A strip of original SSD stickers from Al to Scott and now to Gordo, Photo: Gordo
The story I'm about to tell could be viewed by many as relatively insignificant - even amongst a hardcore audience...but if there is in fact an audience for it, I figured it is here on Double Cross. Plus, it seems like there are more and more grown up hardcore/punk/skate dudes into motorcycles as I'm getting older, which is awesome.
Some backstory: I've been obsessed with motorcycles since I was a little kid. Specifically, old style, custom-built, Harley-powered bikes that are blatantly illegal and ridiculous looking...classic, cool "choppers" and "bobbers" if you will. I have minimal mechanical aptitude and am lacking the necessary tools and machinery, so building my own ride as desired has always been an illogical pipedream of sorts. In the meantime, I had settled on a Harley Sportster, excessive daydreaming, and the sad conclusion that in some far off time and place where money and time was abundant, I would obtain a wild machine that oozed of 1960s/1970s gasonline-drenched testosterone and koolness.
Gasoline-drenched Boston Hardcore, Photo: Gordo
In the meantime, my buddy Evan is a long time straight edge dude who has been into punk/HC since the eighties, helped me a lot when I was coming up, and taught me a ton about motorcycles as I got into them more and more. Some of you may even know him, as he plays guitar for Wisdom In Chains and has been around forever. He has built three sick, old style custom Harleys on his own and is a motorcycle genius, and he recently decided he'd sell me the first custom bike he built himself. It's a kick-start only, four speed, rigid framed beast with a 1972 Shovelhead motor and everything you'd deem appropriate on such a subtle monster, and it's been one of my absolute favorite motorcycles since the day I saw it eight years ago right after he finished it.
When he unexpectedly decided to sell it, I drained my savings and sold all unnecessary material possessions without hesitation. Now that I have it a few weeks later, I'll just say that I have again concluded that money can in fact buy happiness (just be sure to pay cash). Of course I wish I could say I built the bike myself, but there's always a 'next bike.' Either way, it was cool to buy my dream bike from him after all the cool shit he's exposed me to, and I think he'd agree I was the appropriate new owner.
Scott Hill with Fu Manchu, notice the original SSD sticker under his strings, Photo courtesy of: Scott Hill
So - back to SSD...
I wanted to have something on the bike that gave a somewhat subdued but appropriate nod to my similar obsession with punk/hardcore/straight edge. Crimson Ghost sticker or The Bars? Already seen it done on bikes. Minor Threat sheep? Eh. SSD sticker? Woah, that would be awesome, and that would say it all. I instantly thought of the fact that Scott Hill from Fu Manchu plays Dan Armstrong guitars that often times have a black/yellow original SSD sticker under the strings next to the pick up. I thought it was cool because that sticker in a way sends a very concise but clear message to anybody in the know. It's loud, it's bold, it's stripped down, it's confrontational and commanding...and that is exactly what hardcore is to me in an aesthetic design sense. Oh, SSD is one of my all-time favorites, too.
I wrote Scott and asked me if he could scan me the sticker for the purpose I had in mind, because I honestly considered having a replica one-off made, and I knew Scott digs bikes. Scott asked me my address, and without expecting it, I realized he was clearly going to be sending me something. Only a few days later, and voila:
Letter from Scott with accompanying SSD stickers, Photo: Gordo
Woah! Just like that, dude sent me an original SSD sticker from 1983 that he had gotten direct from Al Barile. Now, I guess this is "only" a sticker and some may think my enthusiasm is a little goofy...but I have visions of Al getting fan mail and orders for Get It Away nearly 30 years ago, and firing off stickers to a young Scott Hill all the way out in SoCal. To me, that's awesome. So not only is Fu Manchu awesome and one of my favorite bands, but Scott is THE MAN for just hooking me up like that (and it's not the first time either!).
Perhaps a crazy move, but I put the sticker on the oil tank of my bike, and it's honestly one of my favorite things about it now. Simple, brutal artwork being placed on simple, brutal artwork...paying my respects to SSD and Boston, and giving a nod to Fu. It's hardcore and motorcycles, two of my favorite worlds colliding, and both make perfect sense together in my mind. When I'm ripping down the highway and someone sees "SSD" next to an evil kicker pedal, I want them to feel like they just got slayed.
I thought I'd share the story as well as some good pics of the sticker.
Big thanks to Al SSD, big thanks to Evan, and big thanks again to Scott Hill.
XCLAIM! - Gordo DCXX
ps - Mike Judge and Todd Schwartz: dudes, let's ride!!!
Gordo's machine in all its glory, original SSD sticker included, Photo: Gordo
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Original Straight Ahead artwork from the collection of Duane Some
Although you couldn't pick a loser out of the songs on the record, the self-titled tune by Straight Ahead took the win here, followed closely by my personal favorite, "Breakaway." While the song Straight Ahead is a no-nonsense classic anthem that should practically be the theme song for all youths growing up in New York City, the mosh part in Breakaway and accompanying solo is what I would want to have cued up on headphones if I was ordered to demolish a large bridge. I'm not sure anybody has ever sounded cooler than Tommy when he yells "BREAK THROUGH, BREAK FREE, BREAAAKKKKAWWWWAAYYYYY!!!!!..." Perfect, man.
That whole record is a classic. When I think of 1987 NYHC, I think of the Straight Ahead LP. Perfect recording, perfect raw energy...and I know there are people that will tell me the record is not nearly as good as how they were live, yada yada. Here's what I'm saying: this record is a classic. If you don't know it, if you don't love it, if you don't abide by it: you pose.
Original ad for the Straight Ahead LP that was posted on the door of Some Records
Oh...now is probably a good time to mention that in the coming weeks, we should have an interview with none other than the man himself, Mr. Tommy Carroll, brought to us via DCXX contributor-in-the-trenches, Howie "In-Effect" Abrams. Psyched!!! -Gordo DCXX
Straight Ahead - 86
Breakaway - 68
Spirit Of Youth - 27
Not Afraid - 13
We Stand - 13
Right Idea - 12
Straight Ahead flyer from the collection of Duane Some
Sunday, June 27, 2010
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
"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
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
Drew busts out the sleeveless "Josh" shirt with BOLD at the Safari Club, DC, Photo: Tom Significant
Thursday, June 24, 2010
A very young and freshly tattooed Harley Flanagan, Photo courtesy of: Harley
Harley returns again to DCXX, this time discussing Bad Brains, Motorhead, and the infamous We Gotta Know video. Cro Mag! Skinhead! Breakout!!!!! -Gordo DCXX
You got to know the Bad Brains very well on a personal level. What was each of them like back then, and what type of connection did you have with them as individuals? What did you learn from them? Good memories/stories?
