Monday, December 22, 2008

Joe Nelson - The Southern California White Power Skins Part I


Joe Nelson going for the Ian MacKaye

Joe Nelson is in the holiday spirit and has given us here at DCXX yet another great story like only he can. This time Joe dives into the white power skinhead scene that seemed to infiltrate the late 80's hardcore scene. Like any other Joe Nelson story, he's got a knack for pulling humor out of anything and everything. For those that remember the late 80's scourge of white power skins, you'll definitely get a kick out of this. For those that missed it, consider yourselves lucky. -Tim DCXX

It's around this time of year, where I start thinking of friends, family, holiday stuff, and of course the 1980's White Power Skinhead movement. It's probably because after interviewing Tom Metzger, the movement's pseudo rock star sometime during the fall of 2002, I ended up creating a holiday card, which went out to my closest friends. The card was a picture of Metzger and I with the greeting of "Whishing You A White Christmas". I hadn't even realized I'd misspelled the word "wishing" until years later a girlfriend pointed it out to me. "Even better" I thought. It just makes it so much more authentic.

I was first exposed to the existence of the skinheads from going to shows in Southern California during the 80s. There were many different skinhead gangs in the area; distinguished by either a certain color of suspender, or the way they laced their boots or even a combination of the two. It was very confusing, so I didn't pay too much attention to them. I had a shaved head as well, but that was only because Ian MacKaye shaved his head. There were also gangs that shaved their heads, but also made it clear that they were not a part in any way shape or form of the other people at the show with shaved heads. In fact the whole point of their gang was to make sure they were recognized as the true people with shaved heads, and that the other gang was looked on as hijackers of that haircut. Like I said, it was very confusing.

Around the moment the skinheads were showing up at gigs, the local trash talk shows on T.V. started running exposes of these groups. That's where Metzger came into focus. He and his son John made the talk show rounds, talking their talk, longing for some sort of segregation to come back into our lives, and basically making a pretty strong play to the disenfranchised losers out there to come on down, and join up. Their groups were the Tom-run White Aryan Resistance (WAR), and the John-run, but strings-pulled-by-Tom, Aryan Youth Movement (AYM). Both groups even included armbands of like a wolf, or some type of Nazi skull with an eye patch.


The infamous Joe Nelson / Tom Metzger Christmas card

As the Metzger affiliated gangs gained notoriety, their followers started to show up in greater numbers to more and more shows, or other places we'd hang. I remember at an Agnostic Front show out in San Bernardino there were at least 30 of them Sieg Heiling the band. Then down at the Balboa Fun Zone in Newport Beach, a bunch of them including John Metzger himself were handing out literature. I ended up in a conversation with one if the lieutenants who actually thought I might be "down for the cause."

I asked him, humoring myself, "what's the difference between White Power and White Pride?" 'Cause I might be down for the White Pride part, since it is a lyric in a Black Flag song, but the White Power thing is a little extreme for me."
"Well you know...White Pride just means you're proud of your race...you know your heritage...where White Power means we want to keep things in power, keep the Blacks out."

"Oh yeah that makes...ummmmm...a lot of sense...sooo...well...what if I'm German and Norwegian? Which heritage am I more proud of?"

"Ummmm...well...ya know you're White...so that...or maybe...German probably."

Obviously he didn't know the answer, or he considered "White" the answer to a person's heritage. Immediately another of his friends who's rank I could not determine stepped in and handed me a sticker which simply said, "White men built this nation, White men are this nation." Apparently that was intended to clear up any confusion I may have had. Wow, what a top-notch organization these fuckers have, I thought.

A few weeks after getting my 1st sticker I ran into the Lieutenant and 30 of his friends at another show in some community center down in San Diego. As I walked by him he shot me a "what up" nod. "Fucking great" I thought, "Now, I'm on a what up basis with these jackals." Somewhere in between the 45-minute change over of bands that was commonplace in those days they approached me.

"Hey brother, I never got your name," said the lieutenant.

"Joe" I answered, immediately thinking "DAMNIT WHY DID I GIVE HIM MY REAL NAME?"

"I'm David."

"Really?" I half chuckled.

"Yeah,why?" he shot back.

"Oh, nothing...sorry"

"WHAT"?

"Well...ummm...ya know?...well...cuz...it's a Jewish name?...or has Jewish origins"...I said sheepishly, realizing I was making blunder, after blunder now.

"It's not a fucking JEW NAME...where did you get that?"

"Ummm...well...ya know? The Bible?...ummm King David?...Ya know? King of the Jews? David and Goliath?"

David's eyes were glazed over. He wasn't buying any of it.

