ARCHIVES – more older posts (59)
May 18th, 2012 by Larry

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Joe Nelson on Pat Dubar

Joe Nelson may have the greatest memory of anyone who came out of the mid/late 80s Orange County Hardcore Scene. He was in the mix of it all…Sloth Crew, Insted roadie, travelling hardcore kid…he really just saw it all over the last 25 years and has lived to have countless great stories. We wanted to get him to shed some light on some of our favorite topics. This will be the first of many contributions by Joe and we’re happy to have him on board as a guest columnist. What better place to start than by asking him about Pat Dubar of Uniform Choice, and specifically, “how tough was Pat Dubar?” -DCXX

Pat Dubar was fucking tough. During U.C. days he was not only a big dude and in great shape, but he was fearless. You have to also keep in mind that the era of U.C., which was the mid 80s, was the most violent time to be a punk/hardcore kid in Southern California. Punk/Hardcore shows back then were in the middle of the ghetto, so you had those kind of gangs to deal with on occasion. You also had these psycho punk gangs who actually fought for control of the clubs, such as Fender’s or the Olympic. The L.A.D.S., Suicidals, South Bay Skins, Sons of Samoa, Circle One, etc., were actual gangs that were 20 – 40 members deep. The fights that happened at clubs during the 80s were like 30 on 30 sometimes. I’m talking crazy, crazy, full on brawls were happening 3 – 4 times a night.

Also, shows at the time were averaging about 2000 people. Out of those people, maybe 20 – 25 kids were straight edge, and all of us were still in High School. We were always the minority, and by far not the scariest dudes in the room. Pat was our little straight edge scene’s protector back during that time. Without him we would not have exited some of those shows with all our teeth still in place. He definitely saved my ass a couple times.

I remember always being extremely cautious of where to stage dive during U.C. sets. The last thing you wanted was to land on some gang banger’s head, because they would just brutalize you. A couple times I made that mistake only to have Pat come into the crowd swinging at all of them, and to my rescue.

There’s actually a great video of Pat’s brother Courtney doing a stage dive during a U.C. set. He goes off camera and ends up getting pummeled by the L.A.D.S. in the crowd. In the video you see all the kids run to Courtney’s aid, only to have all of them come scattering back on stage into the video. Pat however stayed right smack in the middle of it. You can actually hear him punching dudes with the mic…”boom”.. “boom”. ..”boom”.. “boom”…..”boom.” He must have hit and dropped 10 dudes. We’re not talking some dumb jock from the suburbs either, we’re talking about dropping guys who if they didn’t get killed 2 – 3 years later, are now all lifers for murder, armed robbery, or some other major crime. I mean these people were hardcore criminals.

So yeah, Pat Dubar was fucking tough.

Feedback by TC3

In January 2006, Beyond did two reunion shows. At the time I was in contact with Capone pretty regularly and told him I wanted to do a lengthy Beyond interview with him and the other guys. After he took the time to answer a couple dozen questions, I lost everything from a server crash, and he didn’t have the answers anymore either. The answers were great…very long and detailed with tons of cool stories about everything related to Beyond. I was bummed, but he said he would just re-write what he could remember. While the interview with the other guys never materialized, TC3 did end up sending me a long email that basically recapped the answers he had originally given me. Things mostly summarized Beyond, but he threw in some other stuff too.

Manowar tattoos, Black Magik, Quicksand B-sides, the Handsome record, jamming with Scott Weiland, doing BOLD again…hate it or love it, it all came long after this dude was shredding in Beyond at age 16 on a Jackson while anyone else his age in hardcore was power chording a Les Paul.

I was 16 and met Kevin Egan in high school out in Long Island. He was getting into hardcore and I also knew he “sang,” so I turned him on to Minor Threat, Dag Nasty, Embrace, Verbal Assault, YOT, Crippled Youth/BOLD, and pretty much anything else relevant from NYC, Boston, or DC. Plus we both liked Crumbsuckers a lot. Beyond evolved out of a band I sang for called 3rd Planet which was real Agnostic Front/Crumbsuckers style and definitely pre-Beyond. I wrote a lot of that and kept the song “Vitality,” which was 3rd Planet song I had written.

I got together with Kevin, and as a part of “auditioning” we would go in his car and just have him sing to Minor Threat, and then as we wrote our own stuff, I wrote the music and lyrics and vocal melodies, and again we would go through them in his car. He sounded like Ian to me, so it worked. We were friends with Lance Yager who would end up playing bass for Beyond, and Dom Biocco, who would play drums. Talk about two extremely talented guys, especially considering we were all kids! Don’t get me wrong, Alan Cage was and is still obviously a great drummer, but Alan couldn’t even duplicate Dom’s stuff when we went to record the Beyond LP. It was so complex to play, even if you didn’t notice it. I was really excited to play again with Dom for the Beyond reunions.

