Uniform Choice sing along in Riverside, CA., Billy Rubin with the shaved head and white shirt, Dan O in the red shirt and Regis Chorus in the Minor Threat shirt, Photo courtesy of: Billy Rubin
Billy Rubin’s interview with O.C. Legend/Unity & UC drummer Pat Longrie continues. We have been so psyched on this thing that we couldn’t resist getting involved and throwing Pat our own questions as well. Expect plenty more – Straight On View… -Gordo DCXX
Why do you think Mater Dei high school spawned so many punk rockers? I count you, Dubar, Dan O’ Mahoney and quite a few others.
Timing. 1980-84 was a fun time to be involved with Hardcore. It was brand new and full of so much potential and Mater Dei was a strictly regimented Catholic environment. When you put those two things together and mix in hard headed individuals you create an electric atmosphere. Dubar once shaved a cross in the back of his head and tried to convince the staff that he was simply exercising his right to celebrate religion! I walked around with a Mohawk for a week that I slicked down to one side. I looked like a moron and I knew it but so what. It took them a whole week to find out and they sent me across the street to the barber shop and they shaved my head. For whatever reason that high school had a bunch of teenagers that were willing to say, “big deal...you don’t like our music or our straight edge stance…..FU.”
Pat Longrie with Unity, Photo: Billy Rubin
Was being in a band your first type of participation in the scene (beyond attending shows)? Was Unity your first band? How did you end up in Unity and what was the line up?
Pat Dubar and I wanted to form a band. He knew a guitar player and a bass player that lived in his neighborhood so all we had left to decide was who was going to be the singer and who was going to play drums. Basically we flipped a coin and thankfully he went and bought a P.A. and I bought a drum kit.
We played our first show in a warehouse with a bunch of other bands…I didn’t know how to play a lick and in fact I didn’t even have a foot pedal…we were called “Labeled Dead.” From there Pat got the opportunity to join Uniform Choice and I went off with Joe Foster (guitar, Ignite), Joe Navarette (bass) and Rob Lynch (vocals) to form Unity. That was my first real band. We played with some real cool bands (Youth Brigade, Marginal Man from D.C., M.I.A. etc.) on some fantastic bills.
Unity was special to me because it was my own. Not in the sense that the others didn’t contribute, because they did for sure, but in the fact that it was my first real contribution to the scene. Getting gigs, making stickers, shirts and flyers, writing lyrics etc. was me making a difference. I don’t care how many shows I played with UC or Unity, I always respected the bands on the bill because I know first hand how difficult and terrifying it can be to get up in front of an audience and perform. It takes a tremendous amount of work and some large balls and I never forgot that lesson while playing in Unity. For me, respect and humility are the essential parts of being in a band. Again, Unity was the very first part of Hardcore that I could call my own and in many ways still, it was the sweetest.
Pat Longrie and Pat Dubar hitting the stage during DOA, Photo courtesy of: Pat Longrie
By the time the Unity 7” was recorded were you going to college? Tell me a little bit about the Unity 7”…It was very rare to hear a poem recited on a record at that time. Where did it come from? Was there ever a temptation to merge UC and Unity? How/When did Unity break up?
Unity was a raw, in your face band. There is something to be said for the energy that focused, motivated and enthusiastic young men can generate. Rob Lynch was the singer and he and his brother Pete were mainstays in the Southern California Hardcore Scene. They were at every show large or small supporting the bands and promoting Unity. One of my only regrets is that Rob wasn’t able to sing on the “You Are One” single. He deserved it but it just didn’t work out. I reconnected with Rob a couple of years back via the internet and he is healthy, happy and living in Arizona.
By the time I had entered college at UCLA in 1985, Unity was no longer viable. Uniform Choice was playing shows and had recorded tracks for their first album. Pat Dubar and I formed Wishingwell Records and decided to put it out ourselves. At that time the list of possible record labels was pretty much non-existent. We were nervous but confident that we could make it work for not only UC, but for other bands throughout the United States that faced similar road blocks.