"Forget it I said...bad joke."

David eyeballed me a little. His soldiers also surrounded me in a half circle, employing some sort of military strategy I assumed. Perhaps tactics the Scotts employed against the English at The Battle Of Stirling Bridge, or maybe they were relying on the strategy Wellington used when facing Napoleon at Waterloo. It was hard for me to tell, but then again, unlike these guys I had never trained for the military in my bedroom late at night.

Then suddenly, and without any warning one of their crew handed me another sticker. This one depicted a good honest white guy who was just reading his book, minding his own business, when all of a sudden a Jew attacks him using his nose in the same manner a mosquito would to drain the blood from his back. "Attack of the Parasite King" it exclaimed.


Propaganda sticker

"Thanks" I said, realizing I now had 2 stickers from the organization.

I attempted with all my might to force my hair to grow at least another inch so they'd leave me alone. It didn't work. Instead we talked for a few more minutes. David told me about the Metzger's, WAR, and AYM. He also spoke with crazy historical inaccuracy of Hitler, and the Nazis, somehow tying what they were about to what these 30 or so skinheads were about. It made absolutely no sense, but I wasn't about to make any more blunders as I had earlier by insinuating the name "David" was Hebrew. No fucking way. Instead I nodded, and occasionally said things like "cool," or "interesting" so they would be fooled into believing we were actually having a conversation.

The skins eventually dispersed, and later on were the victors in an extremely fair fight which showcased all of them beating a lone, long haired Chicano kid to a pulp, while the rest of us watched meekly, cowardly. No matter how I felt, we felt, or anybody felt, what had become clearly apparent was the David "The King of The Skins", and his bald soldiers had infiltrated our world. They were now in charge of the clubs, at least the ones south of Los Angeles County. Somewhere "The Battle of The Bulge Part Deux" had occurred, and the Nazis had gained a foothold on American soil, even if that foothold was made up of only 30 or so pairs of $150 Doc Martin covered feet, leading to a single half lit brain, filled with Metzgerisms.

Seriously though, what the fuck was going on? I tried to rationalize that as a child growing up in the 70s and 80s a lot of us romanticized fighting the Nazis as our grandfathers had done. Perhaps then this was our calling? Perhaps we were at the dawn of our own little World War II? Perhaps we'd actually get our own chance to rid the world of Nazis. Except our world would be a lot smaller and contain a rented P.A., and the War itself would have absolutely no historical relevance, and be in fact totally meaningless in the scope of, well, anything. Little did I know, that chance, along with everything else I was pondering was indeed actually coming...and coming soon.


More propaganda

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh wow! The "artist" that drew the mosquito drawing is A. Wyatt Mann!!! That's rich!!

Tom said...

TT says:
You just cant be nice to most whites anymore. Especialy since after they
approach you shaking in their boots and you give them an interview they cant wait to portray themselves as great infiltrators with balls of steel. My solution. If someone comes along and wants to
interview you just say sure I will pick you up at midnight in my van and we will take a drive. If he agrees and you pick him up give him a complete pat down for a wire or recorder. Then as you drive
gradually get way out in the boondocks. Stop the van in a very dark area or woods. Don't forget to have your own recorder on all the time so he cant lie about what happened. Oh yes get a picture front and side when you pick him up at HIS HOUSE.
Ask him several times if he is an informant. Of course he lies and
ask him if he agrees to a lie detector test. Always have another big tough looking guy in the back of the van that says nothing or in the back seat of a car. Maybe have the second man have a shoulder
holster and a real looking automatic pistol in plain view. If he is not pissing his pants by now get him out of the car or van and walk him into the woods.WARNING DO NOT USE FORCE AT ANY TIME. At some point it is highly likely the prick will actually run off soiling
his pants as he runs. Let him walk back to town.

Anonymous said...

Holy Shit there's some funny stuff in this post. I was lol at my desk reading this. Tim please put up Part 2 A.S.A.P.

Fabien said...

Great interview! My favorite white skin band is YDL... NYHC Forever!!!

Aaron.. said...

white skins? WTF!

Anonymous said...

Why would this be posted on this website? You shouldn't give these assholes any airtime at all. It just emboldens their cause. Case in point "Tom" above. Sounds like he is tacitly threatening the author.

A. Wyatt Mann said...

Lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

It's so crazy how the creator of some sticker found it on this site only 6 hours after that story went up. Some of you kids have way, way, way, way too much time on your hands .... Jake Jacobs!

Mike P. said...

Great read. Can't wait for Part 2

Anonymous said...