I met them before they gigged in NYC through Nick Marden, who used to roadie for The Stimulators and eventually became the bassist and years later the singer. I have a lot of great memories of those guys - more than I can tell you. It's like talking about my family, I've known them since I was a kid, they spent Christmas at my grandparents' house back in the day, they were like family to me when I was growing up. They were like my uncles and brothers, especially Darryl. He was like my big brother, always beating me up and messing with me. He is probably the only person who ever actually taught me anything on the bass, like sat down and showed me stuff about picking and power chords. I love all of those guys and I learned a lot from them about music and about life. A lot of people were trying to school me the wrong way, but the Bad Brains were trying to school me right. Stimulators used to gig with them, Cro-Mags used to gig with them...I do have some great stories, but they will be in the book, I have a lot of love for them.
Harley with the Cro-Mags at City Gardens, Trenton, NJ, Photo: Ken Salerno
Tell us about touring with Motorhead. What were Lemmy & Co. like off stage? What types of mischief did you get into with Lemmy? When was the last time you saw him? Favorite Motorhead song and record?
Lemmy is The MAN - that's all I got to say about him. I haven't seen him in a while but we are in touch telepathically. Ace Of Spades is of course my favorite album in its entirety, but they had some great stuff on Iron Fist. They have too many great ones to start, but those are two of my many favorites of his.
I saw that first tour they did in the states when they played at Irving Plaza, there was only a couple hundred people there. Me, Darryl, John, Kontra and a couple others. We kept almost getting in fights for starting up our little pit - a 4 or 5 person pit, but they killed. The music from The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly came through the PA...there was no one on stage, then the lights went on and Lemmy jumped out from stage right, Fast Eddie jumped out from stage left, Philthy jumped up from behind the drums and they busted into Ace Of Spades! It was great, I met them at the Mud Club on that tour, I have some funny memories from that night, but I'll save them.
Years later we toured with them on the Orgasmatron tour, I watched every show they did. My ears are still ringing and it's been over 20 years! I have some really funny stories from that tour, I've been lucky to gig with them many times since then in Europe and so on, they were a big inspiration musically and a part of what made the Cro-Mags sound and style. I learned a lot from them, both me and Parris were big fans, I think you can hear that in our music and the picking style.
Cro-Mag, Skinhead, Breakout... Now!!!, Photo courtesy of: Harley
The WE GOTTA KNOW video is one of the most heralded music videos ever. It's got everything you could want in a Cro-Mags video. What do you remember about the shows where the footage came from, as well as the other footage in the video? Any good stories or memories behind it? What do you think of the video today?
Parris did a great job with that, I'm still proud of that video. He was going to SVA and he had this little movie camera his folks got him. He'd film stuff and get friends or his brother to film us while we gigged, then he edited it or directed it or whatever, not that there was any directing, it was just us being us.
Some of it was from the Motorhead Orgasmatron tour, some of it was from when we did that movie "The Beat" - that shit was terrible, a kid broke his neck during the shoot of our scene. Some of it was filmed at CB's, those were great days, period. Besides things like that kid's neck getting broken and some of the insane fights, of course. It's cool to see some of my old friends in that video, it's like a moment in time, it's crazy.
I still think it's a good video after all these years, a lot of fuckin' people bit off that shit, even look at some of the old Pantera videos and shit. A lotta motherfuckers bit off that shit, it is kind of a classic, because that was like the first time a real mosh pit had been seen on TV, I don't think there was stage diving or crowd surfing in any videos or anything like that yet. I think Suicidal Tendencies had a video but I don't think it had a real live mosh pit in it, I don't remember. All I know is that it was insane, it wasn't staged, it was totally nuts, and for a lot of America and a lot of the world that was the first time people outside of a HC gig ever saw a pit or a stage dive. It was that video on Headbanger's Ball that brought that shit to the screen and to the world outside of HC shows. Years later I remember seeing a car commercial were the car was crowd surfing or some shit and I had to laugh. But it really kind of set that shit off as far as bringing slam dancing and moshing or whatever and stage diving/crowd surfing and all that shit out to the world 'cause most people had never seen that kind of shit. Then when Parris directed that Onyx Video "Slam," they kind of bit off that whole HC mosh and crowd surf vibe.
But yeah, it brings back some good memories. Unfortunately they get overshadowed by all the bullshit that's going on now, but it is a good video. I haven't looked at it in years, I was like 18 in that shit. I got some stories you wouldn't believe, crazy shit, it's too bad, those really were fun times, we put on some great shows. Me, Parris, John, Mack, and Doug...and me, Parris, Doug, John, Pete, that shit was slamming and as fucked up as me and John were (and we were, we were all total characters, the shit was a funny band), it was real.
I got some great stories, but they will be in the book. The shit that's going on now, the fake Cro-Mags, it's all a bunch of bullshit. It ain't real at all. It's really too bad - it's some totally fake shit. But John wants to be the controller and that's that. They talk about that a lot in Krishna consciousness - people wanting to be the controller, it's funny. Oh well. It was a great band when it was real. Now, it's those songs - being played by other people who didn't write them or live it. It's too bad, I always wanted the band to stay together or get back together, but everyone wants to be the controller, and that's that, It's about ego and money, not about the integrity of what we were as a band and as a group of people who made that music. It's too bad.
Harley speaks his piece to the Trenton crowd, Cro-Mags at City Gardens, Photo: Ken Salerno
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
As a bit of a precursor/warm up to tomorrow's next Harely entry, I thought I'd drop this one on all those that would appreciate it. Being a manic Cro-Mags fan and equally manic Michael Jordan fan, this video here gave me goose bumps. Thanks to Karl from Montreal for bringing this baby to my attention. -Tim DCXX
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Eddie with TRUTHandRIGHTS at their first show in Philadelphia, Photo: Richie Tuffini
Eddie Sutton, the undisputed bantamweight champion of the NYHC scene, returns standing tall for Round 3 in our ongoing piece with him. Enjoy! -Gordo DCXX
Tell us about the transformation from The Unruled to Leeway. How did Leeway come together and what type of momentum was there at the time? What were the early songs, and how did you see the band coming together in terms of sound and style? Tell us what you remember about recording the demo.
That first show at The Coventry, right off of Queensboro Plaza. This was where KISS played their first show as well as the early bands which made up the makings of New York and punk early on which Malcolm McLaren stole for the makings of english punk...bands like the New York Dolls, The Heartbreakers, and so many other bands around that '73-'75 period. We needed a real name, and we bounced a few around. The two we looked at seriously were JUGGERNAUT or LEEWAY, and we got the name and idea from a friend who went by the name of EJ Vodka. Leeway fit the pattern of what we felt was hardcore... the margin of freedom to do things your way. It made sense to us so we ran with it.
Our very first demo was done in one of the big NBC studios which I believed Saso's father made happen for us. The songs never lasted except for maybe Be Loud? I'm not sure. My memories of the main ENFORCER demo are what I consider our real debut in many ways as we began establish our sound and style. I was never into having one of the hard names....I went for what I went for and did my thing with my band and let the music and show speak for itself.