But back to UC, I got a call from Dubar on a Friday night in my dorm room and he was frantic. They had just kicked out their drummer and needed me to play a gig that night in Riverside, CA with them. I didn’t know the songs very well so I listened to their demo tape on the way to show in my car. They picked up my kit from my parents house and that was it. Vic, Dave and I went over some song arrangements in the car before we were to go on…that is how I came to be a part of Uniform Choice.
We wrote a couple more tunes for the album (“Once I Cry and “Screaming For Change”) and went about getting ready for the release. They allowed me to write the lyrics for the new songs too, which I thought was cool. Pat and I thought it would be a good idea to put out something else before the UC album and we agreed that a Unity 7” would be the perfect fit.
We practiced with Joe Foster and John Lowery (his name was butchered on the jacket sleeve as John Low but he didn’t care) and went into Casbah Studios and recorded the whole thing live. This was pretty much my project and I was thankful to Pat for letting me handle it. I had written the lyrics and performed these songs live so it was particularly special to me. I took the cover picture of Pat at a park near his house and the great Gavin Oglesby was kind enough to draw the back cover (my Mother used her calligraphy pen to write the back song titles).
We liked the feel so much that we played with Unity and UC on the same bill a few times and had a real blast. Oh yeah…I wanted to end the last song with something different and I had heard this poem and thought it would be a fitting conclusion to the project. I was very nervous reciting it but years later I think the rawness personified that band and its meaning to me. We tried it again with one of my poems on the Uniform Choice album and I got a lot of flack, perhaps rightfully so. Nevertheless, if you aren’t willing to put yourself in a position to fail, you can’t hope to grow.
Pat Longrie with Uniform Choice at City Gardens, Trenton NJ, Photo: Ken Salerno
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
That was an amazingly violent show, The Olympic Auditorium was an old concrete boxing bunker, they would just hose the blood off the walls at the end of a show. - Bryan Rackleff
For anyone that's on Facebook, you've most likely come across the "Old School Hardcore Kids" group. If by any chance you've never seen said group, there is a collection of close to 2,000 HC related photos on there that are constantly being updated. I can easily spend an hour or two just going through all these photos and reading their comments.
In order to save you some time and pick out some of the best contributed shots, I thought I'd start posting a handful of these photos here and include some of their best comments. I'm going to assume that if the contributors have posted their photos to the group for public viewing, they won't mind us re-posting them again here. If someone would rather us not post their personal photos here or have their comments here, just shoot me an email and I'll pull it as fast as I put it up. -Tim DCXX
There were 2 main reasons why we missed the gig. First, we were wrongly told by someone in NYC that the Jewish Defense League had threatened to firebomb CBs if AF played, because they thought AF were a nazi band (no shit). I even naively tried making calls to the JDL to...y'know, maybe talk them out of it for the night. So stupid. The second reason was that our then-guitarist Poz went missing in Boston after our Paradise show there and didn't show up until way later that night. Turned out he met a nice Boston punk rock girl and decided to blow us off and hang out with her. I'll never forget finally getting to the city the next day and seeing CBs for the first time. We all just stood there in awe and broken-hearted because we blew our 1st CBs Sunday matinee show. - Kevin Seconds
OK I'll try and do my best. Left to Right: Jake Phelps, Choke, Springa, Al, and then the clear face in back is Tony Perez, w/ the glasses is punky Paul, and then Chris. The other two people are probably Pat and Jamie. - Hank "S.E." Peirce
Minor Threat set list from Great Gildersleeves. Glad I grabbed this. Awesome, awesome show! - Mark Ryan
This is one of my photos- it was the Murphy's Law and AF show that was the "LAST" Lupo's show before closing. On the contact sheet there is a pic of the chalkboard announcing the bands- I need a magnifying glass! Same show Risteen scaled the column and did the dive, same show with the "Punks Not Dead, It's In A Coma" bum flap, same show some Boston people brought a super giant slingshot and nailed the line of kids with watermelon rinds. Also Verbal Assault perhaps? Or were they just there? - Laura Black
No comments were left on this one, I just thought it was a great shot of Verbal Assault in front of their banner. Photo: Jessica Gorman
Monday, April 27, 2009
Gorilla Biscuits sing along at the Norwalk Anthrax
Taken from Impact Fanzine issue two, here are some more outtakes of a lengthy interview with Shaun Sheridan who ran the legendary Anthrax club in Connecticut... -Gordo DCXX
We had to deal with a band (that will remain nameless) that were jerk-offs because no one showed up for their show and MDC was playing the night after them. And of course, tons of people show up for MDC the next night, and the nameless band wanted to be added to the MDC bill. It was like, "Look, you guys area bunch of right-wing, conservatives spouting shit." It wasn't even really in me or my brother's control, we gave the nameless band a gig, no one showed up. Sorry. So the nameless band called the cops the next day to say something was going on at the club, my brother or Sex-Bomb might remember this better, but needless to say, the MDC show was shut down and everyone pretty much went out to have a beer, but Dave from MDC grabbed his guitar and had everyone go to the park, across the street from the bar, and pretty much did the entire set acoustic. That was probably in '86, the first time that anyone, to my knowledge, did that "unplugged" kind of thing.