I'm sure I'll get made fun of for saying this, and that's also why I put up my comment as anonymous, but this story makes me really uncomfortable. It's one of my least favorites on D.C. Also Joe Nelson most of the time I enjoy your stories, but this time you've gone to far. Having a postcard with you and Tom Metzger made is not in the least bit funny. This person is pure evil, yet here you are with your arm around him as if what he stands for is no big deal to you. Shame on you. Please D.C. no more stories like this.

- unhappy loyal reader

Anonymous said...

good story!!!!! love it

Justin M. said...

So is part 2 where the Sloth Crew et al run the Nazi's out of the SoCal HxCx scene?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous -- It's called a "sense of humor". Look it up.

X THE TRUTH X said...

Little known fun fact - even while Nelson and his crew were doing battle with the white supremacists of Orange County, EVERY SINGLE SKREWDRIVER LP AND 7" RELEASED UP TO THAT POINT took up proud residence in his record collection.

benj said...

hilarious! i never really understood why the WP skins came into the hardcore scene in the 80's, when "positivity" and "unity" were claimed to be the underlying ideals at most HC shows. what made them think it would help their cause to attend a show where they were hated by all of the bands and all of the audience? even so, it is impressive that joe was able to get behind the lines and make fun of them subversively.

Josh said...

Rad Story!

Anonymous you have to be joking? That Christmas cards is one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time. How is a story making fun of skinheads offensive to you?

Anonymous said...

I always loved this blog. Now I see it with different eyes. You should at least take down the flyers, very disgusting!

Anonymous said...

I was personally offended that you put the flyers up. I can understand the story and the card that joe had done, but the flyers are truly offensive. very disappointing in your lack of judgment to post the flyers or propaganda as you call it.

Anonymous said...

THE FLYERS ARE THE BEST PART! PLEASE DON'T TAKE THEM DOWN JUST BECAUSE SOME NERD STRAIGHT EDGE KID'S PANTIES ARE IN A WAD OVER IT!! I WAS LAUGHING MY ASS OFF AT THE "PARASITE KING" ONE AND I'M JEWISH! I THINK PEOPLE NEED TO LIGHTEN THE FUCK UP

Anonymous said...

What's even more offensive then those flyers is typing in all caps.

Joe Nelson said...

I heard this was up now. The anonymous posts on both sides have got to be a joke. There's no way that somebody could be that offended by a story and the pictures that go with it. If you actually are, or felt that I "went too far" by making a fake Christmas card with Tom Metzger, then you're a total dork, and need to relax.

As for the fake Tom Metzger post about "how to handle a journalist" that came from him website, which he still runs called Resist. When I interviewed him, he did bring a bodyguard, and a tape recorder, but we met outdoors at some spot in Fallbrook, Ca. where he lived at the time.

ANyway, I hope everyone enjoys the holidays with their peeps...and of course as a WHITE CHRiSTMAS!!! ;)

mikedrid said...

Hey when you said wishing you a white christmas i thought you were talking about cocaine. I love sniffing blow.

X THE TRUTH X said...

Little known fun fact part 2 - somewhere out there in the dustbins of history, there exists a photo of our very own Big Frank Harrison arm in arm with none other than Skrewdriver's Ian Stuart.

DOUBLE CROSS said...

Let me take a break from gift wrapping and address this...

Maybe Tim will disagree here, but I don't see any point in taking down the visuals that were a part of this story.

Joe Nelson told this story. The visuals painted the picture of the White Power propaganda (did you see we tagged such as "propaganda?") and how backwards this shit was/is as it was directly connected to the Metzger character.

Could we have left this out? Sure. But then you'd be reading this asking, "so what were the stickers and shit these WP dudes handed out?" Keep in mind, a lot of people reading this blog are young kids (I could even fall into this category) that don't have any idea what the climate in HC was like back then. That's kinda the gist of this site...documenting the experiences and environment of HC through the years.

Shocking or not, these images perfectly summarize what these douchebags were up to. I don't think we went too far in posting.

If you choose to document something, you need to bring the subject to the reader. For instance, if someone chooses to do a documentary on the Holocaust, you can't NOT show photos of concentration camps. And doing so, although possibly tough to look at, is a part of being a "journalist" and catering to your reader.

Don't like the images? Scroll fast. Your mouse works.

We definitely stand in complete opposition to the viewpoints these images show...I thought that would be clear and I hope it remains so.

Back to Bing Crosby. Merry Christmas!

Gordo DCXX

Anonymous said...

Yo, as an sxe HC skin i gotta say, as much as i love this webzine, how bout givin some time to the ANTI racist skinhead HC (Agnostic Front, Warzone, Life's Blood)? You know set a posi example? Here's an idea, how about an article on the edge dude who founded SHARP? Otherwise, a funny and great article! Puts them racist (and may i add homophobic) assholes in their place!

