Monday, June 15, 2009
Birds of a Feather bassist, Jean-Paul recently hit me up asking if DCXX would be interested in running this story on the release of the bands new LP and a book on the history of European straight edge that coincided. I of course agreed to run the story and I’m eagerly looking forward to seeing and hearing both releases. Check it out. -Tim DCXX
“THE PAST THE PRESENT” LP
This story starts somewhere in the mid 80-ies. Bigma turned straight edge. Profound turned into Manliftingbanner when Bigma joined. After the demise of Manliftingbanner, Bigma continued his straight edge crusade with Mainstrike. In 2005 he was stuck without a band. Pushing towards 40, Bigma wasn’t rethinking his ideals for a better society, instead his urgency to get out his message was growing stronger and stronger. He wanted to address the current hardcore scene, where the true spirit and meanings of the original first wave of straight edge had disappeared. Strangely enough, just around the corner from Bigma, JP, from Value Of Strength magazine, had mutual feelings. He wanted to startle up the scene with a straight edge band with members all older than 30 years, showing that the ideas behind straight edge still hold true, even in ‘real life’. Birds Of A Feather became reality. The Our Aim 7″ was recorded shortly after. Going thru some line-up changes, the band found it’s definite line-up in 2007, with Jeff of Crivits and the X-men in guitar, Marc of Betray on guitar, and Paul, a then 30 year old “newjack”, on drums.
So Birds Of A Feather is ready. Watch out for 80-ies style, youth crew sing-along hardcore, bringing an ever urgent message for a positive lifestyle and a better society. With the same drive to get out the message as in the 80-ies and 90-ies. To show that straight edge is not “a passing phase”. To show that hardcore is not a passing phase. To prove that our ideals still matter, and still need work. Right then and right now:
Jean-Paul with Birds of a Feather, Photo courtesy of: BOAF
“The days that we lived our dreams are over
And the barriers are tougher than before
20 years passed by and we are back again
The way it was supposed to give meaning
What was said, what we believed In the past
What we said and still believe
Counts even more today”
Birds Of A Feather previously released the Our Aim 7″ on Crucial Response (vinyl sold out, CD still available), a split 7″ with In Defence on Give Praise Records (sold out), the Chapter 5 7″ on Commitment Records (vinyl, still available) and their The Past The Present CD on Refuse Records (still available), and also in Asia on Crucial Times Records and in South America on 78 Life Records . “The Past The Present” contains 13 songs recorded by Menno Baker in Bunt Studios in Holland and mastering was done by West West Side Music, NY, USA.
“THE PAST THE PRESENT 1982-2007: A HISTORY OF 25 YEARS OF EUROPEAN STRAIGHT EDGE” BOOK (Marc Hanou, Jean- Paul Frijns)
The LP version of Birds Of A Feather’s album “The Past The Present” also includes the book “The Past The Present – a history of European Straight Edge 1982-2007″. 108 pages and over 250 photos documenting the straight edge scene in Europe.
Straight Edge is a powerful subculture of a subculture. Punkrockers that don’t smoke, don’t drink and don’t do drugs are the outcasts of the outcasts. By following a timeline from 1982 to 2007 the straight edge authors tell the narrative of the European straight edge with the oral history from those who were there and from those that are still there, the people that made and still make it happen. The particular development of the European straight edge is described by five Dutch bands, each representing a different era. Starting with Lärm’s Do It Yourself punk ethics the straight edge scene in Europe has developed itself towards political activism of all sorts with a strong emphasis on vegetarianism and veganism as Eye of Judgement shows. Capturing the immense energy of a vibrant and vivid scene, The Past The Present contains stories from entire Europe, from Sweden to Spain and from Portugal to Poland. A document for anyone interested in hardcore or straight edge.
Larm, UK tour 1987, Photo courtesy of: JP
Marc Hanou (1967) discovered punk in 1981 at age 13 and saw Lärm play at age 14. He became straight edge in 1985 and vegetarian in 1986. He played in BTD, Betray, Dance Cleopatra, Longshot, Blackheads and in Twin Cities outfit In Defence. Currently he plays bass in Nixnieuwz and guitar in Birds Of A Feather. He had a straight edge radio show between 1988 and 1994 on radio Patapoe, Amsterdam, did Revelation Records Europe from 1990 to 1994, booked dozens of shows at the Dirk and the Maloe Melo, both in Amsterdam, and booked shows in Europe for dozens of bands as well, from Green Day to Born Against.
Jean-Paul Frijns (1973) heard punk for the first time on a new-wave compilation tape that someone made for him during the end of the 80’s. Skateboarding and magazines like Thrasher and Maximum Rock ‘n Roll got him more involved in punk and hardcore. It introduced him to straight edge and inspired him to start his own zine Value Of Strength, that is still around today. He organized the ‘Geleen Festival’ during the 90’s and booked shows in the southern part of the Netherlands. He interned as a graphic designer for Victory records and lived in Chicago where he picked up the bass guitar. Currently he plays bass for Birds Of A Feather and books the occasional show at the Maloe Melo.