Henry with Black Flag
Stamford Anthrax flyer
John Porcelly, Travis Wright and Ray Lego, Time For Crime at the Stamford Anthrax, 1985
Embrace at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. 1985. This photo originally appeared in Flipside, Photo: Joe Henderson
I've said it before and I'll say it again, one of the most rewarding elements of doing Double Cross is having people contact me out of nowhere and offer up priceless contributions to the site. California photographer, Joe Henderson falls right in line with some of the best and most impressive contributors. We will be doing a larger more complete entry with Joe, but for now I wanted to introduce him to the site via a few samples of some of the great work. Some of these photos you might recognize from records and fanzines, Joe did work with both Flipside and Ink Disease, so his work well documented. Hope you enjoy and look forward to more from Joe in the near future. -Tim DCXX
Corrosion of Conformity at Flashdance in Orange County, CA 1985. This photo appeared on COC's album "Animosity", Photo: Joe Henderson
Rites of Spring at the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. 1985, Photo: Joe Henderson
SSD at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA. This photo appeared in Maximum RocknRoll, Photo: Joe Henderson
Friday, April 24, 2009
Just got a link for this sent to Gordo and I from Alex at Super7. Within the first minute of watching it my phone rings, it's Gordo, "Are you seeing this?!?!" I'm like, "Yeah... what the fuck is this and how have I never even heard about this?". A 17 minute documentary on Judge aka a collection of some of the coolest film ever compiled... mind blown. Had to make a special Friday night post for this. - Tim DCXX
Here's what Joseph Pattisall, the videos creator had to say:
This is a rough cut of a short documentary that Porcell, Sam Siegler and I were doing together. The audio is NOT mixed so please take that into consideration. Unfortunately I had a hard drive crash and lost all the elements which stopped us form wrapping this project up and making it final. This almost complete version is all I had left over. I hate showing incomplete work so please don't JUDGE it too harshly (pun intended), I just want to show what it was going to be to anyone that may have heard about this project and then never saw it released and also find a bit of closure in it for myself. - Joseph Patisall
Also it needs to be noted that this is owned by Revelation Records
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Insted at CBGB's 2004, Photo: Traci McMahon
Did you guys ever encounter any of the more militant sides of straight edge?
Rich: Absolutely. That started happening towards the end of our (career). You had the "Hard Edge" straight edge stuff, which was real militant and the Vegan Reich (hard line vegan band) thing started to happen with vegetarianism.
Steve: Bands in Florida and Memphis.
Rich: We encountered it but not in a negative way.
Steve: We knew some of those guys and kind of watched them evolve into that. I remember one time we were going through Memphis and I was a little worried, (wondering) "How are these guys going to react to us?" (Our attitude) was sort of "Hey" (in a friendly tone) and they were very much like (punching hand) "We'll kill you." And I didn't take it very seriously but I didn't know how it was going to be interacting with them.
And they were sort of just fine and accepting of you guys?