The momentum and style grew all through that first year...not too many good shows, but Astoria boys were showing up in these half-ass venues stirring shit up and they were funny as well as enjoyable. I don't have too many memories of recording the demo, but I believe we were much more serious than a lot of bands who were happening because we worked hard and rehearsed steady. We had a work ethic beyond the average fantasy, and half-ass bands just going through the motions and this of course helped us to improve and progress real quick. You can easily hear the growth from The Enforcer demo into our revised Enforcer demo with live tracks from our first BAD BRAINS show at The Ritz on I believe December 27th, 1986?
Once we started doing real shows at CBGB's in '85 we could see we had a following and it inspired us more to work harder and bring something real to the growing scene which at 5+ years old was really starting to grow. The growth up to '86 and into '87 was as steady like a boy growing into a man right before your eyes, getting taller, stronger, and more confident in his actions. By the time we played that first Rock Hotel show in June of '86 with Mackie on drums it really paved the way.
Once we experienced a true percussionist like Mackie in the band we knew what we needed which was a strong backbone. That's what I think of when I look at any band. Without a solid drummer, or the cut above which I call a percussionist, you're simply spineless and you ain't got it. You can't stand tall and bring it. Saso was good enough for the early start, but with his wieght training, and getting bigger in mass he wasn't growing as a musician like the rest of us which is why he walked away. He was no longer loose nor did he have it. I then took the task of letting go of Jose, which broke his heart, but I was determined to be recognized and take this band to the next level....thankfully we moved on and the rest was history.
Eddie pulls himself out of the City Gardens crowd during pure Leeway mayhem, Photo: Ken Salerno
During this time ('86/'87), who were your favorite bands in the NYHC scene? What were some shows you remember standing out? How had hardcore in NYC changed in your eyes from a few years prior, and where did you see Leeway fitting in at the time?
The whole NYHC scene changed dramatically to become a force to be reckoned with from '85-'87 in my opinion. I of course was so impressed with the CRO-MAGS demo. Mackie sounded like an automatic rifle and a runaway freight train. I also heard him on the early ICEMEN demo. Phenominal. You could hear how he came from the Earl Hudson school and method, but he had a style all his own as well. You also knew a band couldn't be as powerful without such a backbone.
The younger bands coming up just after or with us, Sick Of It All, Breakdown, Underdog, Ludichrist/Scatterbrain, Carnivore...you could obviously hear the dfferent styles along with the stalwarts like Murphy's Law, AF, and others like Icemen, Urban Waste, Frontline, Kraut etc...this was becoming something you had to be a part of. I remember some great shows as a fan and of my own with Leeway. The 2nd time we opened C.O.C with Scott Ian up front and he kept catching a ton of stage dives on his head, but not because who he was, no one knew him and he just got rid of his leather pants just recently for a dress code more in line with the NYHC style. It was the first show where Chris Williamson saw us and he was floored. That set was one for the books...those early CBGB shows were so special to me. I feel so lucky to have witnessed it as a fan/musician/vocalist and to be doing it at this time in my life makes it even more precious since I'm again inspired now as I was then. I can write songs all day. That's such an incredible and beautiful feeling to have and hold at this point in my life.
I don't care for reunion shows from many bands who just play 10-20 year old songs without anything new. I get the fact that kids haven't seen these bands, but it goes beyond the reunion and they play out and tour too much without giving the fans something new. I have my memories and I'll keep them over too many reunion shows. The majority are either past their prime or just can't create/write anymore or even relate to these kids more than half their age. I only enjoy it when I havn'nt seen the bands in ages like Supertouch at the BnB Bowl, you know? It's just how I feel since I've been a part of this for almost the complete existence of NYHC as a fan as well as contributor to it.
TRUTHandRIGHTS at The Barbary, Philadelphia, PA, Photo: Jack McGettigan
Tell us about getting onto Profle/Rock Hotel and recording "Born To Expire" at Normandy. What was that studio experience like, and how do you remember feeling as you heard things being tracked? What type of sound and feel did you want to capture on that record? What were you all influenced by at the time that may have showed on that record? Favorite song on the record?
The introduction to such a professional studio like Normandy Sounds was a bit overwhelming, but I was focused enough to hold myself, and we as a group and team were more than ready to go in there and do our thing. I always understood the fact that recording was about perpetuity by that point of my experience in this music. You're there to actually capture a moment in time which will be there until the end of civilization or at least until the relevence of such a sound when it's long gone. Even when that happens man will still go back to see what was happening in the world in the past. I remember being up in Rhode Island for more than a week as we all put it together. We had our sound already and we just went in and made it happen right, and happen in a such a big way together.
Tony Fontao was a machine. Zowie was older and he gave me a feeling of confidence and I felt the support without discussing such things. I miss him in my life. I felt grounded with the team we had. Mikey was young, but you have to give him props for his talent, and AJ and I wrote all these songs and we were so tight in mindset and what we created together. This is why BORN TO EXPIRE has withstood the test of time and if we just came out today I think it would do well. Obviously though it came out at a time where we broke so much fuckin' ground like an earthquake does.
I can hear us in so many of the bands across the world today and I feel lucky to have been a part of that. Mainly I'm meaning Leeway's sound and approach and not so much my skills as a vocalist. I think a lot of the bands who went up there to Normandy Sounds after we set the standard were expecting to carbon copy our sound and expected it to just come out that way, but how many of those releases have withstood the test of time? You can't just go into a million dollar studio in that period in time and just lay your tracks down, be tight and expect the true musicianship and emotion to just be there. The approach is wrong. Your total being, passion, hunger and feeling isn't there because you're just trying to do it clean and in proper timing. Your being and talent just doesn't shine like it should.
Eddie with Leeway at the City Gardens Bad Brains sweatbox show, Photo: Ken Salerno
The whole Normandy experience opened my mind to what and how recording a full length actually is. Many don't get it. Again, so many fortunate lessons as I grew into who I was and what I contributed to this thing of ours. I've been truly blessed in so many ways and the fact that when I leave this world I'll still be here and be heard. That's a priceless gift to know and have.
The approach and sound was a group thing. My job was easy compared to the rest of us. The influences I had at the time I cannot put a finger on. I'll leave that to the armchair quarterbacks who think they actually know what's in my head. It's all appreciated by friends/fans so isn't that all that matters? We all had a role and position to play and we killed it. It was instinctual and not too planned or well thought out. We worked hard and prepared ourselves which is why it is what it is. When I go back and listen to it after a long period of time it takes me back to a day and age where we were all just going for it, all of NYHC when I say this.
I believe what Leeway did as well was set new standards and influence the sound of hardcore to let other bands and future musicians know that you had to work hard to get somewhere in this thing of ours from that point on, and that still goes for the new listeners of today. You could no longer just half-ass it and not practice to get somewhere. It just ain't gonna cut it from that point on. It seperated the real from the fantasy of playing in a good band/group. This was our statement in regards to performance, the work and passionate energy you put into writing songs and making them stand out to be a cut above the majority.