Man Lifting Banner in Belgium, 1990, Photo courtesy of: JP
Appearing in the book: Andreas Gruter, Germany (“Vengeance” zine, worked for Crucial Response Records), Atanasoski Vasko, Macedonia (F.P.O.), Bart Griffioen, Holland (PROFOUND, COLT TURKEY, MANLIFTINGBANNER, DEADSTOOLPIGEON), Bruno Miguel Piairo Lopes Teixeira, Portugal (NEW WINDS, THESE HANDS ARE FISTS), Bruno Pires, Portugal (NEW WINDS), David Leon, Spain (AFTERLIFE, THE DEFENSE), Fausto, Spain (“AHC” zine), Hans Verbeke, Belgium (RISE ABOVE, BLINDFOLD, SHORTSIGHT, SPIRIT OF YOUTH, LIAR), Inti Carboni, Italy (show promoter), Jasper, Holland (A STEP APART, EYE OF JUDGEMENT), Jennifer Ramme, Poland (Emancypunx Records), Jeroen Vrijhoef, Holland (MAINSTRIKE, Coalition Records), Johan Prenger, Holland (Reflections Records), Johnny van de Koolwijk, Holland (MAINSTRIKE, REACHING FORWARD, DOWNSLIDE), Jos Houtveen, Holland (LARM, SEEIN’ RED, STAATHAAT), Jose Saxlund, Sweden (ABHINANDA, Desperate Fight Records), Lord Bigma, Holland (MANLIFTINGBANNER, MAINSTRIKE, NO DENIAL, STRIKE FIRST, BIRDS OF A FEATHER), Lucas van Heerikhuizen, Holland (EYE OF JUDGEMENT), Mario Tucman, Croatia (VASELINE CHILDREN), Marcus Erricson, Sweden (EYES SHUT, LAST HOPE, DAMAGE CONTROL, ANOTHER YEAR, ANCHOR, “Soulcity” zine), Mark Schenk, Holland (EYE OF JUDGEMENT), Michiel Bakker, Holland (PROFOUND, COLT TURKEY, MANLIFTINGBANNER), Olav van de Berg, Holland (LARM, SEEIN’ RED, PROFOUND, COLT TURKEY, MANLIFTINGBANNER), Patryk Bugajski, Poland (SUNRISE, DAYMARES), Paul van de Berg (LARM, SEEIN’ RED, PROFOUND, COLT TURKEY, MANLIFTINGBANNER), Ram, Denmark (artist), Rat, UK (STATEMENT, UNBORN), Ricardo Dias, Portugal (TIME X, DAY OF THE DEAD), Rob Beekmans, Holland (ABUSIVE ACTION), Robert Matusiak, Poland (Refuse Records), Robert Voogt, Holland (Commitment Records), Roel, Holland (EYE OF JUDGEMENT), Willem Jan Kneepkens, Holland (INSULT, EYE OF JUDGEMENT), Yann Boisleve, France (“International Straight-Edge Bulletin”),
The LP version of “The Past The Present” is released in a gatefold w/ the book:
Test pressing: 25 copies, exclusive cover with different artwork, black vinyl, the book signed by the authors
Pre-Order version: 100 copies, brown vinyl, white labels stamped and numbered
Limited color version: 122 copies, orange vinyl Regular 1st press version: 278 copies, brown vinyl
Recording the album “The Past The Present”
BOAF visits Poland (2008, 15th Refuse anniversary)
For ordering info get in touch with Refuse Records:
Betray, UK tour 1991, Photo courtesy of: JP
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Brain Walsby at the drums with Double Negative, Photo courtesy of: Brian Walsby
We continue with another memorable show entry, this time from Double Negative drummer / well noted punk artist, Brian Walsby. -Tim DCXX
Let’s see…Well I am an older guy and came into things in the early eighties or at least 1984. I saw Black Flag in March of that year and that was it…the band had already gotten the lineup with Kira and Bill Stevenson. The band came out without Henry and played the still unreleased instrumental Obliteration from the Slip It In album. That, more then anything else, just blew me away. Just the three of them playing that song. It sounded so massive. Henry had not even appeared on stage yet and already it was amazing. So I would say that, because it set the tone for everything else I would see, and looking back, that song just killed. I still think so to this day.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Choke with Slapshot at the Country Club, Reseda CA, Photo: Dave Sine
Slapshot drummer Mark McKay brings us the first round of answers to our never ending questions about one of Boston’s baddest. Expect tons more to come – STRAIGHT EDGE IN YOUR FACE. -Gordo DCXX
When did the original idea for SLAPSHOT come together? What was the idea and outlook for the band?
Slapshot was born in September of 1985 out of sheer willpower from Steve Risteen. Steve and I (friends from high school) were determined to start a hardcore band, after Steve’s previous band (with later Slapshot cohort Chris Lauria), TERMINALLY ILL, broke up. He had been meeting up with Choke on occasion and had the guts to ask him if he wanted to start a band and get back into it. Much to our surprise, Choke was into it and we had become pretty good friends (after a ROCKY start!).
Boston was pretty dead for hardcore (no offense to anyone who was keeping it alive!!!), as a lot of the original bands we followed had imploded or just disappeared. Back On The Map was our manifesto and “call to arms” for all the kids in Boston to rally round their dying (but proud) scene and kickstart it again. It was a lot of hard work, but we all had been going to shows and supporting the scene since the early days, and had lots of friends to occupy the early shows – and they were really needing some release!
Not sure if we would even catch on, Slapshot just did everything as best we could – we often said (and still often say) “any show could be our last, so make it good!”
Was SLAPSHOT meant to be a continuation of the early Boston spirit or a new birth of sorts?
I would say both. We wanted to take that utter menace that existed in the early scene (perceived or real) and give it new life. We didn’t want the music to be all that different, though it came out a little more “Oi” sounding than the previous owners – we LOVE(D) that old sound: Minor Threat, Bad Brains, SSD, Negative Approach…
Mark McKay on his 21st birthday with a straight edge birthday cake. Choke, Steve Risteen, Jon Anastas and others cheer him on, Photo courtesy of: Mark McKay
How much of a focal point was Straight Edge for Slapshot at the beginning? Was it something immediately made part of the band’s identity, or something that just clicked once things got moving?
We were VERY focused on the Straight Edge as that was the way that we were. Of course we had some fun with it (the “Straight Edge Chant” and some REALLY exaggerated early interviews), but we were all straight edge and wanted to have that be a piece of who Slapshot was. It was a real source of pride in Boston back in the day, and was still very important to us. So as soon as we said, “We’re Straight Edge” and the rumours started back up about Choke and the knocking of beer bottles from drinkers’ hands, and tales of “drinkers and smokers being on the WRONG end of the hockey stick,” we ran with it.
In retrospect, what was the climate of the Boston HC scene at the time of the early Slapshot shows? What was Slapshot’s “role” in Boston, and elsewhere?
I have a different tale to tell than the other guys, and I would imagine that everyone would have a different tale. In Boston, the pits were really hard. The shows were PACKED and hot. The music was WAY too loud, and the venues could not possibly have sustained this pace for as long as they did. But it was more excitement than menace, you know? There was no feeling that you would be beat up for doing your thing, and every freak had each other’s back.
