Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Caine Rose - Touch X Down, 4 Walls Falling, Fed Up!...

Self portrait by Caine Rose

When asked to contribute to Double Cross by sharing one of my favorite memories from a hardcore show, I took pause in indecision. The first show I went to was about 25 years ago and there were so many untold favorite memories that I lived in those early days. Which to tell of? Besides, I really don't listen to much hardcore music contemporarily, save "Eight Miles High" by Husker Du last night on repeat while I washed a sink full of dishes. And I'm not a nearly 40 year old man who wears band t-shirts, save the Antidote "Thou Shalt Not Kill" shirt I scored from Ray Cappo when he stayed at my house on tour in 1987, when I was working out the other night. Still, the chance to share a moment in time seemed too much to negate.

While I have many stories of the notorious youth crew cast of iconic bands such as Youth of Today, Gorilla Biscuits, Wide Awake, Side by Side, Judge, Project X, et al., I think my favorite memory is comprised of an event that few took part in and probably no one will ever read that remembers and that is both a shame and blessing, for now it gets to be retold.

It was the summer of 1987, all my hard work as a singer and band leader was beginning to pay off with more and more gigs manifesting. My original straight edge band, Screaming for Change! (circa 1986), had incarnated into What if!, as so many bands back then did. It contained essentially the same members and same songs, just a renovation to facilitate my quest for changing with the times. Where SFC! was a more hard-lined militant SXE approach inspired by say, DYS, What If! took the more diplomatic Dag Nasty route to drug free, positive liberation. We landed a show with none other than Brian Baker's brainchild, Dag Nasty at some club whose name I have forgotten in Virginia Beach.

Caine with Touch X Down at The Anthrax, January 2, 1988, Photo: BP

The one all ages matinee show turned into a youth crew adventure to remember. The event was set up by a guy named Eddie, who professed to be a local promoter who had a real interest in my band and just had to get us on the ticket. He invited us to stay at his place and even offered to ease a few of our parents into the deal with persuasions over the telephone. At the time, we were all 15 to 17 years old and a few of our parents were a bit tentative about unleashing their teenaged sons to a beach trip a couple of hours away from home with no adult supervision.

Eddie coaxed them with claims that he was a doctor that did social programs with kids and that he was hosting a drug free and positive environment with a cookout, et al. for all of us. When we finally arrived the night before the show, a 40-something washed up hippie/surfer named Eddie greeted us with, “hey dudes, ya’ll got any weed?”

We had brought along a posse of Richmond kids and the 10 or 12 of us that came along wrecked Eddie’s place that night. He had a vintage collection of surf and skate stickers that ended up on some of our boards by morning. And there was no cookout!

The show was finally at hand and what a great bill it was: Dag Nasty, Swiz, several other D.C. bands and What If! At the time, Peter Cortner was singing for Dag Nasty and we had a good relationship with him since he was a very personable and humble guy, but Brian Baker was every bit as stuck up and stand offish as rumors had it. I had met him before, but it was only as a fan who just wanted to express thanks for his contribution to Minor Threat. A couple of us got really burned up when we heard that he was sighted drinking alcohol either in the tour van or at some local bar before the show. It was all the impetus we needed to exact some straight edge revenge.

Near the end of the show, during a big sing-a-long, a couple of us grabbed the mike cord and wrapped it around his ankles just as a pile on commenced. He instantly fell back and onto his ass! As the cord got yanked on by fans who wanted to sing, it pulled him across the stage. He was rendered helpless for a few brief, but precious seconds. Revenge was sweet!

It was the precursor taunting to the later heckling of Ian MacKaye on the first Fugazi tour in Richmond, where we yelled at the former straight edge god after he cried about “not being in that band anymore” and that we “should just move on”. No one was there for Fugazi. We were there to see a Minor Threat reunion. What do you expect!? All these years later, my thoughts are, the only thing worse than those who try to divorce themselves from their former glory is those who parade around the carcass of their long expired glory. Be here now.

One of Caine's former bands, What If on a pretty damn good bill


dangerclose said...

Pretty funny stories about Dag Nasty and Fugazi...saw What If with Pledge of Allegiance at a different show in Virginia Beach....What If was awesome

p. albert said...

Caine, that was hilarious. Good story!

Mike said...

Funny stories, thanks for sharing that Caine. In the future, it would be great if you could share your experience when you were in Fed*Up! (loved the demo)

frank booth said...