Steve: Yeah, they were fine. It was old friends, so while. . . How can I word this? I like to surround myself with people with different opinions, so for me it's ok that Rich likes different movies from me, because it would be kind of dull to talk and always agree on the same things. So while I totally disagree with the Hard Line movement it was still interesting to me to talk about that. It's been too long and we have definitely grown apart but at the time, being that involved (with hardcore) you knew those kids and it was something to talk about. It was a different opinion than yours and it was interesting to debate.
Steve with Insted at the Showcase in 2004
What caused Insted to break up in 1991?
Steve: I think at the time of couple of things had happened. I think that A) the sound of hardcore was changing to be more metal/crossover like a Judge/Snapcase/Cro-Mags type of thing. That was the thing at the time, and traditional sounding hardcore was becoming extinct in a weird way. Thatm coupled with the fact that Kev was interested in getting married and was going to be moving to Colorado made it so that (maintaining the band) was becoming very difficult and he wanted to start a family. In part we also felt, "You know what? We're a punk band." We did a couple albums, a 7", we did a few tours, we'd done a bunch of shows, played with the greatest bands. We said what we had to say. We said our piece and looking back it would have been nice to do another album and we were going that way with writing, but Kevin was ready to check out early. If we were not all into it we weren't going to just slide through and put together some kind of shitty record. And I think that was kind of the conversation where if you can't be 100% committed than it was a waste of everyone's time and it was against everything that we started.
Rich: It was time.
So in a sense did you guys feel like you were kind of out of vogue in the hardcore scene?
Rich: We were getting there for sure.
Steve: We felt like we were definitely heading down that path.
Rich: 'Cause everyone was just going that way. All the bands that you see (from that time period), like early 90's hardcore. . . What does that sound like? But we were not that type of band that was going to try to go that way. We'd rather just stop and we did. So me, Steve, and Bear started like a college rock band. Rather than taking the name Insted just because we were popular (we moved on). Not knocking 7Seconds who kind of went through the whole range of stuff and then came back and did hardcore or even Agnostic Front for that fact, who wanted to cross over and then went into Oi! or whatever, and then went back to hardcore. Uniform Choice went to a different sound. They were experimenting with different stuff. We were just saying let's do it; let's just be done and do it in a Minor Threat style where this is done.
Steve: Yeah. Now I'm gonna do Embrace. I think too, like anybody else we were fans of hardcore so I think sometimes we had the fan perspective of when a band (changes drastically). And every band is entitled to change; Don't get me wrong, but you can't help but look at it from a fan's perspective. Like I'd rather listen to "The Crew," "Walk Together, Rock Together," or even "New Wind" than "Ourselves." Like, this is not what I want to listen to from 7 Seconds, and some people love that record and that's great. I'm sure that those guys (in the band) think that "Ourselves" is a better record than the aforementioned albums but we said "Let's not milk the name." Let's go do this and leave the hardcore kids alone. We don't need to pull them in.
Rich: We closed the book. Kevin went off and got married and did his thing. We remained friends, there was no falling out with the band, hating each other. We walked away from it all and me and Steve and Bear were musicians and we wanted to continue playing music and we thought, "Are we going to continue doing another punk band?" We did Insted and we were happy and content with it and we were successful in our own way. So we met up with another group of guys and we set out to play some different types of music. That doesn't mean that we checked out of the scene; we were still buying records, we were still going to shows, still believed in the same things that we talked about with Insted. We just decided it was time to do something different and that's what we did.
Kevin at CBGB, NYC 1988, Photo: Jeff Ladd
Steve: I think that's it. When we were on tour we were listening to a wide array of music. I remember listening to Violent Femmes a lot on tour. You were just getting hardcore every night and bands were always giving us stuff and every morning we'd wake each other up with Ill Repute. It was always "Oxnard." You were sleeping with your head next to the speaker, "Oxnard was going to get you."
Steve: Yeah exactly and it was always cued up. It would be like "Oh we gotta do it to him. He's sleeping."
How did you decide to do the reunion thing in 2004?
Rich: It was kind of one of those things where we were departed from the hardcore scene for a while and the records had gone out of print. Every once in a while we would cross paths with people who would ask about it. And then one of our friends came to us and said "Well, why not? Is anyone interested?" We kind of took a look at that and then we got in touch with Dave Mandel from Indecision Records and he said he would help us out with the project.