When we went to other cities, we knew a few kids in most places. But they were propogating the “myth” of Slapshot too, so when we pulled up to places like Buffalo, Detroit, Kansas and piled out of the van all wearing identical varsity jackets proclaiming that we were from Boston – it looks pretty weird, and most folks did NOT know what to make of us. The music eventually spoke for us, but the image of this gang of hoods invading your town was just classic to me – especially when we became friends with folks in the towns, and they were telling us, “we had NO idea what to expect.” Just great! I hope we brought a bit of show, a bit of entertainment and a bit of menace back into the scene – that would make me happy.
Who were the bands Slapshot identified with most? How did you gel with others in Boston at the time? What about elsewhere?
Well, we did not identify with too many bands out there that we came across (again, apologies to those that we LOVED) – we were just too busy being ourselves to care. We have ALWAYS (well, nearly always) enjoyed each other’s company, and music was kind of second to our having a good time traveling and hanging out. Of course, we saw TONS of great bands, but usually would forego opening bands sets for just goofing around town or eating, etc. That sounds totally crass, but that’s the way it was…
Boston was always GREAT for us – we were playing to our friends, people we had been going to shows for years with – all of a sudden, we have a band of our own! I see some old pictures and all the kids up front were kids I had seen every show I had ever seen with! On show days, we would meet in Kenmore Square and hang out. Then we would grab our gear, set up and play. Then after the show, we would return the gear, and back to Kenmore Square to hang out some more. No separation, a good team of friends.
As for influences musically, well I think you can hear a LOT of the English “Oi” bands in our songs, a bit of Minor Threat and Negative Approach. I WISH we could claim that our stuff was influenced by Bad Brains (as we all worshipped them) but we were not able to play anywhere NEAR their level to even qualify…
Steve Risteen, Choke and Mark with Slapshot at The Paradise, Photo courtesy of: Mark McKay
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
No For An Answer at The Anthrax with quite the crew accompanying them on stage. Porcell about to go for a dive, while Walter, Anthony Raw Deal, Arthur Smilios, Alex Chain and others watch on. Photo: Jeff Ladd
More history from Dan O. This is shaping up nicely! -Gordo DCXX
Did NFAA evolve early on as you expected?
Not exactly, as I mentioned previously the sound was faster, much faster than we’d intended, and the imagined early DC influences that were the big favorrites of all four of us from the You Laugh era didn’t really surface. We sounded like rookie musicians playing basic HC. In retrospect, that result was a lot more fun and appropriate given our experience level. I wasn’t Dave Smalley, Gavin wasn’t Brian Baker…especially not in the mid 80’s.
As far as the attitudes and positions of the band, we were all from the era when the distinction between punk rock and HC was not as clear or delineated as it later became, thus we stressed non-conformity and moderation in the judgment of others more than some of our peers.
Who were the closest friends and supporters of the band? How did NFAA fit into the growing SEHC scene of California in 1987-1989?
At the point of our formation in ’87, our friends were many and had been established over the years, most importantly the legendary Anthony Persinger as the Beaver, David and Paul Theriault, John Bruce, Billy, Half Off, the UC and Insted guys, Big Frank, Ron Martinez from Final Conflict, and a host of others who all played crucial roles in getting us started on the right foot…getting shows, getting to shows etc. By ’89 a lot of others from Irvine had their things going, Zack, the Hayworths, Popeye, the Head First guys,etc. These people were involved in the early Workshed offerings, the Spanky’s and Heritage Park shows with NFAA and Carry Nation as well as many other things.
In terms of how we fit in, there are two factors, one chronological, the other regional. In terms of Straight Edge, UC hit in ’84, NFAA in ’87 (Carry Nation took a swing but didn’t really materialize in ’85), Insted pre-dated NFAA by a year or two but didn’t really declare SE until their later Labate/Burt lineup, ’89 or ’90 I believe. Following those intial three (in terms of national recognition, there were others on the local level) the greater Posi/SE/HC scene blossomed a couple years later with Hard Stance, Farside, Reason to Believe, the Nemesis acts, Free Will, Blackspot, Headfirst, and dozens of others.
Regionally, OC didn’t mix as well as we could have with people from other areas. The Bay area went largely ignored other than MRR and Gilman. The Inland Empire saw many members of old acts that had drifted slowly towards melodic almost rock formats suddenly re-emerge in highly derivative east coast type bands fronted by younger people from outside hardcore as we knew it. We rarely played with or interacted with them and that led to alot of unfortunate animosity, as NFAA was staffed by older, well networked guys, who had a real edge in terms of booking certain venues, drawing coverage from certain zines, etc. Twenty+ years down the line, we all represent the very old school and these rivalries seem pretty silly. I tend to enjoy running into anybody from the 80s these days.
Sterling and Gavin jam it out while Dan and the security face the CBGB’s crowd, Photo: Ken Salerno
How did the east coast connection develop more? How did you fit in on the opposite coast with guys from NYC and CT?
On the one hand we were grandfathered in. Ray Cappo, John Porcelly, Richie Birkenhead, Mike Judge, and Craig Setari all lived with my mother and I in HB for months during the hammering out of Wishingwell’s release of the original Break Down The Walls LP. Jordan Cooper was the one to meet us at the train station when we arrived in CT. Sam MacPheeters and I had been in contact for a while before the Hawker Is Hardcore trip and he and Adam, from what was later the whole Vermiform vibe, were our NY escorts, Gavin Van Vlack was one we met through them, and he became quite the provider. I guess you could say we had strong advance support!
In terms of fitting in, we were reasonably well recieved. We wore a little more black and a few less hoodies than our east coast brethren seemed to realize, but all in all it was an adventure I’d never trade for anything. CBGB was more interesting to us than the Anthrax primarily because there was a far greater diversity in terms of pesonalities and backgrounds, a little scary, a little sexy, very historic.
What did it mean to be on Rev at the time? How did it help/hinder the band?
Other than a brief period in the 80s when the whole youth crew thing limited people’s understanding of us as an individual unit with our own opinions, tastes and sensibilities, separate from those of our labelmates, Rev was a complete help. They are why we gained national recognition…period. My relationship with the label remains intact to this day.