It's similar to an alpha-male animal in a pack, or in a den of wolves, if you know what I mean...each time I listen to Born To Expire I appreciate another song more than the other, but I guess the opening rounds of that release...Rise & Fall and Mark of the Squealer are what makes that record open up and and make one bleed...TRUTHandRIGHTS will pretty much only do Rise & Fall with the complete bass intro and the whole song since many bands copy it. I want the audiences to hear it the way it's meant to be.
We don't plan to use Leeway's legacy to get attention, but we will do that one song to give everyone a good representation as to how it should be done and done fuckin' right. That's all. TRUTHandRIGHTS has great songs and we dont' need to do other Leeway songs. The Eddie Leeway Show is my vehicle to go solo, and of course go out and play Leeway songs with a new lineup behind me. I always planned this, and now it's simply on for the late summer to start and play out.
Eddie Sutton says, "What's up!", Photo: Jeff Pliskin
Monday, June 21, 2010
Danzig's new album, "Dethred Sabaoth"
This past Saturday, June 19, 2010, was officially to be known as "Double Dose of Danzig Day", on my calendar at least. Glenn "Danzig" Anzalone was doing an in-store appearance/signing of his new album "Dethred Sabaoth" at Fords, New Jersey's Vintage Vinyl. I had heard about the signing a few weeks prior and knew I wanted to buy the CD, so figured I might as well pick it up at Vintage and meet the old Evil Elvis himself while doing so. Aside from the Jersey signing that was going down earlier in the day, Danzig was playing the Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia at night. I've made it a point to catch Danzig on just about all of his area appearances over the past 10 years, so hitting up the Troc show was a no-brainer. I bought my tickets for the show, pre-ordered my CD from Vintage and patiently waited for this oh-so-black day to come.
I made plans to meet up with my friend/Livewire Records head honcho, Ed McKirdy at Vintage, Saturday around 12:30. Ed ended up arriving at 12:00 and I ended up arriving at 1:30 (got there an hour late to due circumstances out of my control, but that's a whole different story). Glenn was due to arrive at 2:30, but we were advised to get there earlier in the event that a long line piled up. Pre-ordering the new Danzig CD insured you a place in line and an autograph.
When I arrived there were about 20 people already in line ahead of Ed and me. We took our place in line and the wait began. I can assure you that the majority of rapscallions surrounding us in this line were definite dregs of society. Some of these people looked like they were frozen in time from a Lollapalooza fest circa 1993, plucked and dropped to surround us for our entertainment. As if the heat, humidity and direct sunlight blaring on us wasn't enough, everyone around us smoked and cigarette smoke blew in our faces the entire wait. Fun stuff I can assure you. Vintage Vinyl employees would randomly pop out, check out the line and sometimes give us an update on Glenn's arrival. By 2:30 we were told Glenn was stuck in traffic and would be late, but would be there. By this point, the line grew pretty large, exactly how large I couldn't tell you. I know people were going down the back of the building, wrapping up along the side and apparently continuing to the front of the building. I only know that from what others were saying because neither Ed or I left the line.
A line of rapscallions awaiting Danzig's arival, Photo: Ed McKirdy
Finally, two hours late at around 4:30, we get word that Glenn is in the building. We're told it's going to be a quick signing, he's only signing the new CD, no Misfits and no Samhain stuff and there will be no photos taken (time was of the essence considering he had to get back to Philadelphia for a 7:00 show). I'm fine with whatever, I'd handed off a handful of Misfits and Danzig records to Glenn a couple years ago after a show and he signed them all up nice and swell, so I was good with having him just sign the new CD.
Ed on the other hand had just ordered one of the limited edition Eerie Von prints that Generation Records was selling and was hoping and praying he could have Glenn sign it. It really was a great print of Glenn kneeling down overlooking Elvis's grave, early Danzig-era. When the line filed into the store, Vintage Vinyl employees were instructed to grab anyones Misfits and Samhain records so that time would not be wasted once those people got up to Glenn. Of course anyone holding Misfits and Samhain stuff was super bummed and bitching at everyone and anyone that would listen, but honestly, all promo advertising leading up to this told people that Glenn would only be signing the new record, so what did they really expect?
Now with Glenn arriving late (due to traffic issues), it was vital that everyone stuck to the rules. Ed was hoping that since his print was technically Danzig-era Glenn, he'd get away with it. It did appear that Glenn was signing anything that was being handed to him, Danzig "Lucifuge" cassettes, ticket stubs, the latest Decibel magazine cover (which of course has a cartoon Danzig drawing on it), Danzig posters, etc., so I told Ed it looked good for him.
A Danzig poster covered wall at Vintage Vinyl, Photo: Ed McKirdy
The line moved super quick, Ed nervously pulled out his print and desperately said to Glenn, "It would mean the world to me if you'd sign this, buddy." Glenn said "No problem," grabbed a black sharpie and did his thing. Ed was also holding the new CD, and Glenn asked if he wanted that signed as well, Ed happily handed it over and had that signed. I was next in line and had nothing but two copies of the new CD (one for me and one for my cousin who is also a huge Danzig fan) and a copy of the new Danzig "On A Wicked Night" 7". I handed all three items to Glenn, he smiled and signed away, I thanked him, shook his hand and told him I'd see him tonight in Philly. Glenn got a laugh out of me telling him I'd see him in Philly and said, "You'll probably get there before we do." Considering the reason he was late was due to traffic on his ride from Philly to Jersey, I guess he assumed he'd get stuck in more traffic returning to Philly. I guess you could say I had a miniscule hybrid moment with the original Devillocked one.
After Ed and I got our 'graphs and moved out of line, we stood around for a few minutes, looking through the CD racks and watching the Pint Sized Prince in Black continue on with the rest of the crowd. From what we could tell, the guy seemed relatively happy and pleasant, but 2 minutes later Ed and I run into the guy was standing in line in front of us. Ed tells the guy, "Well hell, I guess that was worth the wait hah?" But the guy replies, "Fuck no, fuck Danzig, he's a fuckin' asshole and I'm done with him!" Ed asks what happened and the guy goes on to tell us that Glenn was unfriendly to someone he knew that worked at the store. This guy was completely a wreck from whatever his friend told him and basically said that it was like being a little kid and someone telling you that Santa Clause was not real. See, what I failed to mention was that this guy telling us all of this looked like a dead ringer for Glenn himself. Dude had the long black flowing Danzig hair, aviator sunglasses on, his arms were completely covered with Misfits, Samhain and Danzig tattoos. This guy was an obvious mega-fan, who claimed to have torn up his ticket for the night's show and stepped out of line before getting anything signed. Well shit, sucks to have all those tattoos now I guess.
