Here's the continuation of Ray Cappo's interview outtakes from Chris Daily's upcoming book, Everybody's Scene. If you liked the first entry, this one hits just as hard, if not harder. This pretty much goes without saying at this point, but thanks to Chris for letting us use this and definitely grab the book when it's released. -Tim DCXX
The Anthrax became our new hangout, basically. We'd go every weekend practically. Sometimes they'd have like three shows a week and it would just get to be too much. But we pretty much went every weekend.
We all came from Danbury to Stamford, and we just sort of met everybody from there. I remember Porcell came. I met Porcell there. He was just like, "Holy crap! You guys are Violent Children! I always hear you guys on Adventure Jukebox!" We put out a single, also, which was, through Bill. Bill produced the whole thing. We recorded in his basement. He produced Moby and the Vatican Commandos, and he did Reflex From Pain and he did CIA's stuff. He was like, "you wanna do a single?" And we were like, "Yeah!" So we recorded 8 songs and we just put it out ourselves. We didn't even know if we'd sell any, we just sold it to the local crappy record store, the Record Express or something right on West Street or something. Same street that West Conn is on. "Can we sell our records here on consignment?" And we'd sell them! Unbelievable. Strange as hell. Sell all these records right there at that store. Rough Trade said we'd like to buy 300 records. "Yeah we'll take ‘em on consignment." And we sold them, and they'd send us the check! I never thought they'd send us a check. We were holding that check for six hundred dollars! We could not believe it. That was it. That was the beginning of me and my record business. Started making and selling records. We only made 500 and we sold them quick. It's been bootlegged a few times.
As far as Shaun and Brian, I think I got kicked out by Shaun once at The Anthrax. Brian kicked me out once for doing something. I got 86'd from the Anthrax once cuz I stole a flyer. But I'm great friends with both of them. I love them both. We were like family back then. But I think at one point they kicked me out for stealing a flyer. I didn't think it was bad though. I was like, "You can't steal 'em? I like it. Can't you just copy it?"
A faux gig with Cappo singing to his crazed fans in some bedroom in Newport RI. This was a stop while on tour with 7 Seconds and Youth of Today. In the photo is: Ray, Kevin Seconds, Jordan Cooper, Porcell, Eric Boofish Barclay, Galen Young, Pete Chramiec, Dave Stein, Photo: Bessie Oakley
There's the story with them and how they didn't want YOT to play with 7Seconds. There was a special bond with us and 7Seconds. They ruled our lives. They were our Gods. So when they came to town, they had made special arrangements. At that point there was such a tight community between Boston and Rhode Island and Albany and us in Connecticut that, When 7 Seconds was coming to town, Youth Of Today got on all the shows. Violent Children was allowed the year before to play with them in Connecticut. That was the dream come true. But then the next year, with YOT, the dream came even more and we played a whole little tour. But by the time it came to The Anthrax in Connecticut, the Sheridans wouldn’t let us play. Brian was giving us a hard time. He didn't want us to play, I was freakin' ready to kill him. Brian was only a few years older than us, but he appeared to be an adult. We appeared to be a bunch of dirt bags. He represented a few notches under my dad.
He's turning 50 this year, and I'm 43. So 7 years older than me. But back then he was like 25... you know, you old piece of shit. It's like, "You're 25!?!?! And Vinnie Stigma, he's 30!" That was like, the big outrage, "He's 30 years old and he's still into this shit!?!?" So anyway, he wouldn't let us play the show. I was just always trying to sneak in the door. You'd never know if he was trying to rip you off or we were just being cheap. I mean, he did have to run a business. What I do remember is when we went from the small Anthrax to the big Anthrax, we went from getting paid nothing to one day, Brian from the big Anthrax was like, "here's 500 bucks" and we were just like, "What?! You're going to pay us 500 dollars for one show?! Oh my God!" We'd always get like, "Okay, here's 20 bucks." Okay, thanks. We would never argue about money. It was never an issue to get paid, no one thought, we're doing this to get paid.
But as YOT got bigger later on, they were big shows. Youth Of Today, as we got big, we didn't realize we were big. I remember coming back to Connecticut and Todd Knapp goes, "So what's it like? You're in a big band." I was like "I am?" He was like "What do you mean man, you're in every fanzine, and they're all writing about you guys!" We were a little oblivious almost. My thinking was, well I guess we've done our time, doesn't everyone get big? Youth Of Today just became a phenomenon and we didn't really understand it while it was happening.
