Feral House Punk Books Part 1

07
Sep

American Hardcore: A Tribal History
November 9, 2001- Feral House
Written by: Steven Blush

A few months back my nephew called me, and needed to get out of the house, and wanted to know if I could come by, and pick him up so he could get free of the family for a bit. He was fourteen going on fifteen, so I figured the mall was the place he’d want to go. We ate, talked, and then gravitated to the nearest bookstore. I did my usual scan of the Bukowski books, then the Hunter S. Thompson books, and finally the music books. While flipping through I came across American Hardcore. I sat down with it and finished about a quarter of it in about thirty minutes or so. I don’t like most books about “punk” it seems like most of these books are written with a bit of an agenda, either to expose the dirt on someone (like Don Bolles did with Lexicon Devil) or namedrop like. . . well, almost all of them. This one was more of an extensive family tree that spread nationwide. Blush covered things that I thought most people forgot, like all the Los Angeles “gangs” or clicks like FFF and LADS. It seems silly now, but back in the early ‘80’s, it said a lot about the person depending on which crew you hung out with or were partial to.

I don’t know if I was out of the loop at the time, but back when I was into this . . . meaning going to the shows, trying to get a band together, I wasn’t aware of the term Hardcore. Back then I heard the word used every once in a while, like “that guy’s hardcore, he’s getting into fights at every show,” but not to describe a subgenre of punk. We took enough grief from people just being into punk, let alone having to describe a different type of punk we were into. That aside Hardcore has never before been captured the way Blush nails it. All the major scenes, particularly in Southern California, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Boston, New York City, and Texas are given a voice through its major players.

Blush was a heavily involved in the scene, he writes about, he promoted many hardcore tours, and shows, DJ’d a college radio show, and ran a record label. Later he published Seconds magazine and wrote for Paper, Spin, Interview, Village Voice, Details and High Times magazines.

The primary photographers included in this volume are Edward Colver and Karen O’Sullivan. Flyers, set lists, logos, and record covers have been provided by many collectors (mostly the author’s collection), and the book includes an extensive discography of hardcore rock releases from 1980 to 1986.

The text is based on quotes from numerous interviews conducted over a five-year period, with Blush’s comments inserted in between to help mold the quotes into a story. Charting the rise of bands such as Black Flag and the Misfits, as well as more famous hardcore alumni like the Beastie Boys, the book is divided into chapters based on different regional scenes. Rather than having a chronological narrative, the book bounces back and forth in time, from chapter to chapter; this might confuse anyone unfamiliar with the people, and bands discussed.

The only complaint or comment I have against this book is there were numerous images used from Flipside magazine that were credited as Authors Collection, origin unknown. I know where they’re from, I still have the old Flipside issues, and I’m sure he knows. Other than that, a real good book.

If you don’t have it, go buy it.

Rating: ** * two out of three stars

Lexicon Devil
The Fast Times and Short Life of Darby Crash and the Germs
April 15, 2002- Feral House
Written by: Brendan Mullen with Don Bolles and Adam Parfrey

As the years go by and I read books like this and read interviews with Don Bolles, it seems like his sole purpose in life now is to let the world know that Darby Crash was gay. Darby wasn’t comfortable with anyone knowing, he hid it during the filming of Decline. So why dump on the guy now that he’s dead? I read a book about five or six years back that Gene Simmons wrote about Kiss, in the book he states that both Ace Frehley and Peter Criss were addicts and such bad musicians that they didn’t play on Destroyer or any of the other albums. The motivation to reveal these things is strictly monetary, but at the same time, you kick the 8-year-old in me square in the nuts. As a fan, you don’t always want to know that your childhood idols are anything other than what’s in your head. These current exposes are a product of our TMZ-type culture, it’s kind of sleazy, along with the nude pictures they included in Lexicon Devil, and we just don’t need this crap.