Before I go any further, let me just take a second to say this…people either LOVE Glenn Danzig or HATE Glenn Danzig, there are very few in-betweeners. Personally I think over the past 10 years or so it's become cool and funny to knock on Glenn and speak at volume on how much hatred one has for the guy. Glenn Danzig has become a target and everyone seems to get a real kick out of taking shots. To me it's sort of entertaining, I mean honestly, how many of us REALLY know Glenn at all? All I know of the guy is what I read in interviews and what I hear from his music and I can assure you, Danzig I through IV are flawless in my book. As for the guy himself, he's been friendly enough any time I've been around him, but really I don't the guy personally any better than I know the guy that pumps my gas. Sure he got punched in the head by some behemoth he was mouthing off to and it got captured on video for all the world to see, but how many of us were there to really witness that whole thing go down? Who really cares anyway?
August 2010 issue of Decibel Magazine featuring Glenn Danzig, Photo: Ed McKirdy
I mean, we're talking about the genius behind the all glorious Misfits, the guy who penned "London Dungeon", "Skulls", "Hybrid Moments", "Bullet", "Last Caress", "Cough/Cool" and about 60 other incredible Misfts songs, not to mention all the Samhain material and the Danzig solo material. To say that Glenn is not at least a unique and talented motherfucker who has maintained his relevance over the past 33 years is just plain silly. Of course for those that don't like him, they probably feel that Glenn has zero relevance today, but I can assure you that every time I've seen him over these past 10 years, if the show is not sold out, the place is well packed (rapscallions or not). Aside from all of that, you gotta respect the fact that the guy has changed very little over his 33 year musical career.
As cliche as it sounds, the dude has remained true to himself, did things the way he wanted to do them, for the most part he's managed his business himself and he's maintained a pretty die-hard fan base. But hey, if you already have your mind made up about the guy and you WANT to hate him, be my guest, it doesn't affect me and it surely isn't going to affect Glenn.
So back to the story… Ed and I wrap up at Vintage and head off to Chipotle for a burrito filled dinner and for me to meet up with my wife and kids. Chipotle was great as always, I've really come to dig this place in a big way. Toss me some guacamole and black beans and I'm a happy man. By this time it was probably close to 6:00 and we still had to stop back at my house which is in-between where we were in north Jersey and Philadelphia and of course we had to get ourselves to the show, so time was closing in on us. We moved as fast as we could and managed to get to the Troc in Philly sometime between 7:30 and 8:00.
Doyle with Gorgeous Frankenstein, Photo: Joey Von
We get in the venue and Doyle's band Gorgeous Frankenstein is on stage. I hit the bathroom upon arrival and come up upon a small line waiting to get in. The guy in front of me looks blitzed beyond belief and tells me that I can go ahead of him, he says, "I just have to throw up and I'm waiting for a toilet, so that urinal is all yours bro!"…nice, at least he's a polite inebriated gent.
After quick use of the bathroom, I'm off to see what's going down on the stage. Like I said, ex-Misfit Doyle's band Gorgeous Frankenstein is playing. I'd seen them before and I'm not much of a fan, but I watched and had some laughs baring witness to the shenanigans going down on the dance floor. How can I put it politely, ummm, these people watched one too many Pantera videos and looked really "special" on that dance floor. Lots of beer muscles, shoving and pushing, little to no attention being paid to the band. Typical "hoss" shit, dudes just wanted to get on the floor and "fuck some people up," like I said, real "special."
As soon as Gorgeous Frankenstein was done, I pushed my way up into the crowd to secure a front row spot for Danzig. I knew I had some time to blow and that Danzig probably wouldn't be hitting the stage any time real soon, but I've been to enough of these kinds of shows to know that if I don't get up there now, I'm fucked and stuck watching from the outside of the pit or back of the club. I've never been much of a "back of the club" type of guy, just doesn't feel very fulfilling to me, at least not when it comes to a band I really like.
Classic era Danzig destroying, Photo courtesy of: 7th House
I find myself surrounded by mostly trashy girls and shaved head, goateed dudes. Eventually Ed finds his way up into the crowd as well. Maybe ten minutes before Danzig hits the stage some short girl donning a Phillies t-shirt pops up in front of me. I have no idea how she found space between me and the dude in front of me, but she weaseled her way in and considering she was so short, I figured she really wouldn't be in my way, so I didn't worry too much. Within a few minutes this same girl tries pulling her boyfriend up in front of me with her, which I wasn't having. Dude knew it wasn't going to happen, so he hung back. The girl kept holding his hand and wrapping her arm around me to do so, which was a tad annoying, but still, I didn't care all that much.
Then the girl starts introducing herself to everyone standing around us, "Hi I'm Amy, what's your name?" Most people took it as a friendly gesture and responded, and I quickly noticed that this girl was 3 sheets to the wind. She also started offering everyone gum, which everyone seemed to eagerly take. Eventually this girl turns around and says, "Hi, I'm Amy, what's your name?" I tell her my name is Tim and I ask if she had just come from the Phillies game, to which she excitedly replies, "Yes!!! I sat in the club seats and had 4 beers!!!" I think it was probably more like 8 beers, but hey whatever, if that's your thing, good for you. Of course I didn't say that, but was definitely thinking it.
She then asked if I wanted any gum, which I happily accepted, as did Ed, who she hadn't even asked yet. She hands Ed a piece of gum and asks him what his name is, and Ed responds, "Floyd, my name is Floyd," she says, "Nice to meet you Floyd, are you ready for some rock-n-roll?" Ed says "Why certainly." We both laugh, but again it's all harmless drunken fun going on here. While waiting for Danzig to take the stage, people start screaming "DANZIG!!!" Ed being the goofball he is, starts screaming "ANZALONE!!!" and "LODI!!!" (which is of course is where Glenn is from, Lodi NJ). Amy, our drunken, gum giving friend turns around and says, "Lodi???? are you from Lodi, New Jersey???" Ed says, "Yeah, Lodi, that's my hometown." This girl obviously has no idea Glenn Danzig is from Lodi and never makes the connection. She says, "My family is from Lodi, my grandfather has lived there all his life!!!" Ed says, "Oh yeah, what's his name?" She responds with, "Al Delabate." Ed freaks out and says "Your grandfather is Al Delabate??? as in THE Al Delabate???" She says, "Yeah, you know him?" Ed says, "Oh yeah, everyone knows Al!… wait a minute, doesn't Al have a granddaughter named Amy?" The girl then flips, "That's me, that's me, I'm Amy!!!" Ed says, "You're not the Amy that likes mint watermelon bubble gum are you?" (mint watermelon bubble gum was the gum that she was handing out to everyone). She replies, "Yeah, I love mint watermelon bubblegum!!!" She totally has no idea that Ed is just fucking with her. Alcohol will really do some interesting things to the human mind.
