‘NYHC was definitely on everybody’s radar by the time we made it outside of the area in 1986. It was considered dangerous. People thought we were all nuts. The very first time Youth of Today went out to California with 7 Seconds, we played at Fender’s Ballroom, which was a gang hangout. The whole California hardcore scene was all gangs: Circle One, the Suicidals, the L.A. Death Squad, and that was it—nothing but gangs. I didn’t know anything. That was my first time in California. I was used to playing the Anthrax in Connecticut, where people were playing frickin’ Twister in between bands! When we started playing, this small, little kid Murphy was on stage with us, and the L.A.D.S. were bouncing. They were a gang, above and beyond the punk scene. I didn’t know that. Murphy got onstage to dive, the bouncer grabbed him, and, for no good reason, threw him right into the metal barrier. He was right in front of the stage sort of flexing after doing that, and I came up behind him and kicked him as hard as I could in the back. He went flying into the crowd. Dan O’Mahony from No For An Answer came up a few seconds later and screamed in my ear, “We have to get you out of here!” I was still playing, and he dragged me off the stage. He unplugs my guitar, grabs my arm, and he’s pushing me down this corridor, going, “You don’t understand! That guy’s in the L.A.D.S.! They’re going to fucking kill you! They’re going to shoot you! They’re going to knife you!” I still had my guitar on me. Before we got to the back door, I looked down that corridor and saw that bouncer. I’m thinking, “This guy’s going to shoot me, I’m fucking dead!” The guy was huge. But he came up to me and said, “We don’t have no beef with New York! We don’t have no beef with the Cro-Mags!” It was almost like he thought I was in a gang, and I was going to kick his ass! He gave me all this mad respect. He shook my hand and apologized. I realized that New York’s reputation preceded us.’ – John Porcelly
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