Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ratboy on the Youth Of Today "Josh says MOSH!" t-shirt

Photobucket
Original Youth Of Today - "Josh Says Mosh" shirt

If you look through enough old HC photos circa 1985-1989, you may end up eventually seeing a very strange Youth Of Today shirt that has a never before used handwritten Youth Of Today logo, and some strange art basically featuring a moshing bodybuilder cartoon character literally breaking down the walls. It actually even says "MOSH" on it..."Josh says MOSH" to be exact. On paper, this is perhaps the greatest t-shirt ever. The actual execution is a little strange and juvenile, but it's still pretty much awesome, and the first real Youth Of Today shirt.


Sources have led us to decipher that CTHC legend Ratboy, real name John Hancock (yes, real name), was the one behind this artwork. You may also be aware that he wrote some early YOT lyrics, as well as Straight Edge Revenge, which will be a later topic. For now, enjoy some of the backstory and I will allow Tim to discuss his ownership of the original shirt. But first, here's what Ratboy had to say… MOSH!!!!! -Gordo DCXX

Photobucket
"Josh Says Mosh" came from a flyer that I made for an AF/ YOT show at a VFW someplace. The dude in the art was holding a globe on his back Atlas style, or was he pulling a Y apart like he was behind bars, I can't remember which one it was. Anyhow, Ray liked it and asked me to make something for a t-shirt that he could give as a gift to one of CTHC's most prominent but perhaps at the time under appreciated characters, Mr. Jeff "Spaz" Coleman.

Jeff I believe had just started the band Seizure, it was his birthday, and I was MORE than happy to help Ray support Spaz. To me, Spaz always did, and still does embody what HC or Punk Rock was and what it should mean to be HC or Punk Rock. I'm pretty sure Jeff wasn't Straight Edge and technically neither was I, but what both Ray and I recognized was Jeff's deep sense of honor, devotion, and undying enthusiasm for the scene as true hearted, and it mattered not if he had an X on his hand.

I don't think I ever saw the shirt or know if Jeff even liked it, as I was jumping back and forth to LA/SF to live with a couple Pro Skaters, regularly sending photos and gig reports back to Jim Spad for the Connecticut Underground Dispatch (CUD).

It was a complete shock for me to only recently find out that there was more than one shirt even made. I was even more surprised to find out that lyrics which I had written had gone on to become Youth Crew, Straight Edge Revenge, and We Just Might. We will get back to that later. - With peace, John Hancock

Photobucket
Steve Reddy rocks the YOT "Josh Says Mosh" shirt in front of CBGB, NYC, photo from: Making A Scene

I remember the first time I saw the Youth Of Today "Josh Says Mosh" shirt, it was in the New York Hardcore book, "Making A Scene". There's a photo of Steve Reddy (Wolf Pack/Equal Vision Records) wearing it, hanging out in front of CBGB's with an X'ed up Tommy Carroll of Straight Ahead. That was really the only time I'd seen it until coming across a photo that Tom from Significant Records took of Drew from BOLD wearing it during a BOLD set at the Safari Club in Washington, DC, 1989. Aside from seeing those two photos, I'd never seen one in person, that was until a friend of mine tracked one down on eBay a few years ago.

So, said friend couldn't resist the power of "Josh" and fell prey to an impulse purchase and spent more money than he really could afford. In turn, said friend came to me, knowing that I was a huge YOT fan and avid collector of all things YOT, shirts included, and asked if I'd be down to buy it from him. After going back and forth we settled on a deal and "Josh" moshed on into my collection.

Now after two years of owning the shirt myself, I myself have decided to sell it. Part of the reason I'm selling it is because I've never worn it. As cool and rare as this shirt is and as great of condition that it is in, right now I could really use the money. I figure considering that I've never worn the shirt and have kept it folded up in the exact clear plastic bag that my friend received it in, I might as well unload. As they say on eBay, my loss, your gain. It's time for Josh to mosh himself right into someone else's collection! -Tim DCXX

Check out the eBay auction here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200488795981&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT#ht_500wt_1154

Photobucket
Drew busts out the sleeveless "Josh" shirt with BOLD at the Safari Club, DC, Photo: Tom Significant

12 comments:

Mike Driggs said...

I just told Jeff Coleman to check out the story and add some comments if he has any. You guys should definitely drop Jeff a line and throw some questions his way. Hes still VERY active in the scene and on of the best dudes ive had the honor of becoming friends with.

Jon said...

My friends Mike & Ted went to see YOT in Albany, late 85 I think. May have been with 7 Seconds....They both came back with this shirt. I barely knew who YOT was at the time. I saw YOT soon after, but never saw them selling this shirt again. It's a classic.

Anonymous said...

freakin awesome shirt and super cool write up....if i had the $ i'd be bidding

Martin said...

Crazy, in a good way. Man, I wish I would've saved and kept in tact, all my hardcore/punk shirts I've bought in the last 25+ years. I'm sure a lot of you reading this feel the same way. It's strange how shirts just disappear over the years. Oh well. If I had extra money to spend, I would love to own this piece of history, considering I'm from the wWest Coast. I really wish I still had my Uniform Choice-'Use Your Head' shirt, out of 'em all. Memories...

Ben Edge said...

What pro skaters was Ratboy living with?

Chris Schneider said...

That's not Tommy Carroll standing with Steve Reddy. It's my Brother Steven Schneider. I don't see Xs on his hands, but that is a "Fit For Abuse" T-shirt he's wearing.

DOUBLE CROSS said...

I wasn't referring to that guy, I was referring to Tommy who I ended up cropping out of this photo because he was so far to the right. If I had left Tommy in the photo I would have to had reduce the photo so small that you wouldn't have been able to see the "Josh" shirt that Steve Reddy was wearing. - Tim

DOUBLE CROSS said...

Chris - Here's a link to the full photo from the Making A Scene book...

http://forums.livewire-records.com/read.php?f=1&i=399113&t=399113#reply_399113

Mike said...

As Jon mentioned, I picked up my shirt at a show in Albany, NY and still have it. 7 Seconds headlined.

Chris Schneider said...

Tim, I actually have the book, but it's been a long time since I looked at it and it's in storage right now. True story though; I was living in Houston TX in the mid 90s and was in Half Price books walking towards the music section when from about ten or more feet away my eyes zoomed in on the word "Hardcore" and I made a bee-line for it, picked out the book and thought; "Hmm, my Brother or Sister might be in this." I then opened it right to that picture. Kinda blew me away. On a related note, I also had the "Josh" shirt,(saw all their early shows including the first and took photos that ended up on their first 7") a but gave it to Scott from Double Negative for his B-Day way back in the summer of 86 when he was in Second Coming. He probably still has it. Speaking of Second Coming, have you ever seen the Raleigh Hardcore Documentary from 85? http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3358349537966461407#

Anonymous said...

$445 for a fucking t-shirt!?!
congratulations, you're moron of the decade

Anonymous said...

this shirt is actually being reprinted and sold as we speak...