We whipped the Beyond demo out quick, doing it to cassette and making copies fast. Larry “Edge” Goreman, from the Orange 9mm EP and now with Head Automatica and Glassjaw, was a high school hardcore buddy and drew the cover up. After the demo I had a crew in my high school in Long Island that began to develop. We called ourselves the “KING TUT CREW” and in shop class I made a pyramid ring as a symbol. That’s why our first shirt had a triangle on it. As far as those demo songs, “Hoax” was about a kid in our crew who faked his straight edge to be cool. “Sap” was a word I used a lot and it caught on with everyone in the Youth Crew too. We called this kid a sap in the song. It was like a straight edge revenge venting-out song. “What Awaits Us Now” I wrote about my grandparents, thinking of their death and my life, so it was deep to me. “Vitality” is about being strong…surviving. “Effort” was the theme for Beyond…a “posi” song to live life by. “Beyond” was the name I chose for the band because I wanted to have a message that went beyond drugs and negativity and also beyond the barriers of hardcore. We were young…we wanted to unite and have a great scene. “Someday” was about all the racism going on at the time. “Feedback” I actually wrote about Alan Cage because he and I butted heads a lot, even before he was in the band. “Ancient Head” was about the kids in high school who just wanted normal boring lives and hung out in a parking lot doing drugs for fun. They were just a bunch of ancient heads. “Vampire Empire” was more about people who use others to gain what they want and suck their life force away. “Care” was a vegetarian song and about caring for others and animals. “Self Interest” was about politicians abusing their power. “One Kind Word” is about getting your say when others try and knock you down. Also on the demo was “Seasons” which we did for the reunion because we didn’t put it on the album and the song is sick. That’s about growing up and the changes you go through in such a short time…it was pretty Verbal Assault-ish I guess. We eventually dropped a straight edge song on the demo called “Better Things To Do,” mostly so we weren’t locked into just the straight edge scene, plus I was never happy with the song itself. The “dewwwwwit!” demo intro was us goofing around. I loved the WarZone “bugging out” intro and wanted something like that.

So the King Tut Crew started and we all went to shows and we were all straight edge and vegetarian. After the demo was done, I brought it down to Some Records and Bleeker Bob’s in NYC. It sold like hot cakes. Next thing I know, Porcell wrote me a letter saying he thought it was brilliant and wanted us to play with Judge, GB, YOT, and so on. I was so psyched. So that’s how we got in with the youth crew. Our first gig was being set up at CBGB’s with Token Entry because of the demo response. Before that first gig we decided to let Dom and Lance go because Alan and Vic were our friends and part of our crew and more into hardcore and playing shows and the demo guys were not. So we had a solid hardcore line up. Porcell, Alex Brown, Walter, Sammy and the whole youth crew came out to that first show to it and sang along and moshed it up. It was exciting for us as a young band.

Everybody seemed to love the demo, some zines like Suburban Voice and Maximun Rock N’ Roll reviewed it with kind words. So a buzz began, and I also got closer with the Youth Crew guys. When I was done with high school at 16 in 1988, Porcell and Alex invited me as a roommate in the Brooklyn Schism house, so I went there, and worked at a health food store for 2 year until Quicksand started later on. But anyways, Beyond started playing as much as we could. We played in Long Island with bands like All For One, and got out of town shows with YOT, JUDGE, Warzone, GB, and Project X. We traveled by using my Dad’s van. We called it the “Van Of Suffering,” named after the Bad Brains song “House of Suffering.” It had no windows or seats, No AC, and was basically a sauna. Pretty funny, but we were young and didn’t care, and we were willing to do whatever we had to do to get out there and play. I also used it to get YOT and GB to shows outside of New York and that was always fun. We traveled with those bands and Beyond played in Cleveland, Buffalo, PA, CT, DC…whatever it took. Some of those shows were with Absolution, Raw Deal, and Collapse, just awesome. We even we used it later on the 1989 last BOLD tour across the country as BOLD and Judge shared it, and GB was playing with us too. No matter what, Mike Judge always had the front seat. Not to jump ahead, but on that ’89 tour when I played with BOLD, a lot of the tour was with Chain of Strength and I became close with Alex and Chris quickly.

Beyond made a conscious decision not to wear Xs even though we were all straight and vegetarian. We wanted to be different and a more of a “unity” band. So we played with everyone, whoever was hardcore and good at the time.

I have to cite Porcell as the big reason Beyond got out there because he championed us, and so did Alex. They wanted to put the album out on Schism, but they folded, so Dave Stein offered us to put it out on Combined Effort. By that time, Vic moved to California, but he came back to do the album and there were no more gigs after that album was done, which was a bummer. While I was doing Beyond, Matt BOLD heard the demo he called me to join up with them. I was psyched because I was a huge BOLD fan. You can see in some photos me and Kevin singing with them on stage before I ever played with them. They were great. Once I got in with them I started to juggle both bands, but it caused tension with Alan. I would travel from LONG ISLAND to Westchester, NY to do BOLD. Afar train ride, but I was young and hungry. BOLD at that time were looking into progressing and rocking. I was definitely into helping them do that.

By the fall of ‘89, both Beyond and BOLD were done. All I did after those two bands were done was join up with Ray, writing songs at his parent’s place in CT and we whipped up the Shelter “Perfection of Desire” album. It was his side project, then he turned it into a full band. Quicksand started because Walter talked with me on the first GB European tour (when I hopped in to play guitar) about starting a progressive and different band. We didn’t call it post-hardcore then, but I guess that’s what it is now.

Quicksand eventually got a major deal. We actually didn’t pursue the idea at first. IN EFFECT records offered a deal, so we went to the lawyer who worked with Murphy’s Law and he said he could get us a major and we went with that. By then Quicksand was a full time thing. I also got a few shows playing bass with Supertouch which was fun. Actually, the Beyond song “What Awaits Us Now” is a bite of “Searching For The Light” to a degree. Even though I think it is still quite different, Mark Ryan recognized it.

