Mike Gitter of xXx Fanzine, photo courtesy of: Jed Hresko
Editor and chief of xXx Fanzine, Mike Gitter, recalls one of Massachusetts finest and most brutal hardcore bands ever, Siege. If you are unfamiliar with Siege and xXx Fanzine, do yourself a favor and track down both. -Tim DCXX
Siege. Anytime. Anywhere. I count myself lucky to have seen this Massachusetts wrecking ball. I definitely saw them at an all day hardcore marathon in Providence. And a show at the YMCA in Boston. There had to be another one. They were so written off at the time but mannn, their memory towers over so many "cool" bands of the time. Even now Siege sounds fresh. A full-on attack of metal riffs, insane vocals and smart rhythms. When singer Ken Mahoney pulled a saxophone for a seven minute dirge called "Grim Reaper", what was going on onstage was so much more interesting than what the average Boston "Crew" band was grinding out at the time.
Siege, Photos courtesy of: Tommy Snoro Löfholm
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Following up from yesterday's memorable show entry from Chickie of Ludichrist / Sheer Terror, today I received this piece from Chickie which I felt was worthy of an entry.
Chickie says he picked this up at a CB's matinee back in the 80's at some point. I had never seen it before, but recognized that is was done by Tom O'Hara of Combat Stance Fanzine fame / infamy. Check it out, hope you get a laugh out of it, I know I did. Thanks again to Chickie for the contribution. -Tim DCXX
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Chickie with Sheer Terror in Europe, Photo courtesy of: Sheer Terror
My most memorable show would have to be Celtic Frost, DOA, MDC, Samhain, Nuclear Assault, at the Ritz in 1986. I played a lot of great shows, but this show was insane. This, to me, was the type of show that made that era what it was - the best in history. A close second would be Agnostic Front, Sheer Terror, Life Of Agony, and Vision at the Airport Club in Allentown, PA in 1992.
This club was closing after this show, and it turned out to be a nazi club. Vision & Life Of Agony got to play and in between songs some 600 nazis would "sieg-hail" all together waving swastika flags - it was a bit scary to be there, and there was a full blown riot before Sheer Terror or AF got to play, including cop cars getting their windows smashed and even flipped over. I guess we were all lucky to get out of there in one piece.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Original New Beginning Record Underdog E.P. promo poster
Went to see Underdog play this past Saturday in Asbury Park, New Jersey at the Asbury Lanes. They've been doing two back to back shows at the Asbury Lanes once a year, every year for the past few years now. As always, Underdog sounded great and Richie's voice was just as powerful and on point as ever.
At the end of the night I ran into an old friend named Jon LeVine who went to my high school and graduated about four or five years ahead of me. Jon was one of the original punk / hardcore / straight edge guys in my town, did a fanzine called Faith and his involvement goes back into the early to mid 80's.
Underdog, all photos from various City Gardens shows, all photos by: Ken Salerno
At some point around 1988 when Jon was headed off to college, he sold my friend Tony and I and few records and gave us a handful of other things. I remember buying both the Crippled Youth 7" and Underdog 7" from him and probably paying about $5.00 a piece for each. One of the things Jon threw in was this New Beginning Records promo poster for the Underdog 7", which I always thought was awesome and have held on to ever since.
Seeing Underdog on Saturday and then coincidentally running into Jon at the show, who I originally bought the Underdog 7" off of 21 years ago got me thinking about this poster and inspired me to do a little Underdog dedication entry. So here's the poster and here's a few great Underdog pics from none other than DCXX's favorite photographer, Ken Salerno. -Tim DCXX
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Andy White and Ajay James of ENUF, Photo courtesy of: Andy
Andy White who early on played guitar and later bass for New Jersey's ENUF fills us in on a couple of memorable shows, one he went to, one he played. Classic stuff, thanks Andy! -Tim DCXX
1. First CBGB's show ever. Youth Of Today, Gorilla Biscuits, Side By Side and Pagan Babies. This show changed my life in many ways just because it was my first show at CB's and then from then on I was hooked for quite a while after. I have a couple photos from that show. Taken from the p.a. monitor that we happened to be sitting on top of above the stage. We could watch all the craziness with a perfect view and then we would take turns and be a part of it all too. That was the show that caused Youth Of Today to be banned from playing there again. CBGB's was such a great time in my life and it's sad to see it's gone but change is good. Just like how that show changed me forever.