Steve: There were some specific things that we asked for. We wanted pictures from Kent McClard (HeartattaCk Fanzine editor) included.
Rich: It was sort of all of these things and we had a contract with Epitaph. We had to find out if they would give the record (to Indecision) and if we could collect all of these old records and put it out without any legal problems.
Steve: The main goal was that we needed to put out something high quality. If we were going to do it then we wanted to do it right. (We didn't want) to end up with the Grilled Cheese (Records) version that has just the 7" and the first album on it.
Rich: Kevin comes home every year for the holidays so it was easy to talk to everyone about it and we were all into the idea.
Rich and Steve at the Radio Silence book release party 2008
I'd always taped our rehearsals and we were working on some new material that never saw the light when we broke up. When we did break up we didn't have enough for an album and we had a contract with Epitaph who only did full lengths. So we had this stuff that we could add to the discography to give it some more value and show you the beginning of the band all the way to the end. Then when it was finally coming out the talks of reunions came up (to support the discography) and we were really skeptical of the word "reunion."
Steve: From the get go when we broke up we said "no reunions."
Rich: Yeah "Let's shake hands, it's done." I guess you should say never say never. Fifteen years later we were presented with this idea and it wasn't like "This guy is down on his luck and needs a quick buck" or "I've got an ego so let's get up on stage and do it." We kind of thought there was a reason with the discography and had to celebrate it.
Steve: And we had to get together to complete the songs (for the discography). And Rich and I, when we discussed doing another band together, we had never captured the chemistry that we had with Insted.
Rich: Yeah after Crash Course broke up, we'd think about it and it was like there always something interesting about Insted where we'd never argue, we always got along, it was always fun.
Steve: It wasn't the best musicians but somehow the group always worked together.
We got together and we recorded these songs that Rich had archived and it was "OK let's relearn these songs" and record them and if they turn out then we'll put them on the discography. When we got together it was like we had never quit playing together, and well Rich and I never really had, but we had quit playing songs like this together. Barret came in with the guitar and we rehearsed real quick and got him up and running and and it was like "OK, sounds like where we left off."
Dave Mandel and Paul and some other friends of ours were really pushing us to do this. When they heard the two songs they were like "You should just do it. You guys have a good legacy and you broke up on good terms. Everybody likes you guys." The more people that came around prodding, we were like "We just need to do this to give people a kick in the ass."
Rich: The scene needs something like this.
Steve: So we said "OK let's rehearse a couple of times and we'll see how it goes." If we're going to do it we we're going to do it right. We were not gonna come out half- cocked, unrehearsed. From ideas come ideas and it became, "we're really going to do this; We're gonna do small venues and low door prices." Then I think there was something in there like, "If CBGB's will do a reunion show with us then we'll do it."
Rich: There was talk about being out here in California and there wasn't really a scene. Ya know, where did all of the kids end up these days? And it was nowhere.
Steve: We'd pop into shows and there wouldn't be many people and we'd be like "What happened? There was a thousand people at shows when we were running around. What happened?"
Rich: We got in touch with people who were talking on the Livewire (Records) board and it felt like there was a demand. When we booked a few shows on the East Coast the promoters in L.A. said, "Wait a minute you guys are an O.C. band and you're not going to do any shows in California? Are you kidding me?" Then all of a sudden we started getting calls from Europe and decided to do that. It all worked out and and we had a cool celebration of the discography. And then back at CBGB's we decided to record our set so we could have a cool (piece of) memorabilia and that's how the "Live at CBGB's" (record) came about.