Current era Danzig belting it out, Photo: Erika Kristen
Thanks to Amy, we were entertained until Danzig took the stage, but eventually the curtains would drop and the massive Danzig skull logo would be displayed at the back of the stage and the lights would go out. The crowd erupted into a screaming frenzy and the "Wotan's Procession" intro started blasting. In case you're unfamiliar with any of Danzig's post IV material or any of his material in general, "Wotan's Procession" is an intro that goes into "Skincarver," the first track off Danzig's last full length album, "Circle Of Snakes" (which I actually happen to like quite a bit). That first track, "Skincarver," is usually quite the crowd pleaser and evokes plenty of sing alongs.
From "Skincarver", Danzig went into the classic, "Twist Of Cain" off of Danzig I and of course the crowd went even more insane. As for the band backing Danzig at this point, it consists of Type O Negative drummer, Johnny Kelly, Prong guitarist, Tommy Victor and ex-Samhain drummer/now bass player, Steve Zing. Pretty solid line up, definitely not scrubs, but of course we'd all love to see the OG lineup of Chuck Biscuits on drums, Eerie Von on bass and John Christ on guitar. But truthfully there's probably a better chance of seeing Glenn turn into a real live werewolf on stage, than seeing that original line up back together again, so I'll take what I can get.
The set continued with the opening track off Danzig's brand new album, "Dethred Sabaoth," "Hammer Of The Gods," which honestly sounds like it could have come right off Danzig's second LP, "Lucifuge," and to me almost has a slight Misfits sounding chorus. Next up was "Her Black WIngs" and "Tired Of Being Alive," both stellar classics off Danzig II and both total crowd pleasers. Glenn took a break to mention that the last time Danzig had played the Troc was on the "Lucifuge" tour in '89-'90 and that back then, the crowd tore the club apart, destroyed the barrier and that bodies were flying all over the place. Glenn laughed and said he was surprised they were asked to come back, even all these years later. Hearing that almost set the mood for the rest of the night.
More classic Danzig, God Don't Like It style, Photo courtesy of: 7th House
There was a definite feeling of a more intimate Danzig show going on than most I had seen previously. The Troc is one of these old, classic, theater type venues that although it is pretty big, it's not nearly as big as most of the other venues I've seen him play in years past. Another throw back to Danzig shows of old was Danzig's actual voice, dude was totally on target. I've seen him in recent years and he clearly had some issues vocally going on, but tonight he was back in his prime and screaming as well as he did 20 something years ago. Numerous times during the set Ed and I would look over at each other and give the nod of approval over what we both just witnessed. For a 55 year old guy, he's still got it. Maybe he needed a little time for the voice to recoup, maybe he has to tour less, but whatever it is, it's working and I felt like I was seeing a Danzig show in 1989.
Set list-wise, after "Tired Of Being Alive," it went something like this: "How The Gods Kill," "Do You Wear The Mark," "On A Wicked Night," "It's Coming Down," "Thirteen" ( which is a rare one that he wrote for Johnny Cash), "Unspeakable," "Bringer Of Death," "Black Angel, White Angel," "Mother" and then the encore, "Dirty Black Summer" and "Am I Demon." I was hoping to hear the Danzig II "Lucifuge" opener/rager, "Long Way Back From Hell" as part of the encore, but it didn't happen. Ed was hoping for a Samhain tune to be thrown in the mix, which of course didn't happen either, although he has been know to throw "To Walk The Night" into the set once in a while.
All in all though, out of the 6 times or so that I've seen him, this was probably the best. The band sounded great, Glenn's voice was impeccable, the energy was there, the venue had that more intimate feeling, it was just an all around great set. Had I seen him throw together slightly better set lists and were there some songs I would have liked to hear? Sure, but although I've seen him play some great songs in the past that he didn't play this time around, I'm not sure they sounded quite as good as he was sounding tonight, so it all evens out.
Danzig, Circle Of Snakes tour 2005, Photo courtesy of: 7th House
Oh yeah and one thing I forgot to mention, remember our drunken friend Amy? At some point in the middle of the set, Amy's boyfriend disappeared into the shuffle of the crowd. Amy eventually found herself right up against the barrier, in front of a rather beefy, rotund, bald headed, fancy-facial-haired gent. Between songs, towards the end of the set, I see Amy turn around and start talking face to face with this beefy, bearded gent. I see them getting super close, than BAM, next thing I know the two are locking lips and swapping spit in front of my eyes! Amy then drops down beneath the crowd (yeah trust me, I was thinking exactly what you're thinking) and disappears. The beefy, bearded bro looks over at his boy, gives the old thumbs up and has a giant shit eating grin on his face. Dude just made out with some 4 foot drunken girl in the front row a Danzig show, apparently he was pretty excited about it.
Next time I saw Amy she was being grabbed off the top of the crowd and ushered out by security behind the barrier. Good for her, I wonder what she's remembering 24 hours later?
Also, two quotes that were born on this day that are worth mentioning; when referring to the new Danzig album, "Ya know, it's starting to grow on me like a bottle of scotch at a pajama party," and when referring to having the need to relieve one's self in the bathroom of the Troc, "I gotta crack off a fragment." -Tim DCXX
05 Danzig, Photo courtesy of: 7th House
Dag Nasty - Can I Say
If you're reading Double Cross I'm sure you're already well aware of the masterpiece known as "Can I Say" put together on Dischord Records by the almighty Dag Nasty, but were you aware of where the legendary "flaming head" logo/cover art came from? All we know is that the original artwork was done by an American artist named Virgil Finlay (1914-1971), who was known for his pulp fantasy, science fiction and horror illustrations. As for the story behind how this artwork was tweaked, cropped and turned into the well known Dag Nasty "Can I Say" logo/cover art, we have yet to hear that, but I can assure you we are already looking into it and will be featuring it here on DCXX as soon as we get to the bottom of it. Until then, do yourself a favor and go look up the art of Virgil Finlay, his great artwork surely didn't start or stop with this one piece. Oh yeah, go listen to some Dag Nasty while you're searching. Thanks to both Ed McKirdy and Larry Ransom for bringing this to us. -Tim DCXX
The Art of Virgil Finlay
Great band, great photo, great logo, great shirt... all hail the power of Dag.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Just a quick post here tonight and it's another one on the Why Be Something That You're Not Detroit HC book. Tony swooped down from NY to pick up the books from his parents house in PA and stopped by my house to drop one off. Although I haven't gotten chance to read much yet, I gotta say, it looks incredible. 242 pages jam packed with anything and everything you'd ever want to know about the Detroit hardcore scene from 1979-1985. Chris Alpino did a great job on the layouts and dropped in an ample mix of photos, flyers and ads to really spice the whole package up. If you're a fan of Negative Approach, the Necros, the Fix, the Meatmen, etc., this thing is a must have. A big congrats to Tony on the release, I know he's put a lot of time, effort and pride into this and I hope everyone grabs a copy as soon as possible. Again, if you can make it out for the Negative Approach, DOA show at Asbury Lanes, Tony will have limited edition stamped books to sell for this show. Do it! -Tim DCXX
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
I don’t think I can really explain to all of you out there in DCXX land my utter shock and delight when Jordan from Rev called me on a busy Monday afternoon at my work to tell me the books were completed and ready to ship. Last week, it seemed there might be slight possibility that the books could get here late this week or early next, but now here he was giving me tracking info and shipment sizes and all that stuff. Not two seconds after receiving that call, I get another from the shipping company on when would be the best time for the books to be delivered this week. Was this really happening? It seems like after all the headaches and horseshit, this thing is an actual tangible book. Very strange…
So anyway, I will be bringing down a small handful of books to the Negative Approach show at the Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, N.J. this Friday (6/18/10) If you’re in the area and feel like getting the book three weeks prior to its’ release date, by all means COME ON DOWN!!! I’m thinking of rubber stamping this batch or doing something that’ll separate them from the rest. Hell, maybe I’ll even sign one or two. You know Brannon would be more than happy to sign one for you!