Ajay goes for a dive at Scott Hall with ENUF, Photo: Ken Salerno
2. The other great memory has to be ENUF (our old band) with Vision, Bold and Life's Blood at Scott Hall in New Brunswick on the Rutgers Campus. We were the local band and we played our hearts out that night. The place was filled when we played and the crowd went crazy! I remember at one point my friend R.J. Vail came on stage to put up a stiff arm in front of me so people wouldn't crash into me while I was playing. So many of our friends and locals were there that night and I am so grateful for that memory. It's a great feeling when you have that kind of bond and impact on people through your music. One of the best ENUF shows ever.
The Scott Hall crowd during ENUF, Photo: Ken Salerno
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Front and back cover Supertouch - "The Earth Is Flat" mechanicals, Photo: Tim DCXX
Somehow or another, through out the 18 years since it's release, the fact that the Supertouch "The Earth Is Flat" LP was originally to be a gatefold layout has completely eluded my knowledge. When I stumbled upon these gatefold mechanicals and original layouts, sitting in a folder at the Rev HQ, I was virtually speechless. Not only is "The Earth Is Flat" a personal favorite of mine musically, but the layout and design of this record has been a huge influence on some of the design work I've done as well. Seeing this layout as it was originally to be, really makes me wish I could have seen a finished product like this. I have a feeling this gatefold design would have made an already phenomenal layout that much more impressive. -Tim DCXX
Left side of gatefold mechanical, Photo: Tim DCXX
Right side of gatefold original cut and paste photo layout, Photo: Tim DCXX
Right side of gatefold mechanical, Photo: Tim DCXX
Full gatefold mechanical together, Photo: Tim DCXX
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
John Joseph fronting the mighty Cro-Mags at Irving Plaza in NYC, Summer 1985, Photo: Joseph Henderson
As usual my vote went with the underdog, the "Age Of Quarrel" demo, but with that being said, by no means am I implying that picking the "Age Of Quarrel" Rock Hotel recording was a wrong move. Both recordings are perfect in their own way.
Personally I sort of prefer the raw violent energy, intensity, and urgency of the demo. JJ's vocals on the demo version of "Malfunction" alone, seriously blow my mind and give me goose bumps every time I listen to it. Although for some reason or another I probably listen to the LP on a much more regular basis, the demo is unquestionably hardcore personified.
Where the Rock Hotel "Age Of Quarrel" LP version can easily win you over is with it's power. There's been many times that I've been pounding this record at full blast in my car and feeling like I could drive 100 mph into a brick wall and keep on moving as if I had merely hit a fly. This album is just heavy in so many ways.
JJ, Mackie and Harley with the Cro-Mags at Irving Plaza, NYC, Summer 1985, Photo: Joseph Henderson
As I wrap this up, I wanted to give everyone a heads up to expect some DCXX content from one of the original Cro-Magnon men, Mr. Harley Flanagan. Thanks to Todd Youth for turning Harley on to the site, Harley and I have been going back and forth for a couple of weeks now and the jaw dropping material has been flowing in like mad. So stay tuned, you won't be disappointed.
Also, big thanks to Joseph Henderson from Flipside and Ink Disease for hooking us up with the killer Cro-Mags Irving Plaza pics. There's more where these came from, so again, stay locked in. Living in an Age Of Quarrel... -Tim DCXX
Cro-Mags - "Age Of Quarrel" - 224
Cro-Mags - "Age Of Quarrel" Demo / "Before The Quarrel" - 97
Kevin "Parris" Mayhew supplying that patented Cro-Mags power at Irving Plaza, NYC, Summer 1985, Photo: Joseph Henderson
Friday, July 17, 2009
Dan O with a group sing along at CBGB's, Photo: Jeff Ladd
Here's the final installment of our long-running interview with Dan O. This has been one of the best things to end up on DCXX, be sure to check the previous pieces if you didn't already. Big thanks to Dan! -Gordo DCXX
I don't have a whole lot to ad to what Gordo already said, but I still wanted to take the chance to thank Dan for answering our questions and supplying us with a great collection of entries. Frontmen like Dan O'Mahoney don't come along everyday and in my opinion, he's up there with the best of the best. I hope the readers enjoyed this as much as I know we did. Just say NO! -Tim DCXX
No For An Answer's Hawker Records promo shot
Tell us about writing your books...
