Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jay and Nick -The history of Turning Point continued

Jay, Nick and Skip with Turning Point in D.C., Photo courtesy of: Turning Point

Jay and Nick combine forces to give us the latest installment in the history of Turning Point. You may wanna put on the seven inch while reading this one. -Gordo DCXX

Jay: We did the seven inch at some place in Atlantic City that Steve knew about. It was basically a dude's garage with a small control room built in the corner, and he had the classic Jersey Bon Jovi hair and had no idea what hardcore was, but we had a few bucks so he let us do our thing. It was pretty quick, we just set up and did it live. I think Skip re-tracked his vocals, but that was it. I'm pretty sure he set up a quick mix for the first song and just let it ride for the rest of the songs and we were outta there.

As far as the rumor about Skip's voice being harder on the seven inch because he was sick or had a cold or something, I don't remember that. He may have been sick, but I don't recall that. (Editor's Note: Tim had brought to Jay's attention that Skip had over the years said he hated his vocals on the seven inch and blamed his voice on a cold at the time of recording). Skip was always hard on himself, he was very hard to please. Throughout the band, he loved what we did, but always thought we could have done something better than what we had on tape and that mainly meant he wasn't happy with his vocals. We never had much money to really sit and tweak things in the studio back then and I thought that's what made it good really. We were doing simple songs with limited time and limited recording technology. It was raw and that was a good thing you know? But we were all still really psyched on those songs and that recording.

Darren and Hi-Impact came together because he had a copy of the demo and dug it. I think the first time I met him was at the Kennet Square show. He hadn't even started Hi-Impact yet, he was just a hardcore fan and wanted to start putting out records and he asked us to be his first release. I was like "holy shit!" That was a big deal at the time. Any band with a few tunes and a hundred bucks could cut a demo tape. The thing with a demo tape is that you might buy one at a show and take it home and if it was lame you could just record over it. A seven inch was legit. It made what we were doing in Ken's garage every weekend "real."

Skippy in Schism, Nick in Raw Deal, Turning Point in D.C., Photo courtesy of: Turning Point

Nick: To me, just having done the demo was a big deal. A seven inch really was legit. I remember Darren Hi-Impact got an order from Jello Biafra for the TP seven inch, so weird! And he framed the check. I was like, "dude, that's $3!" He was like, "I don't care man, it's cool." So strange the dude ordered it. I'm pretty sure it gone torn apart in MRR, which was great of course.

I also remember we had some issues printing the seven inch covers. They were done by a dude (Joe On Life)at his high school and there was some issue where we thought we might have to white out the curse words. I think he had to go and like hide it from the teacher or something so that he didn't get in trouble.

Jay: We were mostly playing Connecticut and D.C. and in Pennsylvania. Even after the seven inch, the response was great. Looking back on it now it gave me a false sense of what it means to play out as a live band. I mean, back then, people would just come out to pretty much any hardcore show that was happening that weekend. You went some place, and boom, you had an in-built crowd. I've been doing music for over 20 years, and you realize it isn't like that as you get older. I took it for granted then. That was great thing about hardcore, the in-built audience. It seemed too easy. Back then it was just like, "yeah, just drive up and you'll have a great show, people will know you, people will go off, people will be cool!" We just kinda came to expect that, and you realize later it isn't always gonna be that easy.

The thing too was that back then people would just call us for a show. We didn't have to actively look. I mean, not every show was just handed to us, but people called us. I remember Skippy being all psyched because Ray Cappo called him to ask if we wanted to play City Gardens with Shelter. Skippy was all pumped because Ray of Today called his house and his mom answered! She had no idea who this "Ray" guy was, but it meant the world to Skip. It just seemed as long as we kept writing decent songs and practicing everything else would just fall into place.

Nick on top of the crowd, classic TP, Photo courtesy of: Turning Point

Nick: It was so cool to be playing with bands like Gorilla Biscuits and Judge and stuff. To be playing with them was just awesome. In addition to the shows themselves, a lot of time the trips and and driving were the most fun of all. Packing everyone in Jay's van was awesome. Every weekend was like an adventure. I just always felt like such a young kid, and yet every weekend I was doing somethng so cool. Like we would play a sick show in New York or Connecicut, and afterwards stay at the GB house and be up all night hanging out with cool dudes. I would come to school on Monday and kids were like, "Whoa, dude we went to this cool party at so-and-so's house and then we stayed up until freakin' midnight! It was great! What did you do?" I was just like, "ah, nothing crazy." How was I supposed to explain that?

Even when we weren't going out of state or playing somewhere, we were having a blast. We had the Calzone Crew. (Editor's Note: We asked Nick about the origins of the "Calzone Crew" - TP and their friends). We got that nickname because we would practice on Friday nights, and then we'd go get pizza at this place called Sergio's in Moorestown. Sometimes we'd actually call in our order before even leaving so it was ready when we got there. We did this all the time, so these dudes there got to know us real well and they started to call us the Calzone Crew. The pizza was awesome and the guys were funny. The one dude we called Crazy Eyed Larry, but they were all Italian and would joke around with us. Larry would hit on girls. We'd just eat pizza all night. Once we became friends with Release, they would say how calzones sucked, so we would be like, "no man, the Calzone Crew is gonna come down hard on you" and all this stuff. When we did the seven inch we folded, hand numbered, and stuffed each one. The first 50 had a Sergio's business card inside and some handwritten notes about the Calzone Crew.

Skip and Jay hanging back stage, Photo courtesy of: Turning Point

Jay: As much as we loved playing our own shows and hanging out with our own friends, we loved seeing other bands play. That was just as much fun. We'd look at the City Gardens cards and be psyched to see who was playing. "Oh shit look who's playing in two weeks! And next month!" And that just wasn't City Gardens, it was all over. We traveled. We just loved seeing our favorite bands. Some stand out City Gardens shows I remember seeing were the different Judge and Youth Of Today shows, both of those bands were just awesome. The Judge video show was great, a lot of fun. The first time I saw Inside Out was at City Gardens, and they went on and it was like an explosion. I had never seen anything like it, just incredibly powerful, and insane. Zack was crazy, I remember thinking "this dude is gonna hurt himself."

That first 7 Seconds show still sticks out a lot. Verbal Assault opened that show and I had never heard of them before and they were awesome. We were in high school at the time and to be honest it wasn't like I was on my way to top the Dean's list or anything, but once I started to go to shows more often it really cemented that that's what I wanted to do. I wanted to play music.

Skip, Nick and Steve accompanied by Hard Karl and Greg Release at Club Pizazz, Philadelphia PA, Photo courtesy of: Turning Point


JD said...

Man, as many times as I saw them. I just didn't appreciate them as much as I should have.....such a great band.

jimmy said...

growing up in lenola (west moorestown) meant skateboarding hardcore and sergios from what i hear the sergios guys are still doing it.

Ben Edge said...

"The first time I saw Inside Out was at City Gardens, and they went on and it was like an explosion. I had never seen anything like it, just incredibly powerful, and insane. Zack was crazy, I remember thinking 'this dude is gonna hurt himself.'"

Anyone got video of that?

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