Although my book might be about Detroit, I am swollen with Jersey pride over the fact that it will be first made available here in my old stomping grounds; the Garbage State. Now someone cue up some Open Eyes and let’s party!
Hope to see y’all at the Lanes on Friday -TR
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Floorpunch at The Gate, Stroudsburg, PA, 8/24/1997, Photo: Traci McMahon
A few months back Dave Walling over at Six Feet Under Records contacted me about needing photos for the Floorpunch discography double LP he was going to be releasing. Dave also asked if I could write down some of my thoughts and memories on Floorpunch and he was hoping to include them in the liner notes of LP. It took me some time to dig up the photos, get them scanned and sent over to Dave and I even mocked up a couple different pieces, but unfortunately I never ended up getting him any of my written memories.
This past weekend I dropped by Vintage Vinyl to pre-order a copy of Danzig's new album "Deth Red Sabaoth", which he'll be doing an instore for next Saturday. Once I secured the Danzig album, I started sifting through their vinyl to see if anything interesting popped up. Low and behold I stumbled upon the Floorpunch discography double LP. This was the first time I'd seen it, so I picked it up and decided that I had to buy it. Once I got out to my car I pulled out the Floorpunch record, tore off the plastic and started to dig in. There was a lot to read, a nice handful of contributors who shared their memories and some cool photos dropped in the background of all the written content. The first piece I read was Brett Beach's, who's got the gatefold all his own. Reading through Brett's piece really took me back, because just like him, but from a slightly different angle, I watched that band from the very beginning to the end. Being in the middle of everything, I sometimes took for granted what was going on, but in retrospect, it really was a special time.
Bill with Floorpunch at their first show at the Bordentown VFW, Photo: Traci McMahon
My first Floorpunch memory was from June 24th, 1995. Snapcase were headlining a show at the church in Chatham, NJ. My band Mouthpiece was also playing as well as Ignite who got put on the show at the last minute. I remember Texas Is The Reason were the opener and this was their first show. There were a handful of us that were super psyched to see Ignite, this was their first east coast trip. I remember Ignite going on and a lot of us just went nuts. For the people that weren't all that familiar with them, by the time they were tearing through covers of Uniform Choice's "Screaming For Change" and No For An Answer's "Man Against Man", everyone got a healthy introduction. I specifically remember at one point during Ignite's set, Porter and I think Zusi standing on the perimeter of the pit. They were both standing there watching kids mosh/floorpunch and said, "we're gunna do a band and we're gunna call it Floorpunch." At the time I kinda laughed, I mean I was stoked to see and hear these guys do a band, but calling it Floorpunch just made me laugh. I would have laughed if they said they were going to call it Windmill or The Lawnmower, but I associated Floorpunch with The Floorpunch Mosh Crew as noted noted on the Release "The Pain Inside" 7", which Zusi had played on, so I guess it made sense. But yeah, from what I remember, that was the birth of the Floorpunch conceptually at least.
Another memory I have is hearing the Floorpunch demo for the first time. For whatever reason, Porter and I were driving in my car from the North Brunswick/Edison area down to the Trenton/Ewing area, which was where I was from. I don't remember exactly what was going on that day, but I do remember Porter pulling out a master tape of the demo and asking if I wanted to hear it. Of course I wanted to hear it, but in the back of my mind I had no idea what to really expect. Was it going to be something cheesy, watered down and forced, or was it going to kick my ass? Well guess what? From the intro alone I knew I was in for a serious ass kicking. Once "Changes" kicked in, the second song, I was SOLD. This shit was killer and no filler. Pure, fast, raging, straight edge hardcore played to perfection.
Kingshot with Floorpunch in Buffalo, NY, Photo: Traci McMahon
At the time there might have been a few bands going for that style, but NOBODY was hitting it as hard and doing it as well as Floorpunch. Before I could recuperate from Intro/Changes, they were slamming me in the face with "Clear" and again I was blown the fuck away. We're talking serious straight edge in your face lyrics, like open your mouth and watch FP jam it right down your fucking throat. Whether or not it was a bit tongue in cheek or not, I didn't care and it didn't matter. These guys were straight edge, they loved hardcore, they wanted to have fun and I was down. The last thing I remember about hearing the demo that first time with Porter, was listening closely to the "Gonna Get Yours" lyrics. The last few lines, "All I want to do is put you in your place, You'll get what you deserve, you fucking disgrace". I remember asking Porter if he says, "All I want to do is PUNCH you in your face…", in which he responded by saying, "No, but that's pretty good and I might have to drop that in there now and again."
On that same ride and first listening session of the demo, I also remember Porter asking me what I thought of the name Floorpunch. At the time he seemed like he was kinda torn. I told him that I thought it sounded like too much of a joke band and I recommended that they should probably think about changing it if they wanted to be taken seriously. Wow, guess I was wrong and it didn't take me long to get used to the name. In a way it was almost inline with the whole Gorilla Biscuits thing. It was kinda started as a joke, was recommended by Porcell to change it to something more serious (Courage To Care), but in the end kept as it was and completely accepted. Not that I ever suggested any alternate names, but at the time I would have been happy to. Again, Floorpunch obviously made the right choice in that department.
Towards the end of Mouthpiece when we were winding down and playing our last handful of shows, Floorpunch were really just getting started. The demo was out, locally kids were eating it up and there was a definite buzz going up and down the east coast. Pretty much every show Mouthpiece was getting asked to play, I was telling the promoters that we'd play as long as they'd book Floorpunch on the bill as well. I remember our last two shows at Middlesex County College and the Princeton Arts Council were being put on by some semi-vegan warrior type kids. Both kids doing these last two shows weren't exactly keen on having Floorpunch play. Floorpunch had a bit of a reputation for heckling and or just not standing for some of the bullshit that was going on at that time, so these kids just weren't fans and it seemed some lines were being drawn. I pushed hard against some animosity to get Floorpunch on both shows and both kids cracked and let them play.