I'm at my most creative working with words...written, spoken, or sung. The books were something that sprung from years of writing for Maximum Rock 'N Roll. In fact, the first to suggest them was fellow MRR columnist Sam MacPheeters who had me submit some pre-manuscript material for possible publication by Vermiform I'm guessing, but I don't think the lovesick debauchery he recieved was what he was expecting. Either way, credit to Sam for getting me on that track.
As it turns out, self publication, and later publication through AK Press, were an amazing fit. Both books, "Three Legged Race" and "Four Letter World" are compilations of personal notebooks woven together by a narrative of my emotional wanderings, gambling, and romantic entanglements in the years immediately following my mother's death. I was thrilled with the critical response they recieved and they served as a nice instrument in validating and creating a draw for the 5 spoken word shows I did in the Bay area in the mid-90s.
Give us the backstory on Speak-
Speak (often referred to as Speak 714 for legal reasons) was my last touring band. Initally proposed to me by Joe Foster from Ignite, and involving Doug McKinnon from Slap Shot and Samuel Mars from Straight Faced. That line-up churned out my favorite Dan O'Mahony record in terms of vocals. Joe and I have always had a complicated relationship, politically never in sync, creatively almost always on the same page...eventually my politics won out and I sought membership more in tune with my message. Jeff Baker, Eryc Simmerer, Chris Lisk, and Kevin Panter rounded out the touring line up and later recorded the Scum Also Rises e.p. We did two national tours, and one in Europe.
Speak was interesting in that to listen to it, the OC influence is all pervasive, like a full length version of You Are One a few years further out from puberty, but the touring band dressed in black, employed mic stands for the guitarists to provide back ups, discussed a pretty non-traditional selection of topics from the stage, and was known to perform in varying degrees of sobriety. I think we shook up the Rev tour a bit, and given the ground my life and career had covered in the years preceeding it, I'd have to say that was pretty appropriate. Many good, good times sprang from that tour despite the fact that Speak was a band better recieved abroad than at home. It's a piece of work I remain immensely proud of to this day.
Speak's Revelation Records promo photo
What about John Henry Holiday?
My favorite of these non-live efforts. 4 songs of balls to the wall hardcore written by Chris Lohman and I, with Kevin Panter from the second Speak line up providing the drum tracks. JHH had a few very simple rules that made it fun...if it took more than one practice to write a song we threw it out, no songs over two and a half minutes no matter what, and I must scream some form of the word 'fuck!' somewhere in every song. Perfect. Thanks to Ed McKirdy from Livewire for springing it on the world.
What would you consider your 3 biggest accomplishments in life?
Believe it or not I grew up a very shy, momma's boy type of kid prior to punk rock/HC so I'd say my transformation into someone completely comfortable expressing himself in front of crowds regardless of their size was one. My books mean a great deal to me as they represent putting my feelings and passions out there without hiding behind any group supported cause. Biggest accomplishment hands down however was overcoming my own abandonment/vulnerability issues and marrying Kate O'Neil O'Mahony earlier this year. Crazy, glorious stuff.
After Gavin Absolution saved No For An Answer from the horrors of Kennedy Airport, he took a seat on the CB's crowds heads during their set, Photo: Jeff Ladd
What about your 3 biggest regrets?
In 1997 my grandmother fell terminally ill, it was the second time in a decade that I was staring down the barrell at the loss of one of the women who raised me. I handled things in a very distant and mechanical manner that was really less than she deserved, that's one. I've blown literally hundreds of thousands of dollars on gambling and travel, during hard times financially that phase seems less than genius, but it did help make me who I am today. Third I guess would be answering those questions from Billy Rubin.
A quick word about hardcore retrospectives, the opportunity to contribute to Double Cross, etc...
Looking back has been a blast, telling you guys these stories reminds me of the unique energy with which this music infuses the people who love it. Earlier this year NFAA played a one time reunion to benefit an ailing man's cancer treatment. Faces flooded in from decades past and the room was filled with smiles. Our performance was as coarse and uneven as I fondly remember my first serious band having always been. We weren't a real proficient combination of guys at any point in our history.
