Circle Storm at the Anthrax, Norwalk CT, Photo: Jeff Ladd
In case you haven't heard, Chris Daily's tell-all book on the Anthrax, "Everybody's Scene" is going to be out in no time, and is something you don't want to miss. We've been fortunate enough to not only get a glimpse of the book, but to get access to some of the outtake material from this monster project. We'll be running some of this outtake material here as the release approaches. Let me stress again - you do not want to miss this book! -Gordo DCXX
I was 22 in '82. April of '82 was when we actually started looking for a place. I just called up every realtor in the yellow pages. Just said “I’m looking for a store front, set it up as a studio/art gallery" - but studio mainly, because that's a much broader term. Somebody wound up calling me back; they had 400 square feet, Main Street in Stamford. Went and looked at the place, steel roll down gate in the front, had this small basement, to us which doubled the space. Okay, $400 a month, we were both living at home, home from college from the summer. We were both working; it was kind of like having a club house. All we had to do was paint it, put it in shape.
We didn't think we'd be able to like, do anything. We'd be down there just working on the place, sitting in the basement because it was cooler, having a beer, talking about things. "Wouldn't it be so cool if we had a band playing down here?" And eventually that happened. Two bands played, we were having a gallery opening upstairs. Crypt Tease, a couple of girls Brian had gone to college with, played like, a Cramps style. And then the Moberly’s which were from Seattle Washington, the drummer had been in The Farts. Jim BASS? Had this band the Moberly’s who wrote these great pop rock sorts of tunes more than anything else. He lived in the apartment building that Brian was living in down in Brooklyn, they were subletting. So I got to know them, so they were like, “Hey we'll come play your art opening.” It was like August 1982.
That was a great thing. A whole bunch of artists showed up. It was very well received. It went til like 6 in the morning. It was this really cool opening night/day thing that gave you the idea something could really happen there
The Stamford Anthrax, photo from Everybody's Scene courtesy of: Chris Daily
As far as bigger bands that came through...After the Dickies, probably 7 Seconds, DOA, The Asexuals, Stretch Marks...New York bands like No Control, Dr. Know, Suicidal Tendencies, Circle Jerks, Adolescents, just about anybody that was anybody at that time. I think the only bands that we didn’t get were somebody like Red Hot Chili Peppers - they were supposed to play Norwalk on a Sunday early on and something happened where they double-booked or something so we couldn't do them on a Sunday. I think they played up at Toad’s Place instead. Let's see, what were some of the other bands...Detox, Clipboards, that was a band I was telling you about. Well of course, Black Flag, they shut us down.
Black Flag was supposed to be a surprise, unannounced show. Henry had gone on tour, his Spoken Word tour, and really liked what we were doing at the Gallery, so he says ok, next time we're coming through Black Flag, we're going to play at the club. And I was like, well, ok, it’s an unannounced show, let's sell some tickets...it was supposed to be like a surprise show. Well, the word got out and all of a sudden people are...500 people are showing up to an underground club and Black Flag and Gone and Painted Willie I believe, they show up in their vans. We're setting up, they go downstairs with their equipment and their PA and just go into the breaker box, huge huge clamps with the electrical for their PA. Their PA took up the whole stage for crying out loud. So as the night wore on, I think Gone played then Painted Willie played, Black Flag was supposed to go on and we got raided. The police came and said, "Listen Brian and Shaun, you're getting too popular here" you know. They shut us down...and they kicked everybody out and said you guys gotta leave the neighborhood pretty much.
Musically, I liked everything especially in the early 80s there was never, at least among myself and my friends, there was never this idea that you had to choose one genre of music to the exclusion of anything else. Danceteria was this club in Manhattan. It was the perfect example of an eclectic club. The Bad Brains would be playing on the ground floor, Mission of Burma would be playing in the basement. There would be a Gay Disco on the second floor. New Wave video lounge on the third floor. Hip Hop on the fourth floor. And everything really benignly co-existed. The Beastie Boys are also a perfect example of that. They started out as a hardcore band then became a hip hop band, and everybody, at least my friends, were into everything. I never liked that idea of picking and choosing. Like if you're into hardcore you can't be into this. As much as I liked Black Flag Damaged, if it's Sunday Morning at 8 o'clock, I want to listen to something pretty.
So yeah, when I started making my own music, I was making electronic music but also making acoustic music that just wasn't being released. I was playing drums with some friends, we started a band called the Pork Guys. We made one seven inch in like 1991. We made 100 copies for our friends. So it wasn't like transitioning from one type of music into another, it was, my musical tastes, and maybe this just means I'm a stunted adolescent, that my musical tastes when I was fifteen are basically the same as they are now. I liked everything back then, and for better or worse I still like everything.
Stamford was sort of like the weird little ghetto area. I think one of the coolest things that happened was one day the entire city of New Haven showed up. And New Haven had like this whole scene of themselves. They like doubled our scene in one show. Like we never knew they existed, they never knew we existed. They were all younger than me even. And they just showed up one day. It was like when Youth Of Today was, you know, all those kids we saw in that picture like Becky and Tayo and man they were all really punk rock looking, like right off the cover of the Punk And Disorderly record. They all had like, leather jackets and mohawks and girls with shaven heads and it was just, holy crap! New Haven! We were like, where are you guys from? They were like, we're from New Haven, and there were like 30 of them. Like, This is great! There's a whole new scene!
It was a really interesting mix also, because like, Connecticut is a notoriously super wealthy state. And you have people who look incredibly punk, incredibly from the streets. They were always rich, really rich kids, from these really rich families that were punks, and they were all cool, we were all friends and I didn't know if any of them were rich or not. We just all met there. Just, we didn't drink so we didn't do much, just hung out and skateboarded around. I think drinking makes your stories much more exciting, ridiculous, and dangerous. We're just like, "yeah we saw the band and moshed, and that was it. Went home."
Chris Daily interviewing Ray Cappo for Everybody's Scene, Photo: Sue Snow
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Posted by DOUBLE CROSS at 7:13 PM