended by what I read was that Turning Point popularized that sound and brought it to a new generation of kids? From what I have read, the subcultural media has been hands off in dealing with Skip's death and the irony of how the former frontman of a Straight Edge band passed away.

Anonymous said...

The tings I remember the most about this show are:
-the bouncer with nu metal hair
-the crud is a cult graffitti in the mends room
-the dude in the ski jacket with the goggles behind the band
-the south jersey/bensalem kids making their presence known
I totally forgot I was there till I saw this video.
-Kevin Mack

benj said...

the TP songs on the split with no escape were definitely a departure from their old sound, and more "emo-core" than hardcore, but a lot of other bands had already been doing the DC-influenced sound for a couple of years when this split came out. greyhouse was a grossly underrated local NJ band who adopted this sound very early on - probably around 1989 or 1990.

Labuda said...

G.Wilikers was an infamous WP skin hangout spot.

i think what i remember most about this show was that like 8 million other bands played and then lots of kids griped that TxP were only doing the reunion for "the money" (which was kinda laughable seeing as i doubt they got much money for the show)

also also kinda sorta maybe related but probably not, i LOVED the band Lenola (ex TxP) and me and my friends used to go see them whenever we could. we used to heckle them with SxE / TxP comments.

STR8TAIT said...

Although I read this blog daily, i have never posted a comment, quite frankly i didnt know you could. Turning Point meant so much to me. I didnt have a personal relationship with any of them nor did i see them a shitload of times. Justin Moulder gave me a bad copy of their demo but I wore that tape out nonetheless. I bought their 7 inch at the grapevine in Swarthmore, Pa. Ken was selling them i had to bum 3$ off my friend to get it. Their music and lyrics spoke to me being 15, straight edge they provided the background music to my life then. Their last show at club revival was surreal. I went with an acquaintance from High School. I remember a bunch of younger kids who i had never seen before. Except for McMouthpiece and the edgewise guys upfront, I felt like the oldest dude there. They played everything I could think of and I will remember it fondly forever. I did not attend the reunion partly for fear they would soil that memory. I knew they werent edge anymore but I was and their words and music help mold, and shape me into the lifelong edgeman i am. Besides Youth of Today, Turning Point was the most influential band in my life. R.I.P Skip and Thank You

Anonymous said...

more proof to solidify ken's status as one of the stand out drummers in hardcore from that era, or any era. solid, super tight, creative and dynamic - not bad for a hardcore band that didn't really reinvent the wheel or leave tons of room for anything super exciting--- a lot of guys could have just mailed it in and it would have been fine. great drummer.

EMS / COREGASM said...

that whole show was pretty awesome. i got a nice black eye and had to explain my self all week in high school as to how.

never go outside said...

RIP Sean McGrath

DanStructure said...

Thanks for posting this. I was outside doing some yard work this morning and I was listening to Turning Point on my ipod. While listening I started thinking about this show and also remembered hearing about a No Escape reunion. So I came in to Google it and found this video. I have a video of the Structure set from that show too. Remember the knife fight that broke out and the chairs flying during the Structure set?
Anyway, thanks for posting this. I'll have to pass it on to the old Turning Point Crew. They will definitely enjoy.

William Patrick Wend said...

I watched until the song from the I named a fanzine after those songs and I have to say they have not held up at all. Especially in a live setting.

There is also a video of this from the back of the club, but due to all the lame bouncers up front you can only see Skip for the most part.

Jon said...

This video is amazing!
Unfortunately i never got to see Turning point but they mean a lot to me and were an amazing band

steve h said...

turning point...what can i say. south jersey's finest. i remember feeling proud that these guys were from sj and that our scene rocked. i remember hanging at matt wood's house and brian kerfoot called over there and said, hey come over to nick's house, turning point is practicing. we rolled over there and they played the song from the rebuilding comp for the first time. it was unreal. those guys always had the best inside jokes ever. the dude with the goggles and ski jacket was kevin sullivan. skip was one of my best friends and i miss him terribly. not a day goes by that i don't think about him. i'm writing these words from behind these walls.....huff

Anonymous said...

One spring morning in '88 I had blown off my SAT's to skate at Doug's ramp jam(serious punk cred)! Too many skaters bad bands and a wet ramp. While hanging out with the usuall crew (Ken and Chris F, BK, V-Town goons) Ken and Skip talked about forming a new band and J raised his hand and said I'll play guitar and BAM! in my mind a Legend was born! At least thats how I remember it going down--Later---T (Muscle) Bess

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