I guess where I'm headed with this is that this current wave of retrospection is great so long as we don't kid ourselves, the grass was never greener back then, it's just that the world was new. If you were ever a thinker, an artist, an activist at all, let's hope looking back reminds you that somewhere inside you potentially still are. "I preach like a motherfucker, son". Thanks.
Casey Jones, Billy Rubin and Dan O'Mahoney in April of 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
In the late 1980's Civ, along with several members of the Rev staff, including Jordan Cooper, started collecting original 12" G.I. Joe toys. Even going as far as to include trade offers of early Rev releases for rare G.I. Joes. Twenty years later, when discussing the Gorilla Biscuits figure with Super7, Civ was really excited about making a toy, not only as a unique item for the band, but as a toy collector himself. This edition of the toy is a tribute to the toys Civ loved over the years. Packaged in a wooden green foot locker inspired by the footlockers of the original 12" G.I. Joe., and then cast in unpainted green vinyl just like a unpainted green army man. This version has been designed by Civ for the toy collector in all of us. - Alex Super7
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Rob and Tom taking on The Anthrax crowd with Wide Awake, Photo: Joe Snow
I have LOTS of great memories of going to shows and being around the scene. From going to the Anthrax every weekend, all of the early shows in VFW halls, the shows at UCONN, to the shows in NY. It seems like every one of those trips was the best.
One that definitely stands out right away was when a bunch of us went to the Living Room in Providence, RI to see the Bad Brains and Leeway. Tom Kennedy, Sean Marcus, John McLaughlin, Craig Colorusso, Mike Jelenffy, and some others all packed into cars. A buch of them went the night before and camped out somewhere in RI. Craig and I drove up with my girlfriend and we stopped at a water park then went to the beach. It was a pretty fun summer day. When we got to Providence, I remember hanging outside the Living Room talking with HR and we were talking about how their tour bus had a big picture of John Lennon on the back of it. I forgot how or why they had that bus, but I would know it if I ever saw it again!
Then we went inside and Leeway just killed it. I had heard them, but had never seen them before and it was awesome. Everyone was like "these guys are sick!" The 2 guitar attack was so tight. And Eddie had on a Celtics jersey and knee pads. I was an instant fan for life.
Then the Bad Brains just blew people away. I had seen them before, but this show seemed better than before. They opened with I Against I, Re-Ignition, House Of Suffering (not really sure about the order). It was cool because the whole night seemed to last for a long time.
That whole day seemed to capture the energy and the spirit of the music scene for me. We traveled, met up with kids from New York, Boston, and Rhode Island and watched some great bands put on a hell of a show.
All in all, nothing crazy happened, no one got hurt, no fights, etc. I guess it is probably pretty boring, but to me it was one of the best days ever.
Classic Wide Awake at The Anthrax, Photo: BP
Monday, July 13, 2009
Darren on the road with Turning Point, Photo courtesy of: TP
TP obviously went with New Age for the LP, was this a total bummer?
You have no idea. I felt like I had spent a ton of effort on the band and plenty of time going to shows with them, and of course, hanging out and becoming close friends. My business partner and I really wanted to do the full-length for Turning Point and we were going to banks to inquire about loans and writing out long-hand contracts on legal pads. We were determined to do what we could to secure the record for Hi-Impact, but the reality was that we were still in the process of figuring out how to effectively run a label. And of course at the same time, Turning Point was gaining respect and growing bigger as a band and really pressing us for specifics, for security as one would expect. They wanted to be assured of a future and we were only on our first release, still making our plans for the future.
In retrospect, I don't think that we ever had a chance to release the record, but in the end, I got to release the material through Jade Tree and that has pleased me enormously. I felt like it all came home to rest where it belongs.
What I would realize years later after being in the business is that Hi-Impact were just victims of what many other small upstart labels go through. This band sold well for us, got an offer from a more established label and suddenly, we were not an option for them because we were too small. It's neither here nor there as much as it is a reality of the music business and I don't fault the band for taking the option of releasing the record on New Age.
Turning Point at Club Pizazz in Philadelphia, 1989, Photo courtesy of: TP
What are some good stories from hanging out with these guys? How often was that (living in different states and all)? What type of guys were they?