CBGB’s Hawker Records showcase, Free For All show with members of Wrecking Crew, Rest In Pieces and No For An Answer preparing for the photo shoot. Photo: Ken Salerno
How did the connection with Hawker develop?
Firstly, John Bello from Hawker contacted us at an ideal time when I was not sensing a lot of enthusiam or at least prioritizing from Rev in terms of an NFAA LP. Futhermore we fit the Rev label image at the time less and less every day. At the time the DIY vs. Major debate was raging full swing and in my opinion was being oversimplified. My thinking in the late 80s being that if you could contractually protect your lyrical and artistic content completely while insuring vastly superior distribution, you had an obligation to your message to go for that larger avenue. Contrary to legend, the advance money was around $4,000, covered recording and a little merchandising, and played very little role in the decision.
Memories of the Hawker show at CB’s?
A huge day for meeting the legends of the era. Check out the faces in that cover shot! A little known fact, that “Get back, it’s way early” line is directed to the bouncers – not the crowd. One thing I remember about both trips is that a surprising number of west coast guys tended to make it back there with us, Joe Nelson and a few Sloth Crew types, Billy, Anthony, Josh Stanton and others roaming the east with us added a lot to the experience.
Can you discuss the causes for the lineup changes in NFAA? How did the member changes impact the vibe within the band (i.e Case compared to Bratton, John versus Sterling, etc.)?
Firstly let’s do an NFAA membership inventory, there were many, many little publicized changes, some guys lasting a show or two if that, some being the players of record. Gavin and I were the only constants! Second Guitar – Rob Hayworth, Joe Foster. Bass – Jeff Boetto, John Mastropaolo, Sterling Wilson, Brian Howell. Drums – Casey Jones, Quinn Millard, Zack de La Roacha, Chris Bratton, Mario Rubalcaba.
Vibe? John was a very technical bassist, Sterling more of a fun loving rocker. John was actually the best man at my wedding in February! Casey was a nuts and bolts HC musician like Gavin and I, Bratton was a hired gun who really knew his shit and beat the hell out of those drums but gave priority to Inland projects. I like Chris and loved running into him at Radio Silence’s thing in Hollywood, but his split focus took a lot of steam out of the band and contributed largely to our hanging it up. Maybe not a bad thing. We all ended up having other musical fish to fry in the very near future…
Another alternate Free For All shot, minus Token Entry plus Billy Rubin and Sammy Siegler, Photo: Ken Salerno
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Bobby Sullivan with Soulside at Maxwell’s in Hoboken NJ, Photo: Ken Salerno
Last year, sometime shortly after we launched Double Cross, we started posting memorable show entries from various people that have been involved in the hardcore scene over the years. We did quite a few entries like this and I always thought that it made for an interesting read, so I decided to bring it back.
Kicking this returning feature off is Mr. Bobby Sullivan from D.C.’s Soulside. Expect many more memorable show entries in the coming weeks. Big thanks to Bobby and all who have participated so far. -Tim DCXX
Seeing Minor Threat’s last show was mind blowing, especially with the Big Boys from TX, doing their brand of punk/funk, and Trouble Funk headlining – a serious DC funk band in the Go-Go genre (sampled a lot by Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys). That was my first stab at slam dancing and stage diving. Once punk got mainstream I lamented how uniform the sound got. I liked how back in the day there were so many different sounding punk bands. Punk was the attitude and a revolutionary approach to making music, not necessarily the end sound. Everybody was trying something different and too few got recognized.
Beefeater is one of those bands I thought should have gotten more recognition, but I guess that funk blend really made sense to me, coming from DC.
The Bad Brains are a perfect example. Seeing them right after the Rock For Light album changed my LIFE forever! Those lyrics with that delivery…wow. Soon afterwards HR took me under his wing and I got schooled. Ian was the same way. In that DC scene we practically wrote songs together. That mentoring approach that the older brothers took was priceless. I still look up to Ian and HR to this day. I’m still giving thanks!
Monday, June 8, 2009
BOLD at City Gardens, Trenton NJ, 1988, Photo: Ken Salerno
Tim’s post last week on Murphy’s Law and BOLD at the Black ‘N Blue bowl reminded me of a story involving the two that came up in an interview Tim and I did with Matt and Drew a few years back. Here it is, along with some great photos Ken Salerno took of BOLD at City Gardens in early 1988…-Gordo DCXX
Drew: Around 1986, Crippled Youth was still kind of a novelty. And even though we were kinda loud about straight edge, we kinda got a pass because we were so young. Especially in New York, nobody really gave us a hard time because of our age.
Matt: But I do remember one time we kind of dug ourselves a hole. Maximum Rock ‘N Roll wanted to do this little feature interview on us, so they sent us the questions. And one of the questions was about straight edge, and if we got a hard time for it or if we got heat for speaking our minds about it. So Drew and I were doing the answers and taking time to formulate our answers…
Drew: And I made the mistake of saying like, “If Murphy’s Law can sing about drinking their beer, why can’t we sing about being straight edge?” We really thought we were making a valid and righteous point, but in retrospect, we were 14, and it’s just not the type of rational thing you say, especially pulling Murphy’s Law into it. And I loved Murphy’s Law, but the context was terrible.
Matt with BOLD at City Gardens, Photo: Ken Salerno
Matt: So yeah, and soon after that, I was at The Ritz and Murphy’s Law is playing. And Jimmy goes to introduce the song “Care Bear,” and he says in a very direct and not so friendly way, “THAT’S FOR YOU CRIPPLED YOUTH!!!” Like right at that moment, the whole club parted and like the spotlight went on me. It wasn’t a lot of fun. It felt very tense.
Drew: Yeah, big mistake. But I think it smoothed over.