Youth Of Today at Gilman St. 1987, Photo: Wayne Vanderkuil
As YOT got bigger, I will say it was a little weird for me because all those guys in CT were like my elders in the scene. I was a young kid in the Connecticut scene. It was peculiar. I remember playing with AOD. AOD was one of the older guys' bands. We really loved them. We were playing some show in Arizona when they had to open for YOT and I was like, "They're the big band! Why are they opening for us!? We're the little band!" It threw stuff around for me in my mind. But at that point it was sort of cool because I wasn't really part of the Connecticut scene at that point, because I had moved to New York. So it was cool to have some place where you knew everybody and felt comfortable.
I will say I wish I saw all those old Anthrax shows at the newer Anthrax in Norwalk. The newer Anthrax was so exponentially better to go to a hardcore show. The whole fun of going to a hardcore show is stage diving, let’s face it. If you're a teenage boy, it's the most fun thing in the world. You can jump off the stage and not get hurt, and pile up. It's good fun.
Youth Of Today at The Living Room, January 1989, Photo: Brian Boog
This reminds me of how I learned about stage diving. It goes back to the first time I went to a hardcore show - that Young And The Useless show. We went with Fudd, who was our authority. We respected anything he said - even though he was a total story teller. Let me go off on an aside here about Fudd for a minute:
He was a year older than us and he loved to lie, he was a pathological liar. I think he wanted us to be his friends so he could lie to us. He would tell us these fascinating stories that we were too dumb to call him on. His famous one, that we'll all recollect, is that he walked to Bridgeport from Danbury to see Laurie Anderson. He would look in the Village Voice, see that Joe Jackson was playing Peppermint Lounge, "Oh, I walked to New York to see Joe Jackson, it was really good." Oh you can WALK to NEW YORK? We were too dumb to understand that you can't walk to Bridgeport. So we were like, "Really? Wow. Fudd's been everywhere!"
The thing is, we were so desperate to have any punk friends, we accepted anyone. That's how we met Jordan from Revelation. He was the new kid in school and he had a Dead Kennedys "DK" written on his book. And I thought, “Oooh, a convert.” I can preach to him the ways of hardcore. All you needed was just a little bit of interest. All you needed to do was doodle a little anarchy "A" and we were like, "Let's get this guy!" We were always looking for converts to get someone from that regular scene into our scene to bring to our shows.
Tim Schellin, Ray, Bessie Oakley and Angie Whitworth Pace goofin' around at the Grange Hall, Photo courtesy of: Bessie Oakley
So anyways, Fudd would tell us he would go to all these shows. We accepted him as the punk elder out of us five: Me, Warren, Dave Rinelli, Chris Getz. So, according to Fudd, there was no such thing as slam dancing. It didn't exist. It was something that happened in the 70s. It was pogoing, and slamming, and then it ended. It was like, "Oh. That sucks. Can we slam?" He was like, "You can slam but it isn't real anymore." All of a sudden me and Fudd and this other girl, Shelly, a friend from high school, we all went to CBGBs. We were sitting at a table, we may even have been ordering a drink or something. So we are sitting at CBs, some rock band played, and all of a sudden Young And The Useless played and everyone starts slamming. And I just stood up and said "They're slamming! Fudd! They're slamming!" I could not believe it! I wanna slam too!"
I just started running, I had this long army trench coat, and a long mohawk. Of course there is a method to New York City slamming; you just don't run in. But I'm like this dorky kid from Danbury who didn't know the rules. I just ran in there and started slamming into everybody as much as I could. I remember perfectly, this guy grabs me and who is it? John Watson. He grabbed me by the neck and cocked his fist and was ready to punch my lights out and I just put up my hands, I said "I'm sorry, I'm new to this! I don't know what to do!" He just like, threw me down.
Then I also noticed that everyone was stage diving. It was the first time I ever saw stage diving. I saw these guys stage diving, they would say something into the microphone; I didn't realize they were singing along. I just thought they would say something random into the microphone. I was like, "alright, you've gotta pick something clever to say, because before this show stops I have to jump off that stage." So I’m slamming, slamming, slamming. And then the UK Subs were like, "Okay this is our last song," and I was like, “I've gotta do it.” So I jumped on the stage, I grabbed the microphone and said "Fuck Ronald Reagan" and I jumped off the stage. I didn't realize I was supposed to say the lyrics of the song. I just said something I thought was very poignant and would make me look cool. it probably had the opposite affect. That was it. From then on, we slammed...actually, we moshed. We copied the New York Style of moshing.
We were really into dancing as part of the culture. 100% stolen from New York. But I will say..and I traveled a lot back then...New York had a style of dancing that no one else had around the country. I mean, just from traveling around the country back then, it was actually an art form. I can't describe it. So we mimicked it as best as we could.
Youth Of Today at The Living Room, January 1989, Photo: Brian Boog
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Posted by DOUBLE CROSS at 8:31 PM