Great guys, fun guys and it was always a blast to spend time hanging out with them. I live in Delaware and they were in New Jersey, so it wasn't a big deal. Just over an hour drive at the worst. As I said, we spent a whole lot of time hanging out in those days and so most of my memories are very generalized, though here are a few that stick out for some reason:
The Calzone Crew. Eating Giuseppe's amazing Calzone's (Cheese of course as most of us were vegetarians) and talking shit.
Naked Gun / Pet Cemetery movies.
We loved going to movies together. I would go up to Skip's house and watch the band practice. Afterwards, we would eat calzones (Calzone Crew!) and head to the movies or a hardcore show. Near Skip and Jay's houses we were guaranteed to see someone throw soda across the theater or get into a fight, and the movies were usually pretty good too. The more memorable movies were without a doubt, Naked Gun and Pet Cemetery.
As a group, we were 100% obsessed with this movie. If one movie defined the Calzone Crew, this was it. We saw it again and again and again and laughed every single time. We quoted it and we loved every aspect of its humor.
Pet Cemetery: We got so scared at this flick and to this day, I still can't figure out how. During the movie we had managed to work each other into a frenzy and as we drove home in the van, we were all panicked about evil cats rising from the dead and creepy kids stabbing us. We sat up all night sacred out of our minds thinking that something out of the night was going to get us. This reminds me of being silly young adults and being innocent enough to still be afraid of what goes bump in the night.
We also used to obsessively watch Yo MTV Raps, Headbangers Ball and Club MTV (Stevo loved the ladies!). Lots of TV watching and making commentary.
The 7" folding parties. The 1st pressing covers and inserts were made for free by these guys in Lititz, Pa and we had to assemble everything so I would throw these 7" folding parties and everyone would get together and we would have food, listen to music and put together the records. This is where we came up with the ideas to write on some of the 7"s (If you have one of these, email me and let me know what yours says) or include two posters and all the silly extra stuff that we did. Hard Karl also got his name during this time, but that is another story.
How did you feel about their progression into the later material? Any favorite songs from the catalog? Favorite release?
The later material was good, though the LP is my least favorite Turning Point release. Don't get me wrong, there are some quality cuts on the full-length, such as Turn It Around, but perhaps I was too stung from the band leaving the label to ever really appreciate it until much later in life and so I prefer the material pre and post LP to any other.
I would, as one might suspect, pick the 7˛ as my favorite release. I am biased of course, but I think this is the apex of Turning Point at that point of their career-the 'youth crew' phase. The compilation material towards the end of their career would be the apex of their 'post hardcore' career.
My fave songs are Over The Line (I always got amped for this song and pitted it up every single time, reunion show included), Insecurity (recorded just after the 7" but prior to LP, for me this song is a moment in time-everyone involved is on this recording in some way and that just makes this cut even better for me).
Broken, I really dig from the later years. This song is perhaps the best combo of the hardcore and post-core TP. This song finds the band finding their sound again. Slap bass!
Behind This Wall is pretty smooth too.
Steve with Turning Point at Kennett Square, PA. Darren mid-mosh with the construction gloves, Photo courtesy of: TP
Stand out show memories?
Kennett Square, PA 7" picture show. This show was amazing. Turning Point had agreed to do the record and we were meeting them to see them play and to take the photos for the 7" (the ones you see on the 1st pressing fold outs and back cover). It was an amazing show and it was local to me, so many of my friends were out (in fact, the back cover photo is still enough of a representation of my group of friends that it hangs in my dining room as a testament to the power of friendship-yes, I am wearing construction gloves). The band was great, the vibe was incredible and we got these amazing shots for the record out of it as well.
CBGB's to Trenton City Gardens in one day. Distance wise it is probably no more than 75 miles, but that day it took hours. Turning Point played a matinee at CBGB's and we had to haul ass to get out of the city during a parade which had shut down the city. As we sat in traffic waiting to get through the tunnel and talking about how amazing it was that Turning Point had just played CB's, we were also talking about how the band would now be blowing their chance to finally play City Gardens. Somehow luck was on the band's side and we arrived at City Gardens just in time for Turning Point to walk on stage and rock the place.
Not a Turning Point show, but I recall all of us going to see Youth of Today in Allentown, Pa or someplace like that and Skip announced an upcoming Turning Point show at the place across town and Ray yelled at him and said that it wasn't cool to do that. Whatever.