Matt: Yeah, the next day, Mark Ryan, who was close with us but also close with Jimmy and those guys, he went to them and smoothed it over, basically explaining we didn’t mean anything by it and that we were ok kids. But I think that may have been a wake up call. After that, we were cool with them.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
I mean really, what is there to say? Cro-Mags – We Gotta Know... you had to know it would take the crown. If you needed a reminder why, here it is above… and now you know. -Tim DCXX
Cro-Mags – We Gotta Know – 191
Youth Of Today – No More – 102
Judge – Where It Went – 59
Bad Brains - I Against I – 31
Sick Of It All - Injustice System – 28
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Original Gorilla Biscuits 7″ mock ups, notice alternate Rev logo on back cover, Photo: Tim DCXX
Gorilla Biscuits at Club Unisound, Reading PA, a random photo that was found in a GB folder, Photo: Tim DCXX
Original Gorilla Biscuits logo made with rub-off letters and would be used on the GB “Hold Your Ground” shirt, Photo: Tim DCXX
Original GB 7″ first pressing B Side label photo of Lukey Luke, Photo: Tim DCXX
Original hand written thanks list to be used on the GB 7″, Photo: Tim DCXX
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Regis Guerin’s high school ID, Courtesy of: Jeff Banks
California legend and one of our favorite DCXX contributors, Jeff Banks, returns with a little ditty about Chorus bassist, Regis…Street Regis to you. -Gordo DCXX
So I’m at this Uniform Choice show. It’s sometime in 1986 at Fender’s in Long Beach. Steve Winders and I are watching the bands (Winders and I were in a Straight Edge band called Denial, which would later merge into the 2nd incarnation of Visual Discrimination). “Who is that guy?,” says Winders. We watch as this big, ridiculously strong, defensive lineman-looking guy is throwing people at will off the stage, cold-cocking anyone who gets in his path, and glaring at everyone and no one in the building. “Stay clear of that dude,” is about all I say.
“There he is again,” says Winders. This time we are at a 7 Seconds show. I couldn’t figure it out. The Sons of Samoa seemed to defer to him. The LADS didn’t fuck with him and all the UC guys seemed to love him. And he was everywhere.
I go up to some guy who I sort of knew who was talking to this fellow earlier in the evening. I point. “Who is THAT guy?” “Regis. Street Regis. From the Sloth Crew. He’s a Huntington Beach guy.”
I don’t know what the hell Sloth Crew is. I never went to Huntington Beach because of the HB Skins (who never seemed to fuck with Regis either by the way). Winders and I were from Cerritos. We were essentially 501-wearing, wino shoe-having, JC Penney plain white T-shirt sporting, gold Harrington when it’s cold out, honorary Mexican in certain circles, basketball playing 4 to 6 times a week punks who were straight edge.
But I had to get to know this guy. I started asking around.
The stories about him were legendary. From knocking the teeth out of a Calvin Klein model guy to Burt Reynolds bar room brawls where guys get dragged down the bar and thrown into the wall, shattering glass and smashing all the alcohol bottles.
Regis and Ike with Chorus Of Disapproval at JayBob’s, June 1990, Photo: Dave Sine
When I saw him wearing green high top Nike basketball shoes I knew I had an in. I was wearing the same shoes. I of course invade his personal space. “Let me see those big boy.” He looked at me like I was coming on to him. I pointed to my sneakers. This dude breaks into the most genuine kid-like smile imaginable and shakes my hand. We talk. He plays bass. More importantly he plays basketball.
We set up games. I get to know Joe Nelson. Sawyer, Winders and I are running and gunning in dunk ball games in Orange County with the likes of Pat Dubar. It was awesome.
Years later Ike Golub and I were considering actually putting a band together. “I think I might know the perfect guy.”
Too many great Wild West stories. In the years to come he would single-handedly take on a group of skinheads in DC, fight a crowd of knuckleheads at Club DV8. One time when I was at Berkeley, Regis, Sabatini, Helmet and I played as the band XProhibitionX at the Kloyne Co-op with Green Day. Sabatini got loud and next thing I know we are confronted by about 10 guys. A dude in a leather vest steps to Regis and Regis yells, “Venice Beach motherfucker,” and it was on. It was like the restaurant scene when the Black Widows are looking for Philo Beddoe and take on the locals from the coffee shop. We were the locals.
But this may be the best Street Regis story ever. For me at least.
It was at an Angel game. Regis, Shep, Lepak and me. We are leaving. On the freeway an egg is thrown and breaks on our windshield. “Follow that piece of shit,” says Regis. We go miles on I-5 at high speeds. Weaving. Honking. Screaming. Regis is saying the license plate number over and over like a mantra. They lose us. We go to Del to decompress. A year later Regis and Shep see the car and confirm the plate. They follow and the car goes to a house party with about 100 people. The driver gets out and walks in. Regis follows. “Motherfucker. You threw an egg on my car.” He has the guy by the collar. The guy has no clue. “Angels Mariners motherfucker. You egged my car.” The guy actually starts shaking and says he has a twin brother who has access to the car a year ago and swears it was not him. “Regis open hand (and very audibly), slaps the guy across the face. “Bitch.” And walks out.
If I knew that story the night of the green Nikes, I just might have come on to him.
Street Regis with The Chorus in Arizona, 1994, Photo: Hornberger
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Dan and Gavin with No For An Answer at The Anthrax, Photo: Jeff Ladd
Everyone seemed to dig Part 1 from Dan O on Monday, so here comes more. -Gordo DCXX
As far as specific positives and negatives go, the whole late 80’s thing espoused some wonderful ideals in terms of general positivity, rejecting self destructive lifestyles, championing racial tolerance, redefining gender roles (“not just boys fun!”) etc. I look back fondly on the years when I knew so many like minded people willing to commit such amazing amounts of energy to forwarding that values system. New bands, zines, labels, and kids promoting their own shows were everywhere. It was different than any time before it, faster growing, more national, more mutually supportive, and more exciting.
It was at the point when this basically socio-political / activist mindset started to very literally enforce a dress code clear down to defining acceptable brand names (ie. Champion, Nike etc.) that I could not relate. I wasn’t a popular kid in school, and wasn’t interested in in infusing cool kid social behavior into our otherwise noble counterculture. Let’s keep in mind this is a ground one perspective, ’83, ’84, ’85, ’86 veteran/fanzine kid/first wave Rev artist, and from where I stood the values of positive hardcore/straight edge were changing, slowly coming to resemble more of what I by nature was hard wired to reject than that which I loved to embrace. This is not really an indictment of any individuals, but rather the danger of any large group, particularly that young. I think I’m getting a little doctrinaire and preachy here where it’s not really neccessary so I’ll back off now. Breathe…
Dan with No For An Answer at CBGB, NYC, Photo: Ken Salerno
Yes, positives and negatives.