Anonymous said...

PLEASE, REMOVE THAT NAZI CRAP RIGHT NOW!

Josh said...

I'm still laughing at the Christmas card. Pure genius.

Luke said...

It's important to cover racism, its real and there, we cant just hide our heads in the sand and pretend its not there. I agree with what most people have posted that it depicts well what was going on at the time.

Plus that christmas card is fucking amazing !

Anonymous said...

Tom Metzger was featured in Louis Theroux's BBC documentary. If anyone has seen it, he spews all this WP bullshit and yet has a close friend who's of Chilean descent.

Anonymous said...

I was a S.H.A.R.P. skin during the early 90's and We fought those assholes all the time. Does anybody in SoCal remember the huge fight at the Country Club? That was us beating the shit out of those guys. Ha HaHa Ha Ha.

Anonymous said...

I remember Big Frank,Jeff Banks,and Isaac fighting a bunch of Nazi skins there once too.

Josh said...

Isaac and Jeff post on here all the time. I'd love to hear one of them tell that story. Guys?

Anonymous said...

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... just post part 2 (where Joe bangs the WP chicks) already.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
Tom Metzger was featured in Louis Theroux's BBC documentary. If anyone has seen it, he spews all this WP bullshit and yet has a close friend who's of Chilean descent."

Racism is much more complex than that. I have known plenty of people who have culturally diverse circles of friends yet were still racist. Racism does not mean that you hate individuals, it means that you don't tolerate or hate groups - and make no effort to understand them. TM's friendship with a person of Chilean descent does not necessarily make him hypocritical, it just means that he does not classify his friend as someone who poses a threat to his ideals. That is the danger of racial prejudice - that it can be shrouded very easily. Haven't you ever heard someone make a racial comment (not jokingly), called them a racist, and then heard them say "I'm not racist, I have lots of black friends"? Sometimes the most racist people don't even realize it themselves.

Joe and DX, I commend you for posting the stickers. They only show us how truly ridiculous WP ideals are.

eating crow said...

Great story.
The flyers,pictures have historical relevance so why shouldn't they stay up?The christmas card is great.This whole story reminded me of some hullabaloo in the local scene 10 years ago when some christian dickhead was saying Revelation should be boycotted because they allowed Youth Defense League to thank Skrewdriver on the way it is LP. zzzzzzz!

Anonymous said...

Those stickers are really gross. I got into hardcore in the mid 90's,and I dont remember this crap at all. It must have been a Cali thing.

SFader said...

Not to be a dick, but the SHARP guys a lot of the time were worse than the WP guys! Think for a second, what did the Skinheads, (Nazi or otherwise) remind us most of? Cops and Jocks! There was a weird cycle with those guys (at least in Orange County) in the late '80's-'90's. Most of the skinheads were bored jocks, who then either went to prison or became cops. They were all the same! It was like a big fucking joke. Huntington Beach got named "The Skinhead Capitol of the US" and 3/4 of them were from out of town! Fucking meatheads.

A. Wyatt Man said...

Those stickers are from the '80s, ya douchenozzle.

A. Wyatt Mann said...

Sorry, forgot the last "n".

Anonymous said...

Like I said it must have been a Cali thing.

Anonymous said...

Definitely wasn't just a Cali thing. The east coast was completely covered with these types during the late 80's and very early 90's. By 1992 they were pretty much gone. If you missed it because you didn't get into hardcore until post 1992, consider yourself lucky.

Anonymous said...

Just about all of those OC guys listened to Skrewdriver, called Blacks "niggers" and Mexicans "wetbacks" and wear shirts that say "Kill All Faggots."

But it's cooler to say it was a joke now.

SFader said...

Hahaha that's pretty funny but fuck you not all of us "OC Guys" did that.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah thats it! "Wetbacks"?, "Niggers"? Who from OC ever said that?

Anonymous said...

Quick Question!

Does the fake A. Wyatt Man guy think he's funny? Douchenozzle? What a dork!

Josh said...

Whatever happened to the rest of this story? Were people to upset about it that DC decided to kill the rest?

Doc said...

I am actually very offended by Joes Christmas card. It is clearly in bad taste and should have been a Hanukah card...Does no one have a sense of humor?

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Anonymous said...

FUCK ALL NIGGERS AND WET BACKS! ALL SHOULD HANG! WHITE FUCKING POWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Oi!fuckingOi!
Since 1983.
PeacePunk bitches FUCK OFF!
14/88

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XtimtonicX said...

F****** NAZIS!!