This is one of your best memories of years in hardcore? Acting like a little douche to some guys who have done so much more for the community than you ever can hope to?

Caine Rose said...

“Frank Booth”,
Thanks for taking the initiative to appoint yourself hardcore public defender. You are now relieved of duty.

The recollection is one of myriad and I have been extended the grace of Tim to share more in the future. There’s always an asshole that is so self loathing that he has to try to upset the balance of things for everyone else. Perhaps you think that asshole was me, some 22 years ago. You would be right on one account- I was an asshole. I took hardcore and furthermore straight edge very seriously. It was my life. I pushed it down people’s throats that were too enmeshed in the conformity of fools to take care of themselves and their peers. I’d like to think that what I did on a per capita level impacted just as potently as did the contributions of those iconic legends that later tried frantically to escape from their infamy and renounce their mandates. I was the one around in the early 80’s standing for something more noble and respectable than simply selling records- I don’t remember you there. Who the hell are you to even have a voice on something you are ignorant about?

You are wrong and ill informed on your assessment of who you may think I am now and what I have and do for “the community”. I only take offense because I hate idiocy and nothing unravels me more than some fucker talking out of his ass about things he not only can’t spell, but can’t comprehend. Have fun spilling some more malt liquor on your Minor Threat sticker, you douche.

frank booth said...

While I've heard of some of the bands you were in , I never actually heard any of them. I love this site, and don't generally read the articles on bands or scenes that I wasn't into but decided to check it out for the mere fact I've heard your name before. Instead of a great road story or the like, all I saw was a paragraph of name drops followed up with a story of heckling members of respectable bands . Finish it all with the last bit of 'wisdom' and to me it just tasted sour. I certainly would read more contributions from you.
By the mere fact you have been in so many bands I'm sure you were a big contributor to your scene. You know who else was, fans. Hardcore kids that maybe didn't have the means to have a band, but went to every show around. Hundreds of shows over the years. Big shows, firehall shows, basement shows with 5 people. I don't have to tell you that, I'm sure you played lots of them. That's who I am. The kid out there in the crowd, getting my head kicked in and singing along to the local bands and the hardcore anthems. A hardcore kid. You ask me "Who the hell are you to even have a voice"? WTF? That is what hardcore has always been about, to me.
The thing is, you put yourself out there with this particular story. To me you didn't come off too well. Your post here tells me I might not have been wrong in my assessment.
I don't drink malt liquor, my spelling is pretty good, and you know nothing about me. Self loathing? Now who's talking out of ignorance?

Pedro Carvalho said...

Minor Threat is a respectable band and all, but that's what happens when people take the "Don't Fuck" thing too literally!

Anonymous said...

This guy must be a cop. Cops are the only people I've seen who try to use big words (and misuse them in the process) and say something in five words that could be said in one, all in an attempt to sound intelligent.

amirite? Also, I agree with this frank booth guy that heckling Ian Mackaye and fondling Brian Baker's cock onstage or whatever you did seems really childish.

Anonymous said...

Eh, I agree with Frank Booth. Making fun of Ian and Brian means one has acted like a spoiled, narrow minded idiot.

Loyd said...

Actually if you could have seen Ian and Brian at the time you would have felt they needed a little reality/memory check. This was the Hardcore scene not the rock star stage. I guess you had to be there during that time to really understand.
Caine always good reading your stuff and hearing from you bro, I'll give you a call when I get back up to RVA.
Jason Lane

Anonymous said...

Caine, you are a big-nosed-mega-tool. you are a self-righteous wanna-be-tough-guy, military poser & one of RVA's biggest liars & jaggoffs. you try to big yourself up like you are one of the founding fathers of richmond hardcore. "moshing hoods"?? PLEASE!! you aren't even the sweat from taylor steele's balls. you'll do anything the cromags tell you to, like converting to krishna. just shutup & kill yourself allready, bakers-crust!!!

Brendan Love said...

Man, I remember seeing Pledge Allegiance in Virginia Beach a couple of times. I also remember hanging out at that dude Eddie's house and being totally sketched out. Although he did help me put together a house show for Victims Family in Norfolk in 1987 that would have been a complete disaster otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Hey Caine was this before or after you where hiring grace street black transvestites for sex or before or after you stalked your 1st wife so much that she killed herself? I know it was way before you started pretending that you are some kind of special forces badass. Please kill yourself, scumbag!!!