NFAA travelled by extreme means, an 80’s hardcore band that did the east coast by plane but the west coast via a Chevy Celebrity station wagon. The “Answer Wagon” that we claimed slept 5 comfortably with equipment! As far as the east coast is concerned we played CBGB and the Anthrax at their zenith (CB’s with Government Issue on one trip!) and looking back I wish we’d documented those days better. Joe Nelson did a good job for you guys detailing being locked in the Anthrax overnight during a blizzard. California boys learning quickly about the east coast winter!
The EP recording was intended as a demo just like Gavin says. No real time went into the production, we joked around singing “We Are The World” during the backups session, recorded a cover of AF’s “Last Warning”, and had a very good, very amateur time, but when Porcell got hold of it and deemed it record worthy I pushed pretty hard to make it exactly that. Looking back the only Revelation stuff on the shelves at that time were Warzone and the Together comp. The production value on “You Laugh” fit right in, but by the time it was released, SOIA, GB and others had gotten a little slicker, a little beefier, and we sounded remedial. Nowadays I listen to that record and love how young and spastic we sound. You can’t create that vibe intentionally.
Dan O high fives the crowd at CBGB’s, Photo: Ken Salerno
Monday, June 1, 2009
Matt BOLD in front of the Brooklyn crowd, Photo: Future-Breed.com
Here’s a breakdown of the bands I was able to catch at this past weekends 2009 Black N Blue Bowl in Brooklyn New York. Big thanks to Future-Breed.com for the photos that I snagged to dress this piece up. For more photos from all the bands that played, go to Future-Breed.com -Tim DCXX
Due to prior engagements, I wasn’t able to make it out to the show until about 7:30 PM and considering the show started at 2:00 PM, it was inevitable that I was going to miss a good chunk of the bands. Not that I was all that familiar with the majority of bands that I was to miss, but I probably would have caught a few of them had I been able to get there earlier.
Kenny Aherns with an Urban Waste sing along, Photo: Future-Breed.com
So the first band I got to see was Urban Waste and I was pretty stoked that I was able to get there in time to catch them. The Urban Waste EP is a classic piece of New York Hardcore vinyl and It’s been a favorite of mine for a long time. Line up wise, they had three original members, singer-Kenny Aherns, guitarist-Johnny Waste and drummer-John Dancy and the bassist looked to be a relatively young kid. They opened the set with “Police Brutality” and the crowd got into them from the first note. They sounded great and there was a fair amount of stage dives, sing alongs and dancing, so the combination made it fun to watch.
Jimmy Gestapo with Murphy’s Law, Cavity Creeps style, Photo: Future-Breed.com
Murphy’s Law went on next and had it not been for Jimmy Gestapo, I wouldn’t have recognized any of the members. Crazy to think about how many different line up changes Murphy’s Law have had over the years. I will say, Jimmy manages to find solid bands to back him and this line up was no different. They played a decent mix of the first two albums and what I would assume was post-Back With a Bong material, although I couldn’t swear to it considering I’ve never heard any or their releases after Back With a Bong. The highlight to me was “Cavity Creeps”, which is always a crowd pleaser. Jimmy carried a a beer in his hand almost the entire set, only to put it down to swill back a bottle of Jagermeister or to smoke a joint. Age apparently has not softened Mr. Gestapo or affected his love of booze and weed. My only complaint was with the drunken meat head that felt it was necessary to climb on stage for every song, put his arm around Jimmy and proceed to wave and preform the whole “raise the roof” gesture. Dude was obviously fueled by Schlitz and it appeared that even Jimmy was becoming annoyed. It didn’t take long before Jimmy would just push the dude off the stage and back into the crowd. Overall an entertaining set, but when is a Murphy’s Law set not?
The Search continues, BOLD at the Black N Blue Bowl 2009, Photo: Future-Breed.com
Next up was the band of the hour, for me at least… BOLD. Let me assure you, they fuckin’ destroyed. It’s been way too long since BOLD has played and I was psyched to to be seeing them again. With a tweaked TC3-less lineup, Porcell brought in long time friend and Swedish import, Daniel Larsson to fill out the missing TC3 guitar work and the chemistry was obvious. Completing the rest of the line up was drummer Vinny Panza, and K-Town originals Tim Brooks on bass and frontman Matt Warnke. BOLD opened with “Talk Is Cheap” and the crowd responded immediately. Sing alongs and stage dives were plentyful and the band continued to demolish through each and every song. All the songs were stand outs, but my personal favorites like “Search”, “You’re The Friend I Don’t Need”, “Clear”, “Having My Say” and “Wise Up” inspired me to smash my fists on the stage, just as they did 20 years ago when seeing BOLD. They finished the set with “Wise Up” and the crowd kicked it up a notch to give BOLD their due send off. Through the mayhem I managed to pull myself on stage and jolt across the stage to dive over Matt’s back and into a pile of people singing, “It’s time to WISE UP, you must WISE UP!”. Words can not describe just how heavy, tight and powerful BOLD sounded and to all those that were slighted by the poor recording quality of Speak Out, hopefully Saturday’s set helped set the record straight and you could hear just how those songs are and were suppose to sound. People really seemed to connect with what was happening on stage and after the set, I heard nothing but positive BOLD talk. Hopefully we see more from BOLD this summer.