Porter with FP, Nickle City Stomp style, Buffalo NY, Photo: Traci McMahon
Of course everyone already knows about the chaos that ensued during the Earth Crisis set at Middlesex, not that the Floorpunch guys started any of that, but I'm sure the kid doing the show had FP on his mind when everything was going down. As for the Princeton Arts Council show, it was a strange coincidence that the mic went out during their set and the kid doing the show was pretty much no where to be found when everyone was looking for an alternate mic. I actually took it upon myself to drive to our drummer's house and grab a mic from our practice space to use at the show so that Floorpunch could finish their set. Miraculously after Floorpunch's set, the promoter showed up.
One Floorpunch show in particular that I remember well was in 1996 at the church in Chatham, NJ. I don't remember everyone that played other than Earth Crisis and I think Ten Yard Fight, but the place was packed. By this time Mouthpiece was done and I was freshly into starting up Hands Tied and I remember trying to find a way for us to play a few songs at this show, but the scheduling was too tight and we couldn't make it happen. Either way, I was pumped up to see Floorpunch at a big venue like this, with a big stage and a wall to wall packed crowd. Kids from all up and down the east coast were there as well as what seemed like every hardcore kid from New Jersey. I remember this intense feeling of being extremely psyched on what had become of the New Jersey scene. New Jersey bands were getting well recognized, kids were flocking here to see shows, we were all good friends that hung out regularly, it was just a really good time.
Bill and Porter with FP at The Wetlands, NYC, Photo: Traci McMahon
When Floorpunch went on, a giant wave of kids packed the front of the stage and from the first note of the intro, dancing and diving became a constant. I remember standing on the stage, soaking it all in and looking into the crowd and thinking to myself that this was what hardcore was all about. Friends and I were diving like crazy and never hitting the floor. The crowd was packed so thick that you could dive, roll around, climb back to the stage and dive back in again. At one point I remember coming down from a dive and making my way into the crowd and right up front of the stage. It was at this point that thought to myself, "Nothing Can Compare." This whole scenario was the making of a perfect hardcore show and it inspired me so much that I ended up writing a Hands Tied song called "Nothing Can Compare" which was basically about the feeling I had during that particular Floorpunch set. Thinking back even now, so many years later, that is still one of my favorite hardcore show memories.
I could honestly go on forever, but I'd have to turn this into a multiple entry piece and I'm not so sure that's necessary. What I will say is that Floorpunch came together at a perfect time and there really seemed to be a changing of the guard that was well needed. They played a full on no bullshit style of straight edge hardcore and they played it well. Aside from the music and aside form the shows, I have so many memories of hanging out and just having a good time with those guys. For a couple summers there it seemed like 30 of us were meeting up at the Point Pleasant boardwalk and hanging out deep into the night every weekend. Basketball games, lots of food consuming, sneaker talk (with Porter at least), arguments about who was better between Chain Of Strength and Breakdown (I always did and always will say Chain) and laughs, lots and lots of laughs. Thanks FP. -Tim DCXX
Porter, Zev and Zusi with FP at The Gate, Stroudsburg, PA, 8/24/1997, Photo: Traci McMahon
Monday, June 14, 2010
In the wake of his widely-acclaimed book, Misery Obscura, five iconic photographs from Eerie Von's collection are now available exclusively through Generation Records in New York City. Says Von, "After many years, and thousands of requests, I'm extremely pleased to offer a set of very fine prints of some of the iconic photos featured in my book."
Each image is available in a strictly limited, numbered and signed series of 10 silver gelatin prints in both the 8" x 10" and 11" x 14" formats and were individually printed by hand directly from the original negatives onto fine, fiber-based paper – as approved by Von himself.
These fine-art prints will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis so be one of the few with a piece of punk and hard rock history with these limited-edition prints.
To purchase a print, click on the link. http://generationrecords.storenvy.com/
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Here's a link to Equalizing Distort.
Ray Cappo takes flight in Toronto, Canada, 1987, Photo courtesy of: Equalizing Distort
So I'm sitting around the in-laws house today, my son was busy watching the Dennis The Menace movie for the 40th time, my daughter was playing on the floor with some toys, my wife was on her dad's lap top and I guess you could say I was little bored. I picked up another lap top that was lying on the table, checked out a couple of the normal sites I hit on the regular, than decided to kill some time doing Google image searches. Hmmm, what should I look for? Well considering I just saw Ray and Porcell in NYC's Washington Square Park yesterday afternoon, I had Youth Of Today on the mind. I've Google image searched Youth Of Today 100 times before, but you never know what will pop up. On any given day, anyone can upload something new that I've never seen before, so you really never know what you're going to come across.
Well guess what… I found something I'd never seen before. I see this pic of Ray, fist up in the air, sporting some strange looking tank top and I knew it just didn't look familiar. I followed the link and it took me to a blog called Equalizing Distort. I haven't yet done any extensive research, but it appears to be a blog based around a punk/hardcore radio show done by a guy who's been involved in the scene for a long time. Apparently the guy used to book shows under the name Rampage Productions in Toronto, Canada.
Kevin Seconds with a 7 Seconds sing-a-long in Canada while Ray and Porcell watch on, Photo courtesy of: Equalizing Distort
I start scrolling through the site and first come across a photo of 7 Seconds. Kevin's giving a sing-a-long to John Rankin, the singer for MSI and he's wearing one of those full color 7 Seconds "Walk Together Rock Together" shirts. I also notice Cappo is in the crowd and Porcell is up front as well. Cool photo, but I keep scrolling on. Next post that pops up is titled Flyer- Saturday August 22, 1987 and has 3 different Youth Of Today flyers for the same show (also featuring New Balance which was Buffalo NY's Zero Tolerance before they changed their name), none of which I had seen before. Then BOOM, 5 Youth Of Today pics I had never seen before! The first one being the one that I saw in the Google image search, the second pic being this killer shot of Cappo, close up, mid air jump, black Vans and red laces in your face, bracelet covered wrist and fist gripping the mic. The next 3 pics are nothing to write home about, but worth a peek merely for the fact that they are shots of Youth Of Today. The guy that does the site also posted a blurb mentioning how he overheard Mike Judge arguing with someone else in the band over who would win in a fight between Vinnie Stigma and Harley Flanagan, classic stuff.
Cappo getting aggro with Youth Of Today in Toronto, Canada, 1987, Photo courtesy of: Equalizing Distort
So what's my point to all of this? Something as simple as finding one cool, random, never before seen shot of Youth Of Today gives me the same feeling as finding a hundred dollar bill on the floor at the grocery store. I guess I'm easy to please, but when it comes to bands I really dig, seeing anything that I've never seen before just gets me stoked.
So thanks to the Equalizing Distort blog for delivering the goods and putting an extra smile on my face on this rainy Sunday night. Also, this goes without saying, but thanks to the YOT guys for continuing to keep me psyched on a band that broke up some 21 years ago. One Family - Tim DCXX
Here's a link to Equalizing Distort.