If you get the chance, give this one a read, it’s a good book, go out and get it. It’s a great snapshot of an interesting time in music.

Rating: ** * two out of three stars

 

 

misconceptions_of_hell_001

Misconceptions of Hell is available now: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb

Punk History, Vol. 3

30
Aug

Various Artists
Punk History, Vol. 3
2007
Liberula Barriguda Recordings

01 X – Los Angeles
02 The Avengers – We Are the One
03 Black Flag – Wasted
04 Discharge – Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing
05 T.S.O.L. – Dance with Me
06 Agent Orange – Bloodstains
07 Vice Squad – Young Blood
08 Adolescents – Amoeba
09 Redd Kross – Annette’s Got the Hits
10 Toy Dolls – Stay Mellow
11 Chron Gen – Jet Boy, Jet Girl
12 Infa Riot – Catch 22
13 Bad Brains – Big Takeover
14 Fear – I Love Livin’ In the City
15 Government Issue – Understand
16 Social Distortion – The Creeps
17 Last Resort – King of the Jungle
18 Legal Weapon – Equalizer
19 Stepmothers – Don’t Kill the Beat
20 The Vandals – Pizza Tran
21 Bad Religion – Atomic Garden
22 Kraut – Getaway
23 Agnostic Front – Gotta Go
24 D.I. – Johnny’s Got a Problem
25 7 Seconds – Straight On
26 The Dead Milkmen – Punk Rock Girl
27 Youth of Today – Can’t Close My Eyes
28 Poison Idea – Desecrate
29 Murphy’s Law – Shut Up
30 Dag Nasty – Values Here
31 Operation Ivy – Yellin’ in My Ear
32 Jeff Dahl – I’m in Love with the GTO’s
33 Cadillac Tramps – Hoodoo Guru
34 Gorilla Biscuits – High Hopes

This has something for everybody, TSOL, Black Flag and the band that if you’re “punk” you’re supposed to bow down to Bad Brains. Great compilation

If you don’t own it, get it.

Rating: *** three out of five stars

On with the story . . .

More than a dozen years ago, before marriage, before the birth of my son, etc., I found myself in some trouble, warrants, etc. And was sentenced to Camp Wayside, out by Magic Mountain, for approximately 1/3 of the year.

During this time I took a job as a barber, I cut everyone’s hair through high school and enrolled in Barber College right after graduation. Years later I got into graphic design and reserved haircuts for friends and family only. My job as a Wayside barber paid me in the neighborhood of 25¢ a day. Once I had been cutting hair for a few weeks, quite a few of the “white” sheriffs started waking me up in the middle of the night to “request” haircuts. This was the best deal in the place, they would give me extra food, sometimes do favors – watch someone who was giving me a hard time, etc.

Wayside would always have three barbers, Black, Hispanic, and White. Each race would, usually, stay with barbers of their own kind, unless you did something to annoy your “car.” Then, as in my case, the Whites would go to the Hispanic barber. The three barbers bunked in the same section together, and worked together, and were, basically, stuck together 24/7. Even if you hated races, different than your own, it was hard not to get to be friends with the other barbers. The problem with this was the inmates were divided into four distinct camps: The Blacks, The Woods (Whites), The Paisans (Mexicans straight from Mexico), The Southsiders (Mexicans gangsters). If you talk too much to anyone from any of these other camps, someone would want to beat you down.

I made it through two race riots, first one was Mexicans versus the Whites, no one died, but plenty were wounded, I came out of it without a scratch. The second riot was Blacks against Whites; I came out OK, punched in the back of the head, but stayed up. After these riots the Head of The Woods didn’t want me to talk to the other barbers, Hispanic or as they referred to the Blacks – Toads. They wanted to remain racist without saying the dreaded “n-word.” Well, unbeknownst to everyone I was tutoring the head of the “black car.” Bull, as he was known, didn’t know how to read (he was the other barber) and he felt I could help him without me telling people. Also, when internal race issues came up with the Blacks he would ask my opinion, but I would swear not to let this come out, it would cause further riots and get him beat down.

