Sunday, January 29, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
As I stated in last night’s post, I wrote an article for this week’s issue of the Philadelphia Weekly about the Better Youth Organization that ran in the town during the early 80’s. I interviewed many a person for the piece, but sadly, not everyone made the final edit. So I decided to post the raw interviews I conducted here on DCXX. Hope y’all enjoy it and make sure to check out the actual article or pick up a hard copy of the mag if you live in the Philadelphia area. -Tony Rettman
Ian MacKaye and Brain Baker with Minor Threat, Photo: Jim Saah
Below are Ian MacKaye’s memories from Minor Threat playing a show the Philly BYO put on in November of 1982 at Buff Hall in Camden, N.J.
It was our third or fourth show as a five piece with Steve Hansgen on bass. Our first with him was in Baltimore and then we opened for P.I.L. on Halloween at Ritchie Coliseum here in D.C. We don’t know anything about Camden. We saw it was right over the river from Philadelphia, so we assumed it was like a suburb of Philly or something; we didn’t know! I don’t know what Camden is like today, but it was really, really, really sketchy. Really frightening. Most punk rock shows at the time were in ‘the hood’ but this was really scary.
We sound checked and set up and we were hanging out in the street while some kids were skateboarding. We were waiting for SSD to show up from Boston. I saw SSD’s van pull up, so I went over and started talking to Al and the rest of the Boston Crew through the driver’s seat window. I heard a car racing down the street, so I said to these kids who were skateboarding ‘Y’all better get out of the street, this guy is moving really fast’. I pushed myself up as close as I could against the van to give the guy as much room as I could, but then he just centered right in and hit the van head on. I think he was out of his mind and high. To this day, I remember this explosion of sound and pain and then being in the fetal position. One of my shoes was off and it was later found about 40 feet down the street. People started chasing this guys’ car and then when they realized I was injured, they ran back to help me. Someone got the license plate number. I ended up breaking my toe and my right calf was completely messed up. I also had this huge knot on the back of my head the size of a grapefruit that was bleeding. I had this… bleeding grapefruit on the back of my head!
Ian MacKaye with Minor Threat, Photo: Jim Saah
There was this long discussion about whether or not I was going to the hospital. I ended up going and the nurses told me I was lucky to be alive. I remember being in the hospital saying ‘We gotta play!’ because I was there to represent. We came all the way up there to play. After we left the hospital, I remember we went to McDonalds’, had some French fries and did the show. A local biker group, The Ghetto Riders, showed up and just decided they were going to run security for the show.
I was in bad shape. Watching the video, I’m like milliseconds off on some songs. I’m off my usual mark. In the video, you can see this point where I’m taking a drink of Pepsi and some guy in the crowd screams out ‘Hey! Isn’t caffeine a drug?’ I was so fucked up and beat up and that was the last thing I wanted to hear. If you watch the video, you see me sorta poke him and tell him to cut it out. That show was a very legendary show as it was this meeting of the tribes. It was a definite throwdown where everybody tried to top themselves. It was a very long night. I remember passing out on the way back. I was seriously injured. I couldn’t get out of bed that next morning.
We gave the licenses plate to the police and they went to the guys' house and the cops brought him back to the hall so people could identify him. Everyone said he was the guy, but he claimed that his car was stolen. I remember the guy seemed real loopy. The cops were very hostile towards us. I remember they told me ‘If you want to press charges, you and all your friends have to come back for a trial on the day of our choosing’. All of us were stone broke, so we didn’t have the money to come back to Camden and testify. I already spent $60 at the hospital, so that wasn’t going to happen. But the police just seemed so irritated at me, like I had nerve for being hit by a car in their town.
The first time we went up to Philly was for a Black Flag show in Kensington that ended up in this huge riot. Then second time I went there, I got hit by a car. So when we came into Philly the third time to play Love Hall, I was like ‘What’s going to happen this time?’ But it ended up being a great show. That was when we were back to a four piece and we were lean and mean; firing on all cylinders.
The Philly BYO thing was very brief, but they managed to put on some pivotal shows. That show wouldn’t have happened at the East Side Club, you know? Minor Threat was not connected to the industry whatsoever. Black Flag or the Bad Brains could play the clubs. But we played VFW Halls and things like that.