Kevinsted at CB's, Photo: Jeff Ladd
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Original Gorilla Biscuits 7" side G label art / paste up, Photo: Tim DCXX
This is the continuation of my scouring through the original Revelation artwork files and the photos that I took while I was there. Considering I took roughly 100 photos of various record layout elements and I've only posted a few so far, expect plenty more to follow in the near future. - Tim DCXX
Original Judge photos, some that were used on "Bringin' It Down", some that weren't, all great, Photo: Tim DCXX
Rev 3, Sick Of It All 7" original B side label photo, Photo: Tim DCXX
A collection of original Youth Of Today photos that were used on the final 7", Photo: Tim DCXX
Although not Revelation used artwork, original Violent Children art from 1984 that was stored with all the early Rev release folders, Photo: Tim DCXX
A random early shot of Cappo blowing out candles on a birthday cake while Porcell looks on, Photo: Tim DCXX
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Another poll and more surprising results... to me at least. Not that I have anything against American Hardcore, I think it's an incredibly well put together documentary on the birth of the American Hardcore scene. I'm just surprised because it seems to me that the majority of people hold a bit of a grudge against it's writer, Stephen Blush, for his opinion on hardcore dying by 1985. To me the movie is well worth it's weight in gold just for the Jack Grisham (T.S.O.L.) and SSD content alone. With that being said, my vote did not go to American Hardcore, but to Another State of Mind.
I remember seeing Another State of Mind for the first time sometime around 1986 / 1987 and being completely blown away by it. From the scene with Mike Ness of Social Distortion writing and playing the song "Another State of Mind" on an acoustic guitar, to Brian in that empty room teaching the film crew how to slam dance, to the mic going out during Minor Threat's set and the the crowd singing along without it. To me Another State of Mind is just flawless all the way through. If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and buy the DVD. If you haven't seen American Hardcore or any of these other movies, see them because in my opinion, they are all well worth watching. -Tim DCXX
American Hardcore - 97
Another State of Mind - 72
Repo Man - 67
The Decline of Western Civilization - 44
Suburbia - 33
Sid and Nancy - 9
The Filth and the Fury - 4
Monday, April 20, 2009
Part two of our interview with Unite Fanzine / Webzine editor and New York Hardcore veteran, James Unite. - Tim DCXX
That era (late 80s into early 90s) was a great time for fanzines, the list is endless. What was your favorite? Most underrated? Most overhyped? Where did Unite fit in to the scheme of things?
Your right, it was a great time for fanzine culture and there were a lot of really creative people out there speaking their minds and supporting a lot of worthy bands. There were so many that offered different outlooks on the scene, the bands and the politics. Some of my favorites were earlier ones like XXX but also Schism, Smorgasbord, Open Your Eyes and in a sense In Effect.
Chris Wynne (of In Effect) and I started our zines around the same time. I considered him a friend and a contemporary. I think In Effect was one step ahead of Unite and that showed in its growth and longevity. The best fanzine in the area and maybe even in the country at the time was Boiling Point. Tom and crew had the best layouts, the best images and the coolest interviews. They were ahead of their time in concept and layout. That was the zine I really looked up to and aspired to. I never got close though.
Walter with GB at CB's, Photo: James Unite
After that initial explosion of zines there was No Answers and of course Anti-Matter which in hindsight continue to inspire me till this day. Norm's interviewing style put everyone else's to shame. He is the main reason I brought Unite back as an online presence. I wanted my interviews to go beyond the show and the influences. I want to get to the heart of the person. In Memory was underrated because he didn't have any fancy layouts or pictures of people stage diving in their Nikes but Dave K. knew hardcore and he wasn't afraid to call people out who were faking it. That was the only zine who's editor intimidated me with his writing style and knowledge of the music.
Overrated???? Well that's the easiest question I've ever been asked. It was without a doubt Maximum Rock N Roll. Amazing how they packed so much crap into so many pages. They also made a point to either slag or ignore what was happening in New York.
As for me I'm not sure where I fit in. I was just a kid having a great time. I never did anything groundbreaking but people seemed to like it. I am still amazed when people call me James Unite. I would have to say I fit in somewhere in the middle with zines like In Effect and New Breed (which is often overlooked). One misconception however was that Unite was a Straight Edge zine which it wasn't. I was never really straight edge in the true sense of the word. I wanted Unite to appeal to all corners of what was considered the scene at the time. In retrospect I think the skinhead kids outside of CBGB's helped to sell the most copies.
James Unite over the years, Photos courtesy of James
By the beginning of the 90s, the NYC scene began to crumble due to the violence at shows and a whole other slew of issues. Many people jumped ship, you seemed to remain tied to the same things you were always into. What did you see going on in the scene around you at that time?