So, when more and more pressure was being put on me by the Whites, Bull talked to the heads of the “white-cars,” and said that I was Italian and I had the full backing of the Blacks at Wayside, so if there was a problem with me the Blacks would riot on every White at Wayside, but me.

After that, I was left alone, but warned as I left Wayside to “never come back.”

I never went back.

 

 

misconceptions_of_hell_001

Misconceptions of Hell is available now: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb

Symbol Six, The Sold and Bones, Inazuma – LIVE

26
Aug

Symbol Six, The Sold and Bones, Inazuma
El Cid, Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, August 20, 2016

Prior to this show, I had never ventured out to El Cid. The place was packed with stairs, prizes and tons of people. I drove out to get a copy of Symbol Six’s new album, Side 4, which was free to the first 100 people in attendance.

The first band on was Inazuma. This was my second time seeing them. They were really good, strong rockabilly roots. They did a great cover of Summertime Blues.

The second band on was The Sold and Bones. I really like these guys. For those of you that don’t know, Mr. Bones was the original singer for the Skulls way back in the early days of Los Angeles punk rock. He joined the band around 1977 or so. Good songs and good musicians.

The show itself was an insane line-up put on by Symbol Six to celebrate their new release, Side 4 on Jailhouse Records. The show was a combination of a record release party and small circus.

Now, the last band of the night, Symbol Six. I was really impressed with the energy they were able to put out. Eric Leach did a solo album and a summer tour to promote the album. I was curious how he’d jump back into the swing of the Symbol Six machine. It was pretty damn flawless. From the first few notes, they were at it like the solo stuff was from another decade. They are one of the very few bands that played back in the eighties that seem to have more young fans than the older throwback crowd.

If you have a chance to see any of these bands, go. You won’t have a chance to sit down, nor will you want to. All in all, a great show. The PA was good, clear view of the bands, and I had fun.

 

 

misconceptions_of_hell_001

Misconceptions of Hell is available now: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb

American Hardcore: The History of American Punk Rock 1980-1986

23
Aug

Frank Agnew, Jonathan Anastas, Phil Anselmo, George Anthony, Mark Arm and more
American Hardcore: The History of American Punk Rock 1980-1986
February 20, 2007 – Sony Pictures
Directed by: Paul Rachman

Over the years I have seen many, many “punk films.” The bulk of these flicks are throw-away. Cheap junk created to make a buck. Or if they’re not cheaply done, there is absolutely no way in which to relate to them. They just don’t seem to hit on a piece of the scene that I remember, that is until American Hardcore came out. Prior to this, I thought the best movie of the genre was The Filth and The Fury, but I think American Hardcore sneaks into first place.

Based on Steven Blush’s book American Hardcore: A Tribal History, Paul Rachman’s documentary chronicles the underground hardcore punk years from 1980 to 1986 (hence the title). Interviews and rare live footage from artists such as Black Flag, Bad Brains, Minor Threat, and SS Decontrol.

The history of hardcore –the tougher, faster, and more politically minded stepchild of the 1970’s punk movement that arose in the 1980’s is examined in detail in Rachman’s documentary. Rachman’s cameras careen across the United States to trace the movement’s beginnings in cities like Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and New York, and interview the musicians that helped shape its sound and impact, including Jack Grisham, Henry Rollins, Greg Ginn (in a surprise interview), H.R., Ian MacKaye, and many others.

Hardcore’s violent reaction to the Reagan administration and the mindset of middle-class America is also detailed in performance footage clips, and flyer reproductions, which do much to dismiss the popular opinion of hardcore as nothing more than mindless rebellion. Some fans may find the omission of certain bands a considerable oversight (The Misfits and the Dead Kennedy’s are only mentioned in passing), but for most devotees, American Hardcore will be vital and essential viewing.

