Sunday, April 4, 2010

Skip - Hogan's Heroes on what HC/punk albums stand the test of time for him

John, Skip and George with Hogan's Heroes at City Gardens with Token Entry, Justice League, Uniform Choice, 7 Seconds. August 2,1987.

Man this question had me thinking more than it really should. My first answer ended up being my last. Trust me, I busted out my vinyl, went through 'em all. Had such a mental debate I almost had a headache, even found myself thinking about it while I was trying to fall asleep.

I'll break it down like this, honorable mentions for me anyway are (in no particular order) Minor Threat, 7 Seconds "Walk Together Rock Together," Nip Drivers "Oh Blessed Freak Show," T.S.O.L. "Dance With Me," Bad Brains "Rock For Light," Black Flag "Damaged," Dead Kennedys "Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables...these albums I love the same way as the first time I heard them. But, it came down to two, which really sucked because I still listen to both on a regular basis and when I put 'em on I have the same gut feeling, the same increase of pulse, the same rush of energy as the first time I put the needle on the record. I still can't control myself without raising a fist or trying to sing along.

These two would be The Cro Mags "Age Of Quarrel" and The Bad Brains "I Against I." Age Of Quarrel starts off with 3 songs that to me are the best first three songs ever recorded. They flow seamlessly into each other and carry such a fucking energy that even now it is impossible to be still. I don't think I ever listened to that album and did not go word for word with John for at least those three songs before I settled down enough to listen like "normal" people do. Especially after, to me, one of the greatest intros ever.

Skip and George with Hogan's Heroes at City Gardens with Gorilla Biscuits, Icemen, Burn. August 26,1990. Photo: Ken Salerno

If there is one intro as good or better, it would be on my pick for the best album of all time - Bad Brains "I Against I." The first time I heard that intro into I Against I it blew my fucking head off. I thought, "Holy shit these guys are fucking musical monsters and they devour music and spit it back out into nothing else I've heard before and have heard since." The whole album is a masterpiece in every way from lyric to the mix - it is flawless. Much has been documented on the influence of the Bad Brains throughout the "musical" world but this album touched more than musicians that became famous and wore the lightning bolt shirt on MTV or gave props in Rolling Stone, it made fucking kids fly throuh the air and bounce off the walls in clubs, cars, or alone in there room.

I remember waiting in line outside City Gardens in Trenton to get in to see them on the I Against I tour and hearing them soundcheck Return To Heaven. The building was shaking, everyone was freaking out cause it was just a matter of time before that album came alive. And it did, it fucking did. Bad Brains I Against I. If you don't got it, get it. If you do, I think you probably agree..but then again what the fuck do I know.

John and Skip with Hogan's Heroes at City Gardens with Gorilla Biscuits, Icemen, Burn. August 26,1990. Photo: Ken Salerno


Nick said...

For some reason I can't really get into any Bad brains other than the ROIR Tape - it's the first thing I heard and I can't imagine wanting to hear the songs sound different.

Anonymous said...

Must agree with you Skip. Best Bad Brains material ever and probably best hardcore lp ever, I Against I. Oh, I wish I still had my photos of you guys in Gilman '93.

Anonymous said...

great write up! and great selection!

benj said...

I don't mean to get off topic here, but why weren't Hogan's Heroes bigger than they were? They were around at the right time and put out some killer stuff that to me, really stood out. I always thought their stuff was the real deal in terms of honesty and aggression. I'd be super stoked to see more from Skip in the future!

Tim said...

Great description of hearing the Bad Brains soundcheck from outside. The Return To Heaven tour was incredible.

Paul said...

Although I was too young to see Hogan's Heroes, I spent many a night skating the Casino and listening to OS101, they're still one of my favorite NJ bands. As a young teen I even dressed up as Skip for a Halloween show at the Casino. Would love to hear more from him in the future.