That was a really strange and dark time for me. I hated what the scene had become. A lot of what happened seemed to center around CBGB's for some reason. I can go back to an interview I did with Gus Pena last summer where he mentioned that a lot of the leaders in the scene were off touring. "So who was running the roost?"
It was a great time for new and more original bands. It also created this door where a lot of the people who were in it for the moment or the even the violence to move on to other things. There were a ton of new labels, bands and creative people who would go on to do great things. There were a lot of people jumping ship but they were jumping for good reasons. People who do the same thing over and over and expect different results are categorically crazy.
That time opened the door for some great music like Quicksand, No Escape, Burn and so many others. Born Against was also a band that really made a statement with their music. I'll go back to a few other interviews I did this year. In the 90s it seemed like NYHC moved to New Jersey. There were so many bands that were either from NYC or had the flavor of NYHC playing shows in NJ. So during most of the 90s I was traveling out to New Jersey for my hardcore. I couldn't relate to the whole thug core mentality and metal bands calling themselves hardcore. There were tons of basement shows, people renting out VFW halls and putting on shows anywhere they could. That's when you had bands that carried that hardcore spirit but were more musically evolved. You can't survive in this world without change and without evolving.
I'll always be in love with that early hardcore sound but if things had stayed the same and everyone was still moving in the same circle what would be the point? As dark as that time may have seemed in retrospect I am glad it happened. It was a new decade and maybe we needed a change. I remember trying to bring Unite back in '94 to embrace that change and cover the amazing music that was coming out at the time.
Randy Show Of Force and Ike Stand Proud, Photo: James Unite
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Outburst sing along at CBGB, NYC, Photo courtesy of Miles To Joe
Joe Outburst occasionally hits me up with some great little tidbits and funny stories, most of which will turn into full blown entries here eventually. Not that we haven't already had some Outburst coverage, but we're always down for some more stories from the Queens boys. Joe linked me to a piece on the Blackout! Records site he wrote about the backstory of the Queens hardcore scene of the 1980s (www.blackoutrecords.com/blog). Though I had seen this before, I thought it was worth posting up here for those who may not have checked it out. NYHC. -Gordo DCXX
A roof top view from Astoria, Queens NYC, Photo: MDPNY
“Yeah that’s right, you can tell by the way this song is…Astoria, Queens rules!” Jimmy Gestapo - “A Day In The Life” by Murphy’s Law
During the golden ages of “New York Hardcore”, you could paint the term NYHC with a broad brush. The bands, friends & fans that made up that unforgettable scene could always claim representation from somewhere within New York City’s five boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island) as well as Westchester, Connecticut and New Jersey. And there was plenty of neighborhood and crew representation to go around: “Lower East Side“, “Youth Crew“, “Alleyway Crew“…just to name a few.
But today, I'd like to take a few minutes to reminisce fondly about my hometown - the little neighborhood in Queens that spawned her share of NYHC bands - Astoria.
When you take a roll call of the bands that had members who either lived in Astoria, went to school in Astoria or just came to Astoria to hang out, the list is pretty remarkable: Kraut, Major Conflict, Murphy’s Law, New York Hoods, Abombanation, Token Entry (originally Gilligan’s Revenge), Leeway (originally The Unruled), Outburst, Breakdown, Show of Force, Fit Of Anger, Cold Front, Everybody Gets Hurt. (Please comment if I’ve inadvertently forgotten any other band(s)….)
If you took a census of the blocks on the south side of Astoria Park from 12th street to 18th street, on any given night in the mid to late 80’s, you’d have an Astoria Park bench where A.J.(Leeway), Saso (original Leeway drummer), Mike Dijan (Show Of Force, Breakdown, plenty of other bands), Tony (Show Of Force), Nick (Cold Front), Chris (Fit of Anger, EGH), George and myself (Outburst) would all be hanging out for hours on end. I remember one night, Eddie (Leeway) brought Doug (Kraut, Cro-Mags) to hang out at the park and we heard a few rough cuts from what was to be The Age Of Quarrel record.
