Friday, April 3, 2009

Pat Longrie - Unity / Uniform Choice

Bad Religion, Vandals, Hellations show, Pat Longrie skanking it up in the Fear gear, Photo courtesy of: Pat Longrie

Double Cross has given us an excuse to hear from people that we otherwise would feel kinda stalkerish just writing and quizzing for our own amusement. Getting in touch with Billy Rubin is cool as hell as it is. But Billy has gone beyond that, providing us with great info, great stories, and great contacts. The most recent contact has been with Unity/UC drummer Pat Longrie, who he has interviewed for us. Talk about a hook up!

I didn't know what to expect in Pat Longrie's answers, but I was floored, and I think you might be, too. I'm gonna say that this is shaping up to be one of my favorite interviews ever, and places Longrie squarly as one of the coolest guys to ever exist in the HC scene. I know hardcore to many has been just about music. It's pretty incredible to see that years and years later, to Pat Longrie it goes so far beyond that. PMA man...

-Gordo DCXX

I was 15 years old when I actually started to go to shows, but I began listening to the music about a year earlier. I remember my Uncle Bart laughing with my Father at the dinner table about how he was in San Francisco visiting his sister when the Sex Pistols came to town. He regretted not buying one of their pink tour shirts and commented on how bizarre the whole “Punk” scene was to him.

Shows in 1981-82 were a spectacle of power and pain. The atmosphere was explosive. I remember just walking around and watching people between sets and marveling at the diversity. Long hairs, skin heads, athletes, bikers and grown adults with their young children…it was like being at a human carnival. Fist fights were common place and anticipated. When you’re a kid, being away from the control of your parents is an exhilarating experience. With gained independence come choices. I remember being at my first actual “Hollywood” concert in Feb. 1982 at the Palladium. The bill was TSOL, Adolescents, Wasted Youth, Social Distortion and Youth Brigade. The Stern brothers and their BYO (better youth organization) put on the show and it was on a Thursday night...needless to say I got back home at about 5:00am to my Father waiting by the front door, but it was worth it.

Five minutes after we arrived to the show there was a knife fight in the outer hall. After the security broke everything up it was as if it never happened…business as usual. The bizarre thing about it was that wasn’t even the most memorable part of the evening. I watched John Macias from Circle One…with his bleached yellowish Mohawk, leather jacket, plaid pants and humungous black boots climb up the 20 foot high P.A. columns on the side of the stage during I believe TSOL’s set, and do three complete flips into the crowd and land on a guy’s head feet first! I swear the kid was dead. I watched as two security guards dragged the kid out by his arms with his tongue hanging out of this mouth. From that moment I was hooked. Like I said earlier…a human carnival.

The Orange County Hardcore Scene was a bit different from the L.A. scene in the fact that the participants were generally younger. That did not mean it was any less violent. The skin heads were always causing problems. The music was secondary to the inevitability of fighting. Generally it was at the expense of someone with longer hair or the poor unfortunate that happened to bump into or land on a skin near the front of the stage.

As the Straight Edge Movement began to gain momentum, however, there was an abrupt switch in the overall feelings at the shows. It was a kind of uplifting ground swell of camaraderie. The crowds were larger but they were more positive in nature. The pits were vicious but I can remember helping people up who had fallen and in turn being helped up. Looking back, it was much more fun to be a part of something rather than many parts of a whole. In other words, the movement had meaning.

There were many different interpretations, but they all lead to a positive, anti-obsession anthem that I still carry with me to this day. The basic tenets for me are pretty simple…I won’t be pressured into doing anything that I know is wrong simply because someone else isn’t strong enough to say no. I always knew who I was and I surrounded myself with like thinking individuals who had something to say and weren’t afraid to listen! I had friends that drank and smoked, they just knew better than to try and push it on me. That didn’t mean I shunned was understood that I didn’t want any part of that aspect of their life. Simply put, there are no answers...only choices.

To be continued...

Social Distortion / Shattered Faith show, Longrie in the crowd, Photo courtesy of: Pat Longrie


SFader said...

This is going to be good. Anyone named Pat that was in UC needs to be interviewed. Ask him about when he used to do the drum solos and actually run around the kit while doing it.

Isaac Golub said...

Great piece. Great drummer, Great bands.

Pat, on your next blog here can you please please please post some of those old/newer UC promo pics post Dubar/Mellow/Maynez that were on your Facebook but are gone now? Those were great.

Awesome story.

dangerclose said...

that last paragraph is DEAD ON; the way it should be!!!

Ben Edge said...

People were STILL getting stabbed and starting riots by the time I started going to shows at the Palladium in the early 90s.

Uniform Choice - almost all of them were named Pat. Love that band.

Anonymous said...

UC at Fender's on 3/27/87 - the first and still the best show I've ever been to in my life. Can't wait to read more from Mr. Longrie.