As for the Beyond reunions, I was so psyched for them and the BOLD Revelation discography. As soon as I reformed BOLD, Vic and Kevin approached me about doing Beyond, so I said yes. I love the music so much… it was me at that age and all my words and insight into life…I put my heart into it. Those had been the best times. Beyond was my first real band, I was young and wanted to be very prolific, and I wrote most all of the material. It was my baby. It means a lot. Hardcore never left my blood. I’m a guitar player trying to earn a living doing it without selling out. So the underground hardcore scene makes me happy. To see the faces and kids singing along is why I still want to do this at age 36.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Youth Of Today / Trenton, NJ

I know, I know, I just uploaded 2 Youth Of Today videos in a previous entry, so why upload more?  Well first off, it’s Youth Of Today and I don’t know about you, but I’ve got no problem watching Youth Of Today videos until I’m blue in the face.  Aside from that, I’m still working on getting more videos transfered over from VHS to DVD and this is what I have right now.  As for this particular show, it’s from Sunday March 20th, 1988 at Trenton’s own, City Gardens.  They played with Bold and Sticks & Stones.  In this clip Youth Of Today play “Youth Crew” and then finish the set with “Make A Change”.  I was going to only post “Youth Crew”, but as I watched it all the way through, there was no way I could cut out “Make A Change”.  One note of interest, during “Youth Crew” at about 2:18 into the clip, watch for Porcell’s classic feet first dive. Thrasher Magazine photographer, Ken Salerno captured this shot, which made it’s way into the pages of Thrasher and eventually on the back of a Judge shirt.  -TM


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Todd Schwartz – Judge roadie

About a year ago, Tim uploaded the JUDGE “Where It Went” video onto YouTube. We were watching it one day and noticed that someone left a comment about being the band’s roadie. We had known that one of Mike’s friends, Todd Schwartz, was the JUDGE roadie and went onto to also play with Mike in Old Smoke. Having never really heard much about Todd, even though he seemed to be one of the few people from hardcore to remain tight with Mike after JUDGE, we thought it would be cool to see what he had to say about his time with the band and his time afterwards.

For a band that is well chronicled and documented, to me there is still just a general mysteriousness to JUDGE. Think about it: they started out as the brainwork of a young and furiously straight edge Mike Judge, who teamed up with Porcell to create an overly-blunt yet devastatingly raw debut EP that created as many fans as it did enemies…and they ended up a 5 piece metallic hardcore powerhouse that thanked and sampled Harley-Davidson motorcycles and covered When The Levee Breaks, complete with harmonica solo from Todd, on their final release (and all of that is awesome as far as I am concerned). The whole way through, there is absolutely no questioning that they were a straight edge hardcore band to the fucking bone.

I think every time I have been hanging around Porcell I have said, “please just tell me everything possible about JUDGE.” Having never gotten a friend/roadie perspective, I thought Todd might have some cool insights and stories to share.

Todd was cool to talk to and psyched to answer our questions. If you are into paintball, be sure to check out Todd’s company and website at: -Gordo

Where did it all start for you – getting into hardcore, going to shows, etc?

It all started for me in high school. I was part jock (mohawk and all), and part punk.

Just out of curiosity, who were your favorite bands, hardcore or otherwise, from that time period?

Bad Brains. Can you imagine listening to them just before bed? Well I did and it ain’t good for you.

At what point did you meet Mike (or any of the other JUDGE guys for that matter), and what type of connection did you have with him/them?

I met Mike in high school. Our girlfriends were friends with one another and both eccentrics. Personally I thought Mike was a Nazi because of his boots and braces look. There was no such thing as SHARP back then so I went with my ignorance on the matter. Later in high school both me and Mike had a mutual friend, Howard Horowitz, who was older than both of us, totally into punk and had a huge half pipe. Mike couldn’t skate for shit, but he would hang and everyone would listen to music. At that time Mike’s whole world revolved around the scene in NYC and I guess you could say that I could care less. I was all about skateboarding, football and listening to punk – i.e. The Faction, Misfits, etc. I also went to school with Jimmy Yu who I actually knew much better than Mike back in the day. There was no such band at the time, just thought I’d mention it.

Jimmy Yu is another mysterious dude. Without jumping ahead too much, any idea where he wound up post-Judge? I have heard he has been involved in Academia for a long time.

All I know is what I heard and that comes from pretty reliable resources. Jimmy Yu is a full on monk living on Canal St. in NYC, but who knows?

So what was your involvement with JUDGE and the late 80s straight edge scene prior to becoming a JUDGE roadie?

I hit a YOT show at the Anthrax when Mike was playing drums for them, I think in 1987. While stationed in San Diego with the Marine Corps in the 80s JUDGE came across my radar. I was totally into hardcore and was running SHARP west of the Mississippi. Mike’s girlfriend from high
school introduced me to Marcus in NYC when I was home on leave from the Marines and the rest of SHARP was history. I hooked up with Mike through the same mutual friend from high school after getting out of the service and we immediately became best friends. To us it was more about riding Harleys than hardcore. Personally I think Mike had already entered a transitional time in his life moving away from his music while most moved towards it.
The JUDGE seven inch is like a ton of bricks and is one of the most lyrically straight edge records ever written. What were your thoughts on straight edge, and how did those thoughts change or not change while being around the band?