Porcell in the face of the Brooklyn crowd deliviering some New York Crew, Photo: Future-Breed.com
In the past for the BOLD encore, Porcell would take the mic and sing “Nailed to the X”, but this night in Brooklyn New York, the band had different plans. Porcell put down his guitar, Matt passed him the mic and the pre-song banter began. A fired up, X’ed up, Porcell with mic in hand shouted something along the lines of, “This song goes out to all the guys that welcomed me into the New York Hardcore scene, guys like Vinny Stigma, Harley, Raybeez, Jimmy Gestapo… this one is for them and it’s for all of you, it’s called “New York Crew”. Before the first note was played, chaos erupted. Bodies were flying everywhere, screaming voices sang along to every note from every direction, Porcell threw his body into the crowd over and over again and quite honestly I could do very little but stand there and stare. Partly because things were so chaotic and I wanted to minimize bodily injury and partly because I just wanted to watch and soak it all in. Towards the end of the song, Daniel’s guitar went out, he dove into the crowd and the crowd continued as if it never missed a beat. Those days are gone man, but they’re not forgot… and this just reinforced that.
Anthony Communale with Killing Time at the Black N Blue Bowl 2009, Photo: Future-Breed.com
Had it been any other band, I would have not wanted to see them hit the stage after what had just gone down, but with Killing Time going on next, I knew the crowd had been properly warmed up. Now I haven’t seen Killing Time in quite awhile, but man… they have not missed a step. Still as great as always and the crowd ate them up. They tore through all the “Brightside” classics as well as a handful of newer tracks and I had a great time just hanging back and watching everything unfold. With the exception of a few drunken meat heads that felt the need to hang around on the stage and try to pal up with Anthony arm in arm for sing alongs, the set was pretty spot on.
A fired up Porcell at the Black N Blue Bowl, Brooklyn NY 2009, Photo: Future-Breed.com
My friend Karl who I had come to the show with, was looking to bail after Killing Time’s set and considering how exhausted I was, I was completely fine with that. On our way out we ended up running into Porcell and catching up with him for awhile, as well as the rest of the BOLD guys. An early exit turned into a not so early exit and after stopping in Manhattan for some late night eats, I didn’t get home until close to 3:00 AM. When all was said and done, I had a great time, saw a handful or awesome bands and was stoked I made the trek.
Murphy’s Law mayhem in Brooklyn, Photo: Future-Breed.com
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Dan O with No For An Answer at The Anthrax, Photo: Jeff Ladd
Since we set out with DCXX, one person we hoped to include here was none other than Dan O. It took some time, but here we are. Expect tons of great history with the legendary O.C. Hardcore frontman who has never been afraid to speak his mind. Very psyched to have him aboard with us! -Gordo DCXX
The most memorable early show for me had to be a Vandals show in ’82 or ’83 at the Nest where their singer dropped a rat in a blender and then threw it on the crowd. Either that or a Youth Brigade show in ’84 at the Flashdance in Anaheim during which Shawn Stern put the mic in my hand and actually let me sing by myself for about 30 seconds or so. Mark that as my first experience on stage in front of people. In addition to those two I’ll never forget the first time I saw 7 Seconds or Uniform Choice. In the case of U.C., seeing someone from my own high school absolutely blow away every other band on the bill taught me something about the accessibility of this music, and the possibility that I could someday do this myself.
The first punk record I ever owned was “Never Mind the Bollocks,” and the first American records to really make a dent with me were MDC’s “Millions of Dead Cops,” Bad Religion’s “How Could Hell Be Any Worse,” and of course the first two Minor Threat EPs. It’s funny, but most people wouldn’t suspect that I got my start as a leather jacket and combat boots type infatuated primarily with the English stuff, but that was the case.
Strangely enough the term “straight edge” was explained to me to describe my own behavior. As in here I was a young punk rocker constantly confronted with the pressure to get loaded (especially from my punk rock girlfriend Maya and her friends), and always refusing but completely unaware of the sub-sub-subculture that was straight edge. In ’83 or ’84 I heard someone explain my lifestyle that way, did my research, and found new kinship in all things Minor Threat, Dischord, SSD, DYS, etc.
O.C.H.C meets N.Y.H.C., No For An Answer at the Hawker Records Free For All show, CBGB’s, Photo: Ken Salerno
My earliest friends in hardcore as opposed to plain old punk rock were Billy Rubin, Casey Jones, John Bruce, Mike Murphy, and others. Again we’re talking ’84/’85. In late ’84 I got to know Dubar and Longrie, Joe Foster, etc. More importantly, in mid to late ’85 I got to know Gavin Oglesby (previously familiar to me as a legendary local artist and to my perceptions…lady killer). We both had musical ambitions, and having been introduced by mutual friend John Bruce, the three of us ended up in the original Carry Nation lineup along with a drummer friend of ours named Jordan Arthur.
As a teenager I lived with my single parent mother, a very caring but also very permissive woman, whose politics and intelligence continue to influence me even now 19 years since she passed away. My mother put herself through law school in her forties while supporting the two of us virtually by herself. She graduated law school the same month I graduated high school. She came from very humble beginnings and dealt with periods of heartbreaking financial difficulties but managed to achieve her greatest dream before passing away a bit too young at 49. Not a day goes by that I don’t wonder how my life would be different had she lived.
Carry Nation came before NFAA, and I had jammed around with a few others before that, but NFAA was really an offshoot of Gavin and I’s initial creative chemistry in Carry Nation. I don’t remember specifically why one needed to step aside to make the other possible. Certainly when Carry Nation was ressurrected later in ’89 with Steve and Frank who had jammed with us only briefly in ’85, it bore very little similarity to it’s original form.
NFAA was supposed to be mid paced and somewhat melodic like mid-model GI or Stalag 13, Dag Nasty even… whoops!
When Youth of Today came through opening up for 7 Seconds (in ’86 I believe) everything changed. They were so aggresive, so bent on networking with everyone they met, knowing those guys made you immediately a part of something. I remember Ray getting my number from Billy and calling me at home even though we’d never met simply because we shared so many friends. We talked for an hour and worked together and sometimes in opposition to each other but always as friends for many years to follow. In those early days the group identity had not yet become quite so codified. By ’87/’88 NFAA was making waves of its own and already starting to resist several facets of the youth crew movement. If you look at the lyrics to the “A Thought Crusade” record this resistance is pretty clear.
