The record that stands the test of time for me is Victim In Pain by Agnostic Front, always will. That record is amazing from beginning to end and represents a very special time to me, when hardcore first started taking over my entire life. When I joined Violent Children, somehow we got to play with AF many times, before VIP was even out but they had the same lineup (Billy Milano was their roadie and always kept us laughing). Roger and Vinny were always very cool to us and even put us on a bill with them at CBGB's. One of the greatest compliments I ever got was after we played that show, Roger went up to Ray and said "Yo Ray, I really like your new guitar player, he reminds me of Al SSD… even though I fuckin' hate Al SSD."
The CB's scene was more than sketchy back in the early to mid 80s, but Vinny was especially welcoming and friendly and although I was new, he always made me feel like "part of the family." He let me borrow his amp on more than one occasion, and one time he literally gave me the shirt of his back! He wore this shirt at CB's that had an Italian flag on it and said "America: We discovered it, We built it, We run it." I mentioned to him that I thought it was cool and he said "Hey, you're a pisan, take the shirt, I can get a new one." That was Vinny, he was all heart, still is.
Porcell with Shelter at City Gardens, Trenton NJ, Photo: Ken Salerno
I remember being outside Cappo's house waiting for him and he comes walking down the driveway with a huge grin on his face. "It's out," he said, which begged the question, WHAT THE HELL IS OUT!? Then he reached into a brown paper bag and pulled out the gatefold cover to Victim In Pain and I practically passed out. We RAN into his room and couldn't get that thing on the turntable fast enough. From the opening chord of "Victim In Pain" all the way down to "With Time," the record was just flawless…hardcore at its best. We probably listened to it a dozen times. Plus that photo on the inside from CB's with Roger with the chain around his waist and Richie Stig doing the stagedive was incredible! What a record!
It really pissed me off when MRR demonized AF as nazis and bashed the Victim In Pain record. What part of "United & Strong/Blacks & Whites United & Strong/Punks & Skins" did they not understand? I was there. I saw what a positive impact AF had on the scene. They practically single-handedly united the NYHC scene and went out of their way to help new bands or anyone. They believed that NYHC was a family and we should be fighting the outside world, not each other. That made a huge impression on me as a kid and it's stuck with me all these years.
Even today, when I listen to VIP, it sounds as fresh and vital as the first time I heard it. I put that thing on and immediately I'm transported back to CBGB's, singing along with Power, screaming "Stigma!" and feeling like music could change the world. Changed my life at least. -Porcell
Porcell with Youth Of Today at The Living Room, Providence RI, January 1989
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Posted by DOUBLE CROSS at 10:40 PM