Outburst at CB's with Gavin Van Vlack on guest vocals, Photo courtesy of Miles To Joe
Anthony (Token Entry, Raw Deal/Killing Time), A.J. and all five original members of Outburst attended St. John’s Preparatory, Astoria’s Catholic high school. Just a few blocks away on Ditmars Boulevard was Pizza Palace, where the hardcore kids (the few that there were in the early days) would congregate after school. A few more blocks from there, you had the Pyramids, a public area by the Con Edison plant on 20th Avenue that doubled as a skateboard park. Kraut memorialized the park fondly in the song “Pyramids” on their Wetting The Scythe record.
You could’ve ventured a couple of miles east to neighboring Jackson Heights, where Anthony, Civ, Walter, Arthur (Gorilla Biscuits) and Dylan Schrifels & Gus Pena hung out. Or, you could’ve went back to Astoria Park South and hung out at the apartment/studio of B.J. Papas - NYHC’s resident and loyal photographer. On any given night, you could’ve been hanging out there, shooting the breeze with Pete from Sick Of It All or Mackie from the Cro-Mags, or even a certain founder of Blackout! Records. Since B.J. was (and still is) one of the coolest girls you’ll ever meet, and she only lived a mere two blocks from me, I found myself hanging out there quite often.
For a great period piece on Astoria and what it was like in 1986, check out the film A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints, starring Robert Downey, Jr., Rosario Dawson & Shia LeBeouf. The film was written & directed by Astoria native Dito Montiel (Major Conflict, Gutterboy). Coincidentally, Dito’s dad was George’s little league baseball coach and one Halloween night, during an Astoria Park/Ditmars Blvd egging rivalry, some of my friends and I were fire-extinguished in an alley somewhere near 21st street by Dito. All in good (and retrospectively dangerous) fun, of course.
Whenever I hear “A Day In The Life” I still get a kick out of Jimmy’s line, comically bragging about his hometown that ruled beer & herb. He may have been singing tongue-in-cheek, but he was definitely onto something. Thank you, Astoria, Queens.
R Train departing 46th street station, Astoria, Queens NYC, Photo: Olm
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Alex from Super7 fills us in on the second press of the Gorilla Biscuits figure. Hold your ground... -Tim DCXX
We are releasing the 2nd version of the toy on Saturday April 18th 7pm in store (only) and Sunday April 19th on the web at 11 am PST. Price is $55. The first version sold out in 2 hours so if you are a San Francisco local, stop by on Saturday.
The Second Pressing is cast in banana yellow vinyl, with black, white, grey, purple and orange spray, to match the second pressing of Gorilla Biscuits' Self Titled 7".
Super7 1628 Post St. San Francisco CA 94115
If you are interested in being on our GB list and haven't emailed me already, feel free to email me at Alex@super7store.com
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Chain Of Strength - What Holds Us Apart cover shot from The Anthrax, Norwalk CT, Photo courtesy of Dan Rawe
You might have seen some of these classic photos from Chain Of Strength's "What Holds Us Apart" 7" or through Dan Rawe's Flickr account, either way, here they are once again and all in one place. As for the back story on these photos, they come from the collection of Dan Rawe, who was apart of Foundation Records in the late 80's early 90's and acquired them through his work with the label. Dan gave us the go ahead to post these here, but I will say that neither us nor Dan is clear on the photo credit for all the photos. If you dig Chain like DCXX digs Chain, you'll appreciate this. Those were special times, those were our times... -Tim DCXX
Frosty, Alex and Curtis at CBGB, NYC, Photo: Noah Uman
Ryan and Curtis at CBGB, NYC, Photo courtesy of Dan Rawe
Alex Pain down on his knees at CBGB, NYC, Photo: John Hiltz
Chris Bratton destroying the kit with Chain, Photo courtesy of Dan Rawe
Ryan Hoffman and Alex Pain at CBGB, NYC, Photo: John Hiltz
Ryan and Alex with Chain at Gilman Street, Berkeley CA, Photo courtesy of Dan Rawe
Ryan, Curtis and Frosty at CBGB, NYC, Photo courtesy of Dan Rawe