Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ian MacKaye on Minor Threat's - "You Betrayed Me By Growing Up"

Ian gets mobbed by the California crowd, Photo: Edward Colver

Here I am sitting on my sofa, plugging away at tonight's planned entry when this beauty from LA's own Ben Merlis miraculously falls into my lap. It was just a day or two ago when someone posted a link on the Livewire board to a newly surfaced Minor Threat live tape with a unreleased track titled "You Betrayed Me By Growing Up" on the set list. The site, More Than A Witness, has uncovered a slew of live recorded gems in the past, so it was really no surprise that they'd bring something as stellar as this to the light. So Ben being the inquisitive, knowledge seeking, hardcore historian that he is, took it upon himself to go one step further and ask the man himself about the story behind this mysteriously unreleased track. What follows is the message Ben received from Ian and the lyrics Ian sent as well. Take note, the lyrics to "You Betrayed Me By Growing Up" has practically the same lyrics as "Betray", but in a different order.

This goes without saying, but big thanks to Ben Merlis for getting to the bottom of this and making his first DCXX contribution a damn good one. Also big thanks to More Than A Witness for delivering the goods on a regular basis. I know I for one have downloaded plenty of great live sets from them and their work is much appreciated. Of course a thanks is also in order to Ian MacKaye for answering Ben's questions and fronting one of the greatest hardcore bands of all time. -Tim DCXX

Here's a link to More Than A Witness for said Minor Threat live set, plus other priceless live material:
More Than A Witness

Ian with Minor Threat at Wilson Center, Washington, DC 1981, Photo: Malco23

Hello Ben.

Many thanks for forwarding me the link to the Woodlawn show. I'm fairly certain I have a recording of this show, but it's always good to grab another one just in case. About a year ago, someone else contacted me about this song ("You Betrayed Me By Growing Up", or whatever it was going to be called) and I was completely surprised to hear it. I had completely forgotten about it.

It was an unfinished song that I think we decided to try playing out to see how it felt. That's the only time I think we ever did that song/arrangement, but the lyrics ended up becoming the song "Betray". (I'll stick the lyrics below).

I can't remember why we ditched that music... it was a cool track, but I imagine that it just didn't make the grade within the band's collective mind. There were a lot of songs/riffs/arrangements that never made it out of the basement, this is one of the only ones that escaped (albeit to only live a day!).

All the best. Ian

Lyle and Ian with Minor Threat at Wilson Center, Rollins with the sing along, Washington, DC, Spring 1981, Photo: Malco23

You Betrayed Me By Growing Up

Goddammit, we were supposed to stay young
But now it's over, it's finished, it's done
Normal expectations, they were on the run
But now it's over, it's finished, it's done
Maybe it was no one's fault
I know it wasn't mine
And now (that you've moved along)
And now I'm next in line
You betrayed me by growing up
You betrayed me by growing up
I thought we had the same ideas
But you, you proved me wrong
And now (I've been played the fool before)
But never for quite so long
You betrayed me by growing up
You betrayed me by growing up
No, I'll see you tomorrow
Same channel, same time, same place
I'm not going anywhere
Cause I quit your fucking race
You betrayed me by growing up
You betrayed me by growing up


thefleX said...

Great post, a Void entry/interview next please

Anonymous said...

Awesome. You made my day bro

Anonymous said...

looking at those old ass minor threat pics bummed me
out Hard Core will never be like that again.

Anonymous said...

I can't help it but this might be my favorite DC post ever, since it is related to Minor Threat.

Jon said...

Very cool of Ian to give the history behind this song. I first got this live tape around 1987, and always loved this "unreleased" song...

Ben Edge said...

Best band ever, any genre, period. Needless to say, I'm stoked that my first entry is a Minor Threat-related one.

Here's what Jeff Nelson has to say about the song, via Livewire:

" I only very vaguely remember that song. I think that the main riff was written by Brian, and I seem to remember we decided it was too similar to a Damned song. I can also hear a few parts that became part of our “Little Friend.” Some of Ian’s lyrics became part of “It follows me” with some “Betray” thrown in. I’m surprised we played such an incomplete song live!

Take care...Jeff"

Anonymous said...

looking at those old ass minor threat pics bummed me
out Hard Core will never be like that again.

You're going to the wrong shows, then.

Anonymous said...

great stuff!!!

Igby said...

Great post!

Anonymous said...

What shows are you going to???

The Please And Thank Yous said...

"looking at those old ass minor threat pics bummed me
out Hard Core will never be like that again.

You're going to the wrong shows, then."

agreed. there's no point in trying to blame the present on the can make it happen if you care enough. that's what those guys all did when they were kids. punk never dies; people do.

Anonymous said...

That period in hard core will never be relieved again!that was the early 80s no internet,no cellphones,no myspace,no C.D.s,no hybrids,no blogs.No respect,thats why Hard core in the 80s was dangerous,inspiring,angry,urgent. thats why Hard core is not as crucial today what are the kids angry for?

Anonymous said...

skate puuuuuuuuunks.

Viacomclosedmedown on youtube said...

Cool, that yodeling punker got me away from commercial rock thank god 'cus I coulda stuck with Gary Numan in '79 when it got me thinkin' out loud. Anyways Ian and the boys got me to "step out" in jr. high and glad I did 'cus I shaped my future to what I wanted as we 'burbs guys into Hardcore didn't do the city punk then (I did, I took a bus downtown to shows). Today no one dances or "flexes" if they only knew 'cus they could have skater cool's about action yoh.

Anonymous said...

i dont know what the hell happened in this thread of comments but there is some straight up stupidity going on here.

it was a cool blurb on a recently uncovered tune. let's leave it at that and avoid the overarching generalities that sound like the things people say in a bar after 4 drinks..."man it's not like the old days! these young kids..."

give me a break...