The DVD contains deleted scenes, bonus performances, commentary by Rachman and writer Steven Blush, and a gallery of photos from photographer Edward Colver, who covered the hardcore scene in detail. These extras are a movie unto themselves. Great stuff, the clips of Lisa Fancher add a bit more legitimacy to the film.

If you don’t have it, go buy it.

Rating: ** * two out of three stars

 

 

misconceptions_of_hell_001

Misconceptions of Hell is available now: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb

The Bloody Mess – Rock Circus Mountain Rock

18
Aug

The Bloody Mess Rock Circus
Mountain Rock
Deathangel Absolution Records
Producer: Rikk Agnew

Bloody F. Mess – Vocals
Andy Friend – Guitar
Christopher T Baggins – Bass
Rich Psonak – Drums

01. Oregon Mountains
02. Junk Male
03. Iggy Pop Doesn’t Stage Dive Anymore
04. The Honeymoon’s Over
05. Spidarlings
06. Kali Yuga
07. O.C.D. Is Killing Me
08. Mending Fences
09. The Bluest of Blue
10. Can’t Take No More

This is an impossible album to categorize. After I listened to the first track I thought I had them figured out, Oregon Mountains has a heavy Motorhead vibe and I thought that’s what the album was going to be. But no. This album seems to have every musical genre under the sun, hardcore, Goth and metal. And along for the ride are their friends Rikk Agnew, Paul Roessler, Richie Ramone and Don Bolles.

Bloody F mess singing in punk rock bands back in 1983. Based in Peoria, Illinois for many, many years, bloody spent years touring the Midwest and East Coast, doing talk shows on TV, and playing with bands such as Naked Raygun, AOD, GG Allin, the Dead Milkmen, and many punk and rock bands along the road. In 2011 Bloody moved to Medford, Oregon.

He formed the bloody mess rock circus with bass player Christopher T Baggins and guitarist Andy Friend. The band toured the United States, bringing a very high energy and chaotic stage show to every city they performed at. The band went down to Los Angeles to record Bloody’s 30th-anniversary album, which is titled mountain rock. Produced by Rikk Agnew of Christian Death and Adolescents fame, the album also has guest appearances by many of Bloody’s friends, including Richie Ramone of the Ramones, Don Bolles of The Germs, and Paul Roessler of The Screamers/45 Grave.

Bloody is currently working on his spoken word album, which will be released soon on the records Ad Nauseum label out of Hollywood California

If you don’t own it, go and give it a listen.

Rating: ** * two out of three stars.

On to the story . . .

Years ago, there were a number of shows on the Sci-Fi channel that played “real” videos of monsters or supernatural occurrences that viewers caught on film. If I remember right, it was mostly blurry Big Foot tapes or and the occasional flying saucer and/or hubcap flying behind a cloud.

So, one day there crazy idea/prank popped into my head . . . I’ll go to Mexico and catch the Chupacabras!

I first told my sister-in-law that I needed her to come with me to Mexico. She would be my cameraman (or camera person). Now the most crucial part of this project? My wife.

You see as part of the capture of the elusive Chupacabras or as he’s known to his friends: Chupa, I would have my wife dress up as sheep and walk around a Mexican farm yelling, “Baaaa,” until Senor Chupa swoops down for the attack and my sister-in-law would film it and I would rush in and bag Chupa.

The problem is, no one knew if I was joking or if I was serious. My sister-in-law cracked up, but my wife was pissed. She said, “You wouldn’t save me. You’d let the Chupacabras kill me.”

Now death never entered my mind. Just the possibility of seeing her run around on a farm yelling, “Baaa,” killed me.

I don’t know if I could have caught the Chupacabras or how much the Sci-Fi channel would have paid me, but the wife’s reaction alone was worth me pretending to keep the project alive for over a year.

 

 

misconceptions_of_hell_001

Misconceptions of Hell is available now: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb

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