Thoughts on reunion show?
I was happy to see it. It was a strange time for hardcore. Kurt Cobain had just died and I don't think that the show carried the relevance that it would have had had it been held just a few years later when hardcore really had a resurgence, especially a few short years later. If there could be one today, I would like to think that the band would we be a major draw and that the show would make the show in 1994 pale in comparison.
Happy with the discography?
Extremely happy with it. It was a dream to do it. For me, it tied up everything about my music career to that point. My behind-the-scenes career started with Turning Point and had it not been for that record, I may have never gotten off of my ass and finally started a label. Had I not done Hi-Impact, I may have never done Jade Tree and ended up where I am today. When I look back and I can pin point the beginnings of my career with the release of that brilliant 7", that's a special feeling. So wrapping that part of my life up with the discography was important.
Turning Point discography cover shot, Photo courtesy of: TP
Slam and Kid Hard with Project X at the Ritz, Superbowl of Hardcore, January 30, 1988, Photo: B.J. Papas
Obviously "Straight Edge Revenge" took the crown, but this is another one of those polls where there really is no wrong answer. In my opinion, every song on the PX 7" is fuckin' awesome, start to finish. Simple, solid, powerful, raging, grab you by your throat and throw you through a brick fuckin' wall delivery. Pretty much the perfect straight edge hardcore recording. Nothing was over thought, it was simply done and delivered.
Yeah I know... the band was never really intended to be taken too seriously. I can roll with that. Thing is, at the time that record came out, just like the Judge EP, the scene needed a band like PX to ruffle people's feathers. For every person who was burnt out, annoyed, disgusted and bent out of shape with what Straight Edge had turned into by the late 80's, PX came along and helped put an exclamation point on all of it, and I loved them for it.
To me it was just fun. I never took it too literally, never wanted to unleash my own Straight Edge Revenge on anyone. Never wanted to seek out any Dance Floor Justice. I just took it as a cool and fun little package deal (Schism #7 / PX EP) with 5 awesome songs, some in your face, over the top Straight Edge lyrics and that was that. As a matter of fact, I'm still waiting on that "Edge Of Quarrel" LP. -Tim DCXX
Kid Hard with the X shaved into the back of his head, N.D. with the Unit Pride shirt, Photo: B.J. Papas
Straight Edge Revenge - 159
Dance Floor Justice - 83
Shutdown - 44
Where It Ends - 31
Cross Me - 15
Thursday, July 9, 2009
To this day, people will come up to me and gush about Scared Straight. It was the first real band I ever played drums in, and I was only in the band for two occasions, and if you total them both up it wasn't even a whole year.
The way I met the other guys was by drawing stuff for them, and it wasn't until later that they realized that I could play drums. One thing lead to another and at the end of 1984 I was invited to join. We had a lot of fun, played with a lot of bands, did sort of an aborted tour of the country in the summer of 1985 and again later at the end of the year I was brought back in for a winter tour where we played with NOF-X, who beleive it or not, stunk. Never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed that those guys would have gone on to be where they are at. Seriously.
Our name instantly tagged us as being straight edge, which most of us were...by default. I couldn't have imagined ever drinking a beer in the same way that I couldn't imagine getting a chance to get laid on tour, so...straight edge by default! We all liked all of those bands though...we lived near Stalag 13 and of course the rest of the Nardcore bands and we knew the guys in Justice League and Uniform Choice and of course Minor Threat was huge to us. But I know that none of us were really down on people for drinking or doing whatever they wanted to do. We rarely encountered speed freaks or junkies in our safe suburban town so there wasn't really a lot to rail against to be honest. In fact, we sort of snickered at people that took it all so seriously. And as much as I loved Uniform Choice it seemed kind of funny how directly they took Minor Threat's thing, especially when that album came out. We were more into bands like COC and Bl'ast! and wished that we could harness some of that power.
By the time I had re-located to the east coast, it was 1986 and that is when I noticed that I started to lose interest in most of what was called "hardcore" at the time. In fact, I will always remember how bands like Youth Of Today came about...they came and played in Raleigh around this time and they were nice guys. I used to write to Porcell. Now, if you know anything about my books, then you will know that I was TOTALLY NOT INTO what they were doing, but it has to be said that I can't deny the influence of what they did. When they played it was like watching a cartoon version of hardcore, but it was very entertaining. They thought that Woody of COC was forty years old (because of his facial hair) and told him so. They played a cover of SSD's "Glue" that I sang along to. And the funniest thing of all was that they knew the Scared Straight song "Life" and had me play it with them at their soundcheck. And after that they asked me to join their band. To the best of my memory this was what really happened.