Imagine this, here I am… this twenty-something carnivore kid, fresh out of the Marine Corps, hooking up with a straight edge band who lived what they sang about. Despite all the ball breaking, I started to eat rabbit food on tour. It was in Detroit at an African restaurant with Snow Black and the Seven Black Dwarfs on the front lawn. No shit. But, I refused to give up my beers. I wasn’t a big drinker, but to have a few brews back in the day seemed like too much fun to give up. For the next two years I could confidently call myself the only Jewish, marine, vegan, anti-racist skinhead.
As a roadie, did you perceive Mike and the band’s feelings on straight edge as less intense by 1990 or so due to the changing scene? Can you shed any light on this having been around them?

Fact: Mike practiced what he preached. He was a full on vegan on tour, did not drink and I can assure you we were the only band selling places out and not getting laid hahaha. Mike remained a vegan long after although.

By the time Bringin’ It Down was released, JUDGE was one of the biggest hardcore acts in the country without question. What was your perception of their place in a hardcore scene that was headed in a lot of different directions around that time period?

Unlike a lot of bands we all loved from that era, JUDGE actually knew how to play their instruments and had that professional sense about them that bands like the Cro-Mags had.
Racist Skinheads were a gigantic part of the problems that plagued the late 80s hardcore scene. JUDGE clearly took a strong stance against this crowd. Did you perceive racist skinheads knowing JUDGE was not fond of them?

For sure, not only did those shitheads know JUDGE did not share the same views, but the learned that they would most likely receive a good fucking beating if they came for a fight.

What shows from that time period stand out as the most memorable?

We played in Tampa where a bunch of Nazis came for a fight and a fight is what they got. I remember Mike calling his dad and telling him he wasn’t going to make it out alive and he loved him. Anyway, these Nazis hooked a black bum off the street and brought him into the show, placed him in the middle and within 30 seconds of the first song, “Where it Went,” the Nazis put a smack down on this poor guy. I jumped in, kicked some Nazi ass and was happy to see Mike over my shoulder along with me. I’ll never forget Sammy standing on the side of the stage holding Porcell’s acoustic guitar like a baseball bat holding back the crowd. By the way there are a hundred of these stories.
What are some of your funny memories of touring with the band?

The van broke down in Iowa on Route 80 and I was so bored I took a shit next to the van in the slow lane. For the next 30 minutes we went nuts every time a car or truck would go by. Eventually an eighteen wheeler nailed that pile doing eighty miles per hour, and splat! The whole side of the van was covered in shit. Take this and imagine 100 more stories. Another one was I broke my hand on a guys head after wrapping him up in a gas pump hose and putting a beating on him. Later that night we all got arrested. They actually rolled the dude up in an ambulance, opened the rear doors and he pointed at me. The other JUDGE guys went free.

Let’s talk motorcycles. When did you and Mike get into riding together? What specifically did you ride then, and what would a typical cruise be like for you? Did you share a lot of the same tastes/interests when it came to Harleys? I am guessing you could never sell Porcell on the idea of a rigid knuckle with apes and a 180 rear, eh?

LOL… Porcell was cool because he thought it was the absolute coolest thing in the world that he had these two bikers on the road with him. Mike rode his 1989 softtail and I had a 1990 FatBoy. We both became obsessed with speed and performance long before Jesse James and the boys of Discovery Channel. We rode our bikes 300 days a year. We rode everywhere. We rode to Daytona Bike Week for the 50th (1000 miles in the snow and rain)… that is a book in itself. Both of us still have our bikes. Mike’s bike transformed to look like the bike from Harley Davidson and the Marlboro man.
Do you still ride with Mike? What are you guys riding these days?

Nah, I don’t get a chance to ride much with Mike these days. I’m a firefighter and ride with a firefighter motorcycle club. Having four kids makes it tough to plan anything.

Tell me about doing Old Smoke and working with Mike on his acoustic material after JUDGE ended. This is very intriguing to a lot of JUDGE fans.
It all started out with me calling Jordan and telling him, “I’m the only one that can get Mike off the farm and recording. The only catch is that you have to do it my way.” In short, that meant Mike was going to play what he wanted to play, no catches. I hooked Mike up with a recording studio inside of my warehouse in the meat market. What made this magical was that it belonged to Richie Havens, the first man to play at Woodstock. Richie’s road manager was a close friend of mine, and he took us under his wing. We began to record the Sights record on 1/2 tape using equipment from Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Land Studios… old lelies, hammond organs, sick authentic shit. The defining moment for me was we were jamming late one afternoon and Richie Havens came in. Mike had not met him yet, but I knew him quite well. We were playing Can’t You See by the Marshall Tucker Band and Richie jumped in on the hammond organ. Next thing you know it we have like three or four old hippies backing up Mike Judge playing a vintage southern rock song. It was sick. I didn’t want to stop, I was happier for Mike than myself. Although we recorded the album old school and as authentic as anyone could have imagined, it sucked. Not the songs, just the mix. Subsequently, Mike took his own money and we recorded in a dump in our hometown with our new bass player and drummer. Around the same time, we began to gig. Our first big gig was at the Bank on Houston Street in the village. 75% bikers, 20% close friends, 5% confused hardcore people. We played the city about once per month and NJ about the same. We rehearsed 2-3 times per week and for all intents and purposes we were busy. I loved Old Smoke and so did Mike. Mike was actually playing the music he loved. Although our recording sucked, we sounded like Neil Young and Crazy Horse to the fucking T. Mike would do acoustic gigs on his own from time to time, but mostly full band/acoustic, 50/50 sets. We were like the reincarnation of Neil Young. Mike was extremely motivated sinking a lot of his own money into recording. We felt very comfortable playing this style of music. Honestly, I liked it because it put me on a level with Mike musically that he shared with Porcell. Don’t get me wrong, things were mostly Mike, but I had the opportunity to write songs, and my guitar was the backbone to the four-piece.
To wrap this up, a question that practically every JUDGE fan wants to know: what was Mike Judge really like? You are one of very people to have been tight with him before, during and after the JUDGE days.

