Sunday, June 21, 2009

Poll results for favorite NYHC 7", plus Keith Burkhardt from Cause For Alarm

I'm going to keep my comments to a minimum here regarding the poll results and instead, hand it right over to Keith Burkhardt, frontman for Cause For Alarm. Keith delivers a great story that we felt fit right in line with this last poll. Big thanks and much appreciation to Keith for sharing this. -Tim DCXX

Antidote - Thou Shalt Not Kill - 213
Agnostic Front - United Blood - 117
Abused - Loud and Clear - 49
Urban Waste - EP - 37
Cause For Alarm - EP - 29

Keith Burkhardt - Cause For Alarm

Tim has been kind enough to ask me what one of my most memorable hardcore/punk shows was. I thought about this for a while, of course the usual suspects floated into my mind's view . But just as quickly I had another thought as this question pushed me back in time, to a place I don’t visit much.

My mind’s eye brought me back to a 17 year old or so Keith, standing in a small, dark club called A7. Outside it was cold; grey…just another LES winter. Avenue A empty, except for the Park Inn and the bright florescent lights of Ray's just a few doors south.

Victor was manning the door, Doug (Kraut) was tending bar and the usual crew was milling around; Raybeez, John Watson, Robbie Crypt Crasher, Michelle, Stigma, Harley, Kevin, Manue, Lucy, Blue, Lazar, Jimmy, Rob, Alex, Linda, shopping bag girls, Poss, Glenn, Joe nails, Richie, Adam (Beasty Boys), Charlie, Kenny, Johnny Waste, Angelica, Laura and various other misfits, punks, drug addicts, drunks, hangers on, rich kids that found the “real” scene and assorted other freaks. Sorry, I know this list is incomplete, but you get the picture.

This was our little world, we ruled it. No cops or other authority types came into the hood back then, we policed ourselves. We all had some sort of story, some reason for being there. It was a mixed bag of rich, poor, abused, disenchanted or neglected…but if you were there, you had your reasons and for the most part you weren’t judged. It was very special; a sort of weird Burtonesque film set, magical comes to mind. Perfection of life it was not, but in its raw state it was very “real” and an almost parallel universe. It forced you to face who you were or else it chewed you up, you could become lost in a sort of hell, like in “What Dreams May Come”. It could turn you into a zombie, like being lost in a Bardo wandering aimlessly.

OK... to “The Show”. The Headlickers comes to mind for some strange reason? I have not thought about this band since 1982. I remember seeing them at A7, it was probably about 4am when they went on and we were all there ready for some fun. It was just all friends for the most part, the atmosphere was charged with good energy, everyone dancing, some off to the side rocking their heads. The band was fast and fun and at one point throwing out cherry cigars into the crowd (all 30 of us!). John and I were sporting our mad dance floor moves LOL, (Watson was the most stylish dancer hands down) LOL. We were all there, in that little shithole of a club at 4am acting like a bunch of jack asses! Reagan was in office, the recession was dragging, NYC was a different animal. But our tribe was holding court on this little point in the universe at avenue A and east 7th street and I would not have wanted to be anywhere else in the world.

Peace, Keith


Simón said...

Really well-written, put me right there in the midst of it and gave good emotional context too. Thanks for sharing.

Ben Edge said...

4 am? Past my bedtime.

AJ said...

More Cause For Alarm, less everything else. Keith: thanks & keep writing!