That said, I will admit to a certain amount of pride in being Revelation’s first west coast release…
Dan O and Sterling Wilson with No For An Answer at CBGB’s, Photo: Ken Salerno
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Poll results for favorite band with a track on the Blackout Record’s Where The Wild Things Are compilation
Outburst at City Gardens delivering it The Hard Way, Photo: Ken Salerno
Considering Outburst took this poll and seems to have beaten the life out of the competition with it, I thought I’d turn to the biggest Outburst fan I know, Ed McKirdy, and let him chime in for these results. -Tim DCXX
The minute Tim told me DCXX was taking a favorites poll with Where The Wild Things Are as the subject, one name instantly came to mind: Outburst. The Outburst tracks on this comp are so hard, so pissed, so undeniably brutal… it almost isn’t even a fair fight.
From the heavily-reverbed, tribal-like drum intro pounding into the chainsaw distortion of the opening riff of “The Hard Way,” Outburst has already decimated the competition. Add in Brian D’s throat shredding vocals, pissed as fuck lyrics, and the brilliant backwards tape effect into the chorus; you have the best song on the comp. Period.
Outburst at City Gardens, Photo: Ken Salerno
“Controlled,” while not rising to the heights of “The Hard Way,” easily takes the number two slot with its crushingly-austere, mid-tempo mosh opening (featuring doubled vocals over the intro – another cool production choice), up-tempo while still violent verses, shifting gears into a heavy payoff return-to-intro mosh towards the end of the song.
The Outburst songs on Where The Wild Things Are solidify them as one of those unique bands who, while devastating live, never quite had the opportunity to capture their full power and potential in the studio. While their Miles to Go 7” is one of my favorites and their demo is an unbeatable classic, it is their tracks on Where The Wild Things Are that finally serve to represent the band at their best, unhindered by the restraints of generic tracking methods. The production (while arguably dated and overly effected) somehow works perfectly for Outburst. The engineer on staff that day just sounds like he gets it.
In short, as great as the efforts by Raw Deal, Breakdown, and Maximum Penalty might have been, song for song, for any other band to have won this poll would have been just plain wrong.
Brian Donohue of Outburst takes it to the Trenton crowd, Photo: Ken Salerno
Outburst - 104
Raw Deal - 82
Gorilla Biscuits - 70
Life’s Blood - 56
Breakdown - 47
Sheer Terror - 26
Uppercut - 19
Maximum Penalty – 18
N.B.S.H. - 4
A Raw Deal sing along at Oliver J’s in Allentown PA, Photo: Ken Salerno
Gorilla Biscuits at City Gardens, Trenton NJ, Photo: Ken Salerno
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Original Warzone “Lower East Side Crew” photos and layouts, Photo: Tim DCXX
Actual photo that was torn from a magazine and used for the cover of the Judge “The Storm” 7″, Photo: Tim DCXX
Original Gorilla Biscuits “Start Today” Revelation ad mock-ups, Photo: Tim DCXX
Ray Cappo and Pied Piper Production’s, Doug Carron. Doug was the guy responsible for booking a lot of those early Revelation band tours (YOT, GB, etc..) and was also the guy well known for his rant on the end of the GB “Start Today” CD. Unfortunately, Doug passed away a few years ago.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Turning Point at Club Pizazz, Philadelphia PA, January 1989, Photo: Jeff Ladd
Jay TP brings us more of the Turning Point story in our on-going retrospective on one of NJ’s best. -Gordo DCXX
As far as us playing out, the reason we played at the Anthrax or in DC or in Pennsylvania was because there really weren’t that many places to play in NJ. There was really just City Gardens. We were supposed to play Scott Hall but I think it got shut down. But we did go out to Pennsylvania. I remember some place in Bethlehem, either Wally’s or Oliver J’s that was cool. I remember there was a Subway shop up the street and that was the first time I saw a Subway. We’d eat a Subway and go rock out.
We did play a place called the Pipeline in Jersey City a few times. That place was in a really shitty neighborhood. I remember one of my friends from high school drove up in his parents car to see us there and they had one of the first ever “car phones”, you know, like one of those huge brick type things. He parked right across the street from the club and when we finished our set and he went outside to leave the car was gone. We called the cops and they said they said they knew where the car probably was but they really don’t go into that part of town and that they probably stole the car because it had a car phone. Needless to say he never got his parents car back.
One show really sticks out, a big show. The Icemen were headlining, it was the Fall Brawl in D.C. at Wust Hall. So many people came out to that man, it was sick. We took the cover shot for the Jade Tree discography at that show, I think we were just messing around in the lobby. Nick was always good about bring a camera along for all of our road trips and taking a bunch of photos. I remember watching The Icemen, and I was obviously still into drums so I wanted to watch Mackie. He had his cymbals like as high and as far out as they could go. It was a crazy set up and he was unbelievable. I just watched him from the side of the stage and was blown away.
Steve Crudello with Turning Point at the Anthrax, 1988, Photo: TP
I think it was around this time when we split with Steve on guitar and went back to being a four piece with just me on guitar. I really can’t remember the exact reason we kicked Steve out of the band. I’m pretty sure he was starting to be late to practice and shows and stuff. This is pretty funny now, but I remember we would be running late to a show and Steve would insist we stop off somewhere to get coffee and an apple pie or something and Skip would get so pissed at him. Pissed over Steve getting coffee. So great.
I guess we thought he wasn’t as dedicated to the band as we were decided to go back to the original four piece. He wasn’t really in the band that long. I’d guess about a year or so. It’s always shitty when you kick somebody out of a band, but I don’t remember any real animosity at the time. Regardless, we now live a few blocks from each other and are still friends.
At some point in the mix of things, Steve had moved up to NYC and also played with Gorilla Biscuits. (Editor’s Note: we brought this up with Jay because very little documentation of this exists, and while we knew it to be true, there has been little detail about his coming and going.) What happened was that we had become friends with the GB guys from playing with them. We would stay with Walter sometimes when we were in the city. Steve stayed tight with them, and he ended up playing bass with them for a few shows. But there wasn’t anything weird with Steve leaving GB as far as I heard. I think he just filled in for a handful of shows. I just remember thinking it was cool that he was gonna get to play with GB, that was wild. Like, “damn man, you are playing with them…so cool.”
We continued on playing out, and writing what would become the material on the LP…
Jay with Turning Point at the Fall Brawl in DC, Photo: Dave Brown
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