I love Mike, he is a good man and a better friend. We started Old Smoke, and even though it didn’t go far, it kept us close for years riding motorcycles, playing in clubs and just being bikers. Mike is really a talented musician that a lot of JUDGE fans will never get to experience. Out of respect for his privacy I choose to keep mum on him. We still live a mile from one another and see each other from time to time. He is a hard working guy and likes to keep things simple. If there is anybody who will get him to play again, that’ll be me. I used to bust his chops but decided to let things go. Being Mike Judge would make Mike happy. What exactly that is is left to the imagination.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Mouthpiece – “Can’t Kill What’s Inside”-The story of a 4 year discography project.

It’s been about 4 years now since the idea was planted and talks had begun on putting together a complete Mouthpiece discography.  Originally, the plans were to release it on Livewire Records, which is run by our long time friend Ed McKirdy and myself. As we began scanning massive amounts of photographs, gathering all the recordings and making the plans, the project seemed to grow into a larger than life endeavor.  Trying to juggle our new band, Triple Threat, run Livewire and put together this Mouthpiece project became more than we could handle. Before we knew it, the project had hit a stand still and all work had stopped.

In August of 2005, Triple Threat was booked to play, what was to be, the final Posi Numbers fest.  My friend Larry Ransom, who at the time was working for Revelation Records, had planned to fly out from California for the Posi Number fest.  Larry brought boxes of Revelation merchandise and was going to set up a table for the entire weekend. I decided I would set up a Triple Threat table and hang with Larry for the weekend as well.  At some point during the 3 hour ride home, when the weekend was over, Larry asked me what my plans were with the Mouthpiece discography and if it was ever going to see the light of day.  I told him that I still wanted to see it happen, but it just seemed like such a large task that I had no idea when it would actually be completed.  Then Larry put it out there, “How about Revelation releases it?”.  My natural response was, “I doubt they’d really want to do it”, but Larry assured me otherwise.  As much as I wanted to release the discography ourselves on Livewire, the opportunity to release it on Revelation was an offer we absolutely could not refuse.  Not only would all the production concerns be taken off our hands, but the thought of our discography finding it’s final resting place along side the likes of discographies by Judge, Bold and Gorilla Biscuits was just about as cool as it could get.

Next thing we knew, we were meeting with the engineer from Why Me? Studios, where we had recorded all of our original records at, retrieving the original reels and making our way to another studio that specialized in the preservation of analog reels.  This second studio would bake the original reels to preserve them, then they would digitize all the recorded tracks.  Once digitized, the plan was to take everything to another studio and re-mix the recordings.  Before we ever got the chance to hit the last studio and start the re-mixing process, we ran into yet another road block.  Unlike the past, when signing contracts to a label was as simple as 1,2,3, things today are a little more complicated.  Lawyers are often involved and the process can easily get slowed down because you are now waiting on the lawyers from each side to discuss everything.  First we had to find a lawyer, then we had to go back and forth over various issues and before we knew it, everything seemed to slow down again to another complete stop.

Eventually, Larry, our contact, left Revelation and got a full time job working for pro skater, Mike Vallely.  Not to worry though, another friend who had originally lived here in New Jersey, Bob Shedd, quickly jumped into Larry’s place. Bob tried resurrecting the Mouthpiece project with us, but still, the lawyer involvement was holding us back from moving full steam ahead.  We spent a good portion of 2006 going back and forth trying to get things moving, but at the same time, other things were happening.  Our current band, Triple Threat, was in the studio recording for a full length album. The Triple Threat album became our main priority and focus.  Trying to release an LP of your current band and trying to put together a discography of your past band at the same time, just wasn’t happening.  Again, the discography work came to a virtual halt.  

At some point during 2007 we began hearing word that Bob was now leaving Revelation.  First Larry, now Bob… this discography just seemed doomed.  It’s not like we thought Revelation was going to can the project because our contact was leaving, but it seemed like it would throw another wrench into the works of a machine that had already been broken and repaired numerous times.  With one last ditch effort we reached out to long time Revelation head honcho, Jordan Cooper and voiced our concerns.  Although little progress had been made over the past 2 years, we wanted to assure Jordan that we were still 100% committed to making the project happen.  Jordan assured us that Revelation was still 100% behind the project as well.  Jordan also agreed to be our new contact and before we knew it, things started happening.  