I think I sheepsihly said no thank you.
Having said all of that, if a Scared Straight one off was ever going to ever happen on this planet, I would hope to be involved. I could play that stuff much better as an old man.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Kenny Ahrens and his friend Lynn Murchy during the A7 days, Photo: De Graham
At some point during the mid-1990's Shelter ended up crashing at our place while on one of their many tours. For some reason or another Cappo had a suitcase with him that had a stack of random old records from his personal collection in it. One of those records was his copy of the Antidote "Thou Shalt Not Kill" EP, which I ended up buying from him. Another one of those records was the Urban Waste EP.
The following morning, while packing up and getting ready to leave, Cappo walked over to the suitcase with the records in it and pulled out the Urban Waste EP. He asked me if I had ever it. I told him I had definitely heard of them and heard at least one song, but never the entire EP. He handed it to me and said, "It's yours, this is one of the greatest New York Hardcore EP's and you should own it". I was stoked to say the least and graciously thanked him.
Later that day after I got home, I put the Urban Waste EP on my record player and right from the first track, "Police Brutality", I knew exactly why Cappo said this was one of the greatest New York Hardcore EP's ever. Perfect shredding vocals over raw, hard hitting, classic New York style hardcore. Definitely up there with the likes of the Antidote, Abused, Agnostic Front and Cause For Alarm EP's.
Here Urban Waste frontman, Kenny Ahrens shares some of his favorite show memories. -Tim DCXX
Bad brains when they came to NYC in 1980. Also, all the D.C. bands including Government Issue and Minor Threat, they were always my favorites. So many more to mention...but the scene was about unity and friends back then, not fame & money. So we were all in it to help each other. "Good things never seem to last" ...someone commercializes it and gets greedy or pretentious about fame or some other bullshit, then you end up with mostly a bunch of assholes. I hope my cool friends never die. - Kenny Waste
Kenny moshing with the white t-shirt on, John Watson with the mohawk, Photo courtesy of UW
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Dan O with No For An Answer at CBGB's, Photo: Jeff Ladd
Dan O delivers the 6th installment of his ongoing killer piece with us. - Gordo DCXX
What can you tell us about the influence Apocalypse Now and Pink Floyd's The Wall have had on you? (Billy Rubin wanted us to ask Dan this):
Didn't see that one coming, but film is huge with me, and in the 80s those two along with the Godfather were in regular rotation. Rather than run on and on let's just say Apocalypse Now just seems like an intensely dark expose on seeing and moving beyond institutional formalities and bullshit regardless of the consequences. The Wall is kind of the same thing along with providing a rather glamorous look at the allure in going fascist. Did I just say that?
Can you elaborate on how Youth of Today ended up spending months at your house? What memories do you have from this? (Billy again).
Put simply, they asked. That said, the whole affair was supposed to last the couple of weeks they imagined it would take to finalize the Break Down The Walls deal, and get it mastered. Hardcore being what it was, every step of the way took 5 to 10 times longer than it should've, and they basically became Pamela O'Mahony's 5 new sons. They were good friends, lousy houseguests. They left the front door open with the house completely empty at least 5 different times. I'd get home, my dog would be missing, the TV and stereo would be on, food would be sitting out all over my room...good stuff.
As you've probably heard I had a pretty serious temper back then, my best response to that shit had to be the time I took all of the Taco Bell they'd left strung all over my room out of its wrappers and put it in Porcell's guitar case under his Les Paul and then buckled it shut. Trust me...he wasn't gonna do anything about it.
I'm hoping you realize the tone of this is an amused one, not some tough guy nonsense. This was a great time in life and one of those things that couldn't have occurred in any other era. You'd get stuff going on in my garage and back yard like full on gloved boxing matches between any combination of say me, Mike Judge, Pat Longrie, whoever...and no I don't remember who beat who! As the months wore on annoyances would grow and guys would drift off one by one, either to stay with one of the Sloth Crew guys or to return to New York until eventually I think it was just Ray, Ritchie, or Porcell who was left, I'm not sure which.