Ian MacKaye with Minor Threat, Photo: Jim Saah
(The following response was in regards to a question I asked regarding whether or not Ian thought there was going to be trouble that night since there was going to be a significant amount of New York people at the show due to Agnostic Front being on the bill)
Agnostic Front was not the New York that we had beef with. The problem we had was with the old school Johnny Thunders New York types who looked down on us when we’d come up there to see shows. They just thought we were stupid kids. Agnostic Front was kids like us, so they were cool with me. Some of their dudes were sorta mook-ish, but so were some of the D.C. guys, so it was no big deal on my part. I will say this though: Every time we played, I planned to destroy the stage. Like I was more into the idea of three great bands being on the bill and each one attempting to kick each other’s ass with the music. I remember a show we did that was Minor Threat, SSD and MDC at Irving Plaza and that show was like that. Not that I want to make any of those bands look bad or anything; I just wanted to show them what we got.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Nancy hanging with Bryan Lathrop of Sadistic Exploits, Photo: Lisa Haun
As most nerdboys know, the Philly BYO put on many legendary shows in the golden days of American Hardcore including the infamous Buff Hall show seen on the Minor Threat DVD. I recently put together an article for the Philadelphia Weekly about the Philadelphia Better Youth Organization of the early 80’s that will appear in the paper this Wednesday (1/25). One of the people that was involved in the early formation of the Philly BYO was Nancy Petriello, who was responsible for putting on some of the first all ages Punk shows in that city prior to the formation of the crew. Along with Allison Schnackenberg and Ronald Thatcher, she helped form the core of the group before moving to Boston and marrying SSD guitarist Al Barile. I tracked her down for the article to find out about her early involvement in the Philly scene and here’s what she had to say. -Tony Rettman
Firstly, how'd you get into Punk Rock and then Hardcore?
For me, it was always about the music. I loved Punk Rock, and Hardcore took it to the next level by being faster and more powerful. I loved the energy of bands that played and the people involved in the scene. It was pure, it was fun, it was a little bit dangerous, but the music always seemed to connect with me deep down inside.
What were some of the first shows you saw that you would classify as 'Hardcore' in the Philadelphia area prior to you and the rest of the BYO putting on shows?
The Bad Brains show that I did at The Elks Center with (Philadelphia show promoter/DJ) Lee Paris was probably one of the first Hardcore shows that I can remember. Black Flag and SOA at the Starlight Ballroom in Kensington was another, and of course, the infamous Dead Kennedys show at the Starlight all pre-dated the BYO.
Who were the initial people you decided to start the Philly BYO with?
The whole BYO adventure began with telephone conversations Allison Schnackenberg and I had with Shawn Stern. The scene back then was so small that everyone in each city kind of knew each other through friends, through word of mouth, through bands. But it was really Allison who picked up the BYO mission. I had done shows at the Elks Center with local bands like Sadistic Exploits, Autistic Behavior, Decontrol, etc. and I worked with Lee Paris on several shows, but those were not BYO shows.
What was it that made you all decide you could start putting on these shows?
I think we were all a little fearless back then. My father had instilled in me an entrepreneurial spirit, and I just figured that I could do it. To this day, Punk Fest 1 that I did at the Elks Center goes down as one of my favorite days in my life. Lee Paris gave me a lot of guidance in putting on shows, so that helped a lot, too. My younger brother, Dan, who was about 16 or 17 at the time, worked the door and kept control of the money, which got channeled back into the band and other shows.
Tell me more about Punk Fest 1?
Punk Fest 1 was the first show I ever did with Sadistic Exploits, who I was managing at the time. I had actually booked Anti-Pasti from England to play, but Bobby Startup swooped in and took them away from me, and because they were tied to a record label and manager, they had to play the East Side Club. Of course, that was a huge drama. Anti-Pasti did come down and hang out at the Punk Fest. I think we basically did that show to get the Exploits an all ages gig where they could reach a wider audience. We papered the city with flyers. I remember being blown away by how many people showed up.
How many shows did the Philly BYO put on while you were still a part of it?
I only helped Allison do the first BYO show at Buff Hall in Camden. That show was really all Allison.
When do you think the Philly BYO was at its peak?
I moved to Boston not long after the Buff Hall show. I was dating Al from SSD (who I later married and am still married to, lol). So I wouldn't be the one to answer that question.
What are your fondest memories of doing shows in Philly?
My fondest memories of the shows I did or the shows that I was a part of are, in order:
1. Punk Fest 1 at Elks Center for reasons stated above.
2. Bad Brains at the Elks - I will NEVER forget hearing Big Takeover in that cavernous, dark hall. I felt like I was going to explode. They were the greatest hardcore band to ever live. Seeing that band was a physical, esoteric, mind-blowing experience that I will never forget.
3. Minor Threat, SSD, Agnostic Front - Buff Hall. The chaos of that show was amazing. I'm sure you know the story about the SSD van pulling up to the show, Ian coming to the window to talk to Al, and then a Rastafarian in a stolen car running over Ian and smashing Al's van. And of course, the Wheels of Soul and Ghetto Riders being there was a lot of fun. It was a dangerous show from the minute it started, but the energy was unlike anything I've ever experienced. The bands that played that night were incredible, and I am so grateful to Steven Eye for getting it on tape. I still show my high school students highlights of that show.
Why do you think these shows are still significant in this time?
Those shows are a moment in time that can never be recreated. Hardcore was an organic musical form, and I am one of the people who vehemently believes that there is no hardcore after 1983. That music's time period was so much of its essence, it is impossible to recreate. The bands were young, brash, wild and the music was more powerful than anything I've ever heard then or since. It is truly time bound and timeless.