Must have been a combination of good timing, because both sides seemed to have the time to dedicate to the project.  Working one on one with Jordan enabled us to bypass the lawyer interaction and get to the bottom of the contracts.  Within days, the contracts were signed and time was being booked in the studio for the re-mixing to begin. At this point we’ve had 2 sessions at the studio and are virtually ready to finish up the re-mixing and head into the mastering process.  This past weekend also brought forth 2 full days of lay out and design of the discography.  I took a trip into Brooklyn NY to work together with Ed McKirdy on the lay outs.  We’ve done the majority of the design work on the Livewire releases together and all of the Triple Threat releases, so it was a natural move to include him in this project.  I think with one more Brooklyn trip, Ed and I can wrap up the lay outs and we’ll be that much closer to the completed project, other wise known as Revelation: 147.  We’re expecting a summer 2008 release, but once I have the official date, I’ll be sure to post the information here.  -TM

Chris Daily – The Smorgasbord Straight Edge Jacket

If you walk into a decent-sized hardcore show today, or take a peak through even the newest releases from young bands, you are bound to spot someone wearing a varsity jacket. While he could very well be a high school senior who is captain of the wrestling team and is wearing his alma matter’s colors and letters as a badge of honor and accomplishment, that probably is not the case. More likely, he is wearing this jacket after seeing it being worn by other straight edge hardcore kids, or in records/photos (in reverse chronological order) of bands such as The First Step, Hands Tied, Floorpunch, Mouthpiece, Youth Of Today, Slapshot, and BOLD. Further, it might be totally plain. Or, it might say “STRAIGHT EDGE” on the back. Going a step further, it might have a band name on the back as well, or a city, or a state, and then the words “STRAIGHT EDGE.” If you are Rob Fish in 1988, you may put a big X on the front. If you are Chris Zusi in 1990, you might wear this same jacket after trading a bagel for it. Regardless, this jacket is typically only worn by straight edge dudes. And it’s an interesting piece of attire, and an undeniable little piece of straight edge “fashion,” for lack of a better term. To me, it is actually kind of intriguing because it is such a major departure from punk fashion. It could be quite possibly the furthest thing from a leather motorcycle jacket or some torn up Lee jean jacket covered in patches…even quite the opposite from a flight jacket. Think about it: it is a jacket typically synonymous with community-driven team sports and mainstream youth athleticism. Maybe I am overthinking it, but it is just interesting that it makes absolutely no sense in the hardcore world, yet in the little niche of straight edge hardcore that is rooted in the mid to late 80s, it makes all the sense in the world.

So where the hell did this jacket originate in “our scene?” From a continuous, ongoing investigation, all signs seem to point towards Chris Smorgasbord Daily. If he wasn’t the first, he was definitely a close second. We went to the source.  -Gordo

You must have some memory of actually getting your varsity jacket. As specifically as possible, when would this have been? Where did you get it?

I remember wanting it for a few months before I actually got it. I looked in sports stores all over Pennsylvania and Connecticut (I lived in CT but had family in PA). I ended up finding it at a screen printer in York, PA on a family visit. I asked them about lettering the back but the lead time was too long so I just bought the jacket.

Of all the jackets to help you stay warm through the Connecticut winter, why this? You could have picked a wool parka, a plastic poncho, or a very nice full length pea coat. Was it something that was on sale and just looked cool? As far as I know, you didn’t play high school sports. What type of consciousness went into this?

Not really sure where the desire came from to get it. I assume I saw someone with one. I was not a sports dude at all at any point in my life, I was a skater kid in high school so there was zero chance I was going get a “Letter” jacket for some sport. Before I got the varsity jacket I wore an insulated flannel like a lumberjack would wear! I still remember my print shop high school teacher commenting that I finally bought a jacket.

When you got it, did you have the letters put on right away? What was the idea behind this? Had you already done the Smorgasbord shirt design and simply adapted that to the jacket, or vice versa?

I had the jacket for about a month before I found a place in Stamford, CT to letter it. I also had to save up for it because after I bought the jacket I had no more money and all those god damn letters cost almost as the much as the jacket itself. I think the jacket was before the shirts because I remember talking with Tedd Nelson about wanting to make shirts and he suggested that design, modeled after the jacket. But I can not be 100% sure. Thinking back…the shirts were done right after X Marks the Spot was coming out and I know I had the jacket done by the time of the Wide Awake seven inch recording. Looking at the dates of those things, I am going to say the jacket was before the shirts. It’s like the chicken and the egg because why the hell would I make a shirt like the back of a varsity jacket if the jacket did not already exist?

Practically every straight edge t-shirt design was very loud and profound – big text, big statements, bright colors. Putting a billboard on the back of a relatively “normal” looking jacket though was kinda like the straight edge equivalent of writing “ANARCHY” on a tattered trench coat. Do you remember feeling like you wear wearing something that was really making a statement? Did people ever wonder what the hell “SMORGASBORD STRAIGHT EDGE” was and what position you played? 

Oh I definitely did it to scream STRAIGHT EDGE. I was a Straight Edge kid through and through. People always asked what it meant, but I have no idea what I told them.

Around the same time, members of BOLD, Youth Of Today, and Slapshot were seen wearing similar varsity jackets. But it’s not like these jackets were just a staple in “the scene” that every Jimmy Average was wearing. As far as you recall, did these dudes have varsity jackets before you? Do you remember seeing them wearing them and thinking “Hmm I guess they liked mine?”

I have zero idea of a timeframe for mine compared to other peoples. I would have to think I saw someone’s high school jacket and liked it, thought I’d adapt a version to the zine and SXE. The BOLD guys were jocks in school…so maybe they had school jackets?

Regardless of who had what first, various members of the youth crew and the circle you ran in ended up wearing these. Was this discussed? Was it at least acknowledged?