Three Legged Race alternate shot, Photo courtesy of: Dan O
What can you tell us about tackling Billy Rubin at a show and then watching him go into a seizure? (Billy of course wanted this asked).
Ah... you can count on Billy to keep this a heady socio-political discourse can't ya? Just kidding, this was another classic. In the 80s a lot of the best shows took place in Long Beach at a club called Fender's Ballroom, a tense and violent hotbed for legitimate gang activity...the natural sight for a couple of goofy shaven headed OC kids to get all World Wrestling!
I don't remember what show it was, and why we were acting the fool like this before the opening band, but yes, I tackled Billy and then stood over him, jumped up and bomb dropped on top of him. When I rolled off Billy had this kind of rhythmic convulsion going, it looked hilarious and was in keeping with his sense of humour...but he wouldn't stop. Ambulance, paramedics, short term memory loss, a ride to the hospital, Billy giving my address to the EMT he was so spun around! You know, standard OCHC, Dan and Billy stuff.
What can you tell us about Hardcore Grafix? Was that a friend that simply ran a printing company?
It was exactly that, kind of a garage/back yard operation that happened at the right time and place.
Voicebox era Chuck Treece and Dan O'Mahoney, Photo courtesy of: Dan O
What about Voicebox?
Chuck Treece and I met during his stint in Underdog (Richie being one of my favorite east coast connections) and got to know each other during his prolonged stay with Josh Stanton and his family in '89. Chuck's musical ability was undeniable, he regularly recorded songs for skate videos and such entirely by himself. He also possessed that rarity amongst our generation, a working relationship w/the Bad Brains. The chance to work with him was tempting to say the least.
Musical direction was entirely up to him, I was in a learning position on all fronts but lyrical content and layout, which I reserved for myself. The Silence Lies e.p. is an admittedly strange record and I alternate between loving it and cringing when I hear it. We wrote maybe 5 songs, recorded 2, and promoted the record by drafting Steve Insted and Sterling Wilson to play our one and only show opening up for H.R. at the Country Club in Reseda. Chuck and his involvemnt with professional skateboarding is actually how I met Mario Rubalcaba later of 411.
Tell us also about God Forgot.
This e.p. was a one off with Kevin Murphy recording all of the music, and me handling the vocals and production. Kevin hates the way it turned out, I think it's a brave record. The entire record deals with the aftermath of child sexual abuse, its effect on later relationships, etc. The stark, heavy, taxing sound seems perfect to me given the subject matter.
I hear tales of Kevin's confusion regarding its release, I don't remember anything covert or even cryptic at any point, but we were living 450 miles apart in a pre-cellphone era, so I guess communication could have been lacking compared to our work together in 411. I may have been a bit lazy in terms of keeping him updated on its day to day progress, regrettable indeed. That said, Kevin is a remarkable talent, very fun to play and travel with, and I'd work with him again in a second.
What was the full story behind the 1994 NFAA European Tour, as well as any ties with Lost & Found?
Five years after the break up of No For An Answer, European booking agents M.A.D. floated the idea to Gavin and me of doing a European tour. It took some debate as the potential to be misunderstood was great. By the mid 90s this was a band led by adults living on their own, with deceased parents etc., financial risk was very real, jobs would be put on hold, rent would be at risk and so forth. That being acknowledged, the notion that people thought we were trying to get rich was a laughable but real concern as bands traveling abroad tend to be paid and treated better than they are at home.
From our standpoint Gavin and I considered it a chance to explore whether or not we were interested in playing together again. We got that out of our system, had an amazing time, met people who would remain a part of our lives for years to come, developed a greater respect and understanding of Europe than we could have imagined, came home with barely enough to pay the bills, and wouldn't trade it for anything.
Lost and Found Records? We planned releasing a 7" of new material with them and in fact accepted a meager recording advance from them at roughly the same time we determined they were responsible for thousands of NFAA bootlegs. Who would return that check to somebody ripping you off for thousands? I would and will swindle someone who robs me six ways from Sunday and smile while doing it. They continued to release shoddy unlicensed material of our work and have never managed to show up in my presence during any of my multiple trips to Europe.
Another Three Legged Race alternate shot, Photo courtesy of: Dan O