Monday, January 16, 2012
The YOT - "Can't Close My Eyes" collection, including a test pressing, the "Crucial Times" cover, a standard Batman stamp pressing, first and second pressings and the 1 of 20 altered back cover version that was done at Dan O'Mahony's house by the YOT guys on the 1987 "Break Down The Walls" tour.
Back in early November I posted an entry on how I found the infamous Youth Of Today - "Crucial Times" cover, lying on the floor in my basement, after some construction had been done. Apparently a gold vinyl, Batman stamped 7" was in that sleeve at some point as well. Tonight, while digging for a copy of the Pushed Aside demo for a friend, I found the Batman stamped YOT 7" leaning up against a pile of stuff that the construction workers must have put aside. Again, my assumption is that this 7" got stacked away in a pile and while the construction was going on in my basement, it literally must have gotten shook lose and fallen to the floor. Luckily for me, nothing was damaged.
After finding this gold vinyl Batman stamped version of the "Can't Close My Eyes" 7", I of course packed it away with the "Crucial Times" cover, but also took a minute to shoot some photos of my entire Youth Of Today - "Can't Close My Eyes", Positive Force collection. I'm still working on bringing a Some Records pressing into the collection, but hopefully that's coming soon. -Tim DCXX
A "Can't Close My Eyes" test pressing, the "Crucial Times" cover and vinyl and a standard Batman stamp press "Can't Close my Eyes".
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Friday, January 6, 2012
Matt, Tim, Drew, Tom and Porcell at the Safari Club in Washington, DC, 1989. Terrible audio and video quality, but god damn... this is BOLD in their prime. A wall of heavy guitars and a rhythm section that delivered the thunder to perfection, plus ad the fact that Matt had really come into his own by this point. Seeing videos like this reminds me exactly why these guys rate as one of my favorite live bands ever. -Tim DCXX
Thursday, January 5, 2012
This Quicksand poll wrap up is long overdue and I apologize for leaving the poll up for an eternity. There was a plan set in place to have a guest do the wrap up, but that never ended up panning out. The result was me ignoring the poll and letting it stagnate into oblivion. I've finally decided to take matters into my own hands and simply wrap it up myself. I know, pretty novel idea hah?
Can't say I was necessarily surprised by the results, "Slip" pretty much kicked the living hell out of the other two releases. That said, my vote went to the self titled 7" on Revelation. I can remember vividly when that 7" was released and I recall hearing it for the very first time and just how blown away by it I was. I loved what Walter had done with Moondog, so essentially, Quicksand was a revised and more progressive version of Moondog, so I was definitely into it. I guess since the self titled was my introduction, I always felt a stronger connection to it. I also liked the idea that the 7" was released on Revelation, which felt completely natural and maintained that inclusive, family type vibe.
With the "Slip" LP, although I think it's a great record and might possibly have a few of my favorite Quicksand songs on it ("Dine Alone", "Fazer", "Can Opener" and "Too Official"), the whole vibe of it being a major label release always left me feeling like someone spilled the beans on a best kept secret. Quicksand fans went from being maturing Warzone and Youth Of Today fans to poser mall punk kids with massive center parted hair cuts, that had no idea what Revelation Records even was. That said, Quicksand was still an incredible band and "Slip" was still a phenomenal album, even with Walter asking himself if everything was ok.
Why "Manic Compression" doesn't get as much love as "Slip", I'm really not sure. I think it's a pretty equally incredible album that's actually heavier and harder than "Slip", but I think the newness and exciting element of Quicksand had started to wear off by the time of this release. Either way, I still love it and "Brown Gargantuan" is another song that's added to my top Quicksand song list. I mean, how can you possible go wrong with "You're a child, you're a dad, a mother, you mother fucked yourself again", lyrics? Some of my favorite Walter lyrics ever. - Tim DCXX
Quicksand - "Slip" LP - 143
Quicksand - Revelation 7" - 83
Quicksand - "Manic Compression" LP - 41
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Somehow or another, I've never seen this two camera angle mixed video of Inside Out doing "No Spiritual Surrender" from The Anthrax, until today. Killer video, killer band, check it! -Tim DCXX
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Just wanted to take a minute to give a quick plug to New Jersey's own, Outlast, who just hit the road for a 2012 winter tour. Their first show is tomorrow, January 4th in Boston, so if you're around and can make it out, do it! See above for the rest of their tour dates and check out their Facebook page for updates. New Jersey Straight Edge - Tim DCXX
Outlast on Facebook
Monday, January 2, 2012
Chain Crew 7", # 24 out of 100
I don't usually push eBay auctions here on DCXX, but I'm selling this stuff for a friend and knew some of the readers here would at least be interested in the Chain Crew 7". The Sex Pistols vinyl collection is also pretty damn cool and something I definitely wouldn't mind owning myself. Check it all out and bid away if interested. Thanks. -Tim DCXX
Double Cross on eBay
Rare Sex Pistols vinyl collection