I doubt it, but soon after I got the letters on the back I was at Don Fury’s, as was Porcell. I was standing out front just talking with everyone and Porcell sees a reflection of the back of my jacket on the car window behind me. His eyes lit up…and he was stoked to see the back. Up until then…Champion Hoodies and pegged jeans were the norm. Whether or not I influenced others, I don’t know.

Did Dan from Stop To Think Fanzine ever say anything about your jacket? He ended up with the YOUTH OF TODAY “FREE AT LAST” jacket not long afterwards.

I don’t recall ever talking about it with him, but I remember the day he got his. I had no idea he was doing it and I had just moved to an apartment in South Norwalk not far from his house. He wore it in like a badge of honor, it was cool and all but he was not “in” YOT so I thought it was a bit odd. YOT was still around at the time.

You grew up skating and riding BMX and getting into hardcore at an early age in the early to mid 80s, but as far as I know, you never really had a “punk” flair in terms of style. But even then, did you feel as if a varsity jacket was even a departure from the look of Nikes, camoflauge shorts, and a skate or HC shirt? Or did it fit perfectly?

Yea I was never into the style aspect of punk. I wore jeans, army pants or cut-off army shorts. I am not sure I ever really thought about the fashion aspect of my dress, although I am sure it was in my mind in the later years of the youth crew era with the hoodies and stuff. This may sound silly but I was too poor and frugal to be fashionable, even to this day. I did buy a pair of combat boots at Caldor but I NEVER wore them to a show or anything. When my Mom moved 5 years ago she called me and asked me about a “brand new pair of boots” in my old bedroom closet. Aside from the previous mentioned flannel, my punk attire was minimal.

As a guy who stayed connected to the scene even into the 90s, did you notice that kids were still wearing varsity jackets? On some level you had to have thought, “Weird, people wear those still,” no? And the same goes for today…kids still wear them.

I do remember seeing them over the years, I always liked them…still do. Never thought it was too odd, not everyone can pull off a leather jacket with CRASS painted on the back.

When did you stop wearing your jacket? Did it end up in a closet? Did you eventually find the look of it silly?

Not sure when I stopped wearing it, I know it lived in a closet for YEARS. I never thought it was silly, although non-hardcore people thought that it was pretty goofy.

When did you sell it, to whom, and for how much?

Not sure of the exact date I sold it, but I sold it on eBay at a time when I was going thru some tough times and needed the money. Dan To Care was who bought it…I think he was from Long Island and it sold for more then I thought it would. It was a sad day to be honest and I wish I still had it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Youth Of Today / Rhode Island

Slowly but surely I’ve been converting the majority of my old VHS hardcore video collection over to DVDs. I’m going to try and make it a goal to upload new videos to this site once a week, maybe every two weeks, we’ll see how it goes. Some videos you may have seen before, but I’m sure there will be others that you haven’t.  I’ve got a ton of videos and the transfer to DVD is very time consuming, but I think the ultimate result will be a great collection of classic videos that I will be able to share.

I see no better way to start this off, then to give you these two clips of Youth Of Today from Rhode Island.  They opened the set with “Potential Friends”, then follow it up with “Honesty”.  There’s an obvious high level of energy, both coming from the band and from the crowd as well, so this video has always been a favorite of mine.  Take note to the “Honesty” clip, about 1:00 minute into it.  Right after Cappo jumps into the crowd, someone comes from the back of the stage and does a sick flip.  That little chain of events always got me psyched about this video.  So without any further ado, enjoy yourself a nice dose of YOT. -TM



Tuesday, March 25, 2008

X Rated

Released in the Fall / Winter 1987 collection, the Swatch X Rated hit the scene. Bought my first one off a kid I went to school with in the 9th grade and paid $20.00 for it.  I was psyched to say the least.  After gazing through countless straight edge records and fanzines of the day, I almost felt incomplete without one.  Once I had it, I treasured it and treated it like gold.  Twenty years later and the X Rated is still ticking, still worn on a regular basis and still the coolest watch I’ve ever owned.   -TM

Monday, March 24, 2008


Originally I had met Eric Ozenne, former frontman for Unit Pride, back in 1995 when he was starting his follow up band to Unit Pride, Redemption 87. Over the years I’ve kept in contact with Eric and run into him on many occasions. Just about every time we get together or talk, our conversations always go back to Unit Pride. One afternoon in Philly, before a Nerve Agents set (Eric’s band after R87), Eric suggested that I should really get in touch with Tim Monroe (former guitarist of Unit Pride) and that Tim would also love to get into some heavy Unit Pride conversation. After some contact exchanges, I was soon in talks with Tim and Eric was right, Tim was way down to talk and share his memories. Tim and I ran into each other a couple times over the past five years, once at a show in Pennsylvania and once at a show in Chicago.  You could tell that like Eric, Tim was cut from the same cloth.  Both very sincere and very down to earth and for a couple of guys that started going to hardcore shows in 1984, I admire the fact that both have maintained a legitimate connection to the hardcore scene of today.  Here’s the result of some questions that I threw at Tim, hope you enjoy.  -TM

What was your main focus and inspiration for starting Unit Pride in 1986?

My personal inspiration for starting a band came from all the music and bands I was listening to at the time and the “get up and do it mentality.” Bands like the Clash, Stiff Little Fingers, Sex Pistols, 7 Seconds, Dead
Kennedys, and local bands like Rabid Lassie. 

Describe to us where you saw yourself and what importance Unit Pride had on the Bay Area hardcore scene at this point. 

This is a difficult question to answer mostly because I moved out of the Bay Area in ’91 and have been gone ever since. I think the biggest impact on the Bay Area hardcore scene though was not one band but the venue everyone played at, Gilman Street. That place gave so many punk/hardcore/ and underground bands a chance to play. Without Gilman, Unit Pride and alot of other bands probably wouldn’t have had many chances to play out. That place has been a pilar in the hardcore community since it opened.

I know from talking with Eric, what kind of impact Youth Of Today had on him and how it reflected on his part in Unit Pride. Explain to us the impact Youth Of Today had on you.

I first heard about Youth of Today from a friend and I checked the 7 inch out and I was definitely into that record. It wasn’t until the first time I saw them that what they were doing really hit home. I saw them at the Farm in
San Francisco, I think it was ’86, the Break Down The Walls line up but with Mike Judge playing drums. They broke into “Expectations” and I was blown away. These guys were up on stage standing up against all the apathy and
violence that plagued the scene at the time. Being 16 or 17 at the time and impressionable, that show had a huge impact on me. I could relate to everything that they were saying and what they were all about. That show
really inspired me and Youth of Today changed the face of hardcore.

When you envision playing a live show, what makes a show picture perfect and fulfills your expectations?

This goes back to the first time I saw Youth of Today again. Their set was insane from the first note of the first song right through “Youth Crew.” It was a complete and utter free for all. I had never seen anything like it. So I guess trying to live up to that standard would be the benchmark of the picture perfect show.

Tell me about the best show you ever saw, who played, where it was and what made this show stand out?

I have to break this one down into three parts….
1.) For sentimental reasons I list my first show, the Toy Dolls at the Stone in Santa Clara in ’84. Everyone spitting on the band, I was hooked after that show.
2.) Any and every Rabid Lassie show ever.
3.) The Youth of Today show at the Farm.

Lets talk about BOLD. I know you have a particular fondness for this band.  What is it about BOLD that hit home for you?

My admiration for Bold actually stems from Crippled Youth. When they started they were so young, I was amazed at how great that 7 inch was.

Any interesting stories about BOLD that you would like to share?

Yeah, the first time Bold came to California they did some shows in the Bay area and the Unit Pride kids put them up. To get ready for their shows they practiced in my garage. That definitely ruled (Alex Brown played guitar because Zulu couldn’t make it out). They were all cool to hang out with and good people.

What was it about the style of dress that these New York City hardcore bands had that attracted you and in turn reflected in your own style?

Rather than limiting to just the NYC style of dress but rather all punk and hardcore style appeals to me just because it’s sort of a “do your own thing” attitude associated with it.

How is it that Unit Pride ended up on Stepforward records? Wasn’t there some talk about releasing an EP on Revelation? Do you think anything might have been different had you released the EP on Rev?

Honestly I can’t confirm if Revelation actually approached us about putting the EP out or not. If they had it would have been through Ozenne. I know we already committed to StepForward, so we were going to honor our
commitment regardless. Rev is a great label and if they put the Unit Pride 7 inch out I would have been incredibly honored by it. But I’m happy the way the record turned out nonetheless.

Talk about your east coast tour with Unit Pride. Looking back, what were the highs and lows of that tour?

Looking back, the Aaron Straw Benefit show we played at the Anthrax was incredible and definitely a highlight. We actually stayed out on the East Coast longer than we intended just to play the show and it was worth it.
Just meeting tons of cool people and traveling the east coast ruled. It would have been nice to have done that more than once. We toured with Up Front and those guys are great people and we had a blast with them.

To me Unit Pride, had you stayed together, could have been and should have been a much bigger and more important band. What brought about the break up of Unit Pride and in your eyes, what do you think lied in the future of Unit Pride had you stayed together?

Honestly, I like the fact that Unit Pride didn’t overstay our welcome and weren’t overexposed.

Even though Unit Pride has been broken up for some 19 years, ideally how would you like to be remembered and what are you most proud of when you think back?

Just the fact that Unit Pride is remembered at all is satisfying to me. When I first moved to Chicago, I met a couple of kids in my dorm that owned the Unit Pride 7 inch and I was amazed. Just being part of that great late 80’s
scene is an honor. It seemed like every weekend there was an amazing show.

Top 5 hardcore 12″s and 7″s of all time?

This probably changes on a daily basis but today…….

Top five hardcore 12 inchs: (in no particular order)

Youth of Today -Break Down the Walls
Circle Jerks – Group Sex
Black Flag – Damaged
Misfits -Walk Among Us
Gorilla Biscuits -Start Today

Top five 7 inchs:

Antidote – Thou Shall Not Kill
Minor Threat -Filler
Negative Approach
Youth of Today -Can’t Close My Eyes
Crippled Youth -Join the Fight

Final words of inspiration or suggestion to a kid just getting into hardcore in 2008?

A suggestion I would make to a kid just getting into hardcore is just go out and do it. Get involved. That’s the beauty of punk/hardcore to me, you get out of it what you put into it. So start a band, do a ‘zine, go to shows, or put on shows and give new bands a chance. Finally, I would like to take this opportunity for a shameless plug , I’m doing a new band – “Wound Up” so if you get a chance check it out. We’re currently recording a record on ”ManicRide Records” (formerly Dead Alive) which should be out late summer or fall.Thanks!

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