Monday, October 16, 2006

Not Punk

So Umlaut saw the new Punk documentary American Hardcore. A review in two words: No DK's??

In the early-80's Umlaut was all about underground Metal (Metallica, Slayer, Mercyful Fate, Venom, Exodus, etc) but, thanks to Big Wayne, I did experience the death throws of that original Hardcore scene. However, I cannot claim to ever being a "Punk"... mainly because I like guitar solos.

In the movie the Bad Brains say they were inspired by two books: The Bible (Errr, so was Jesus the original Punk? Discuss amongst yourselves..) and Napoleon Hill'’s Think and Grow Rich.

Uhh, Napoleon Hill??! WTF!!?

Back in the mid-80's I worked at a bookstore and do you know who read Napoleon Hill? Yuppie Fucks. THAT was the literary road map for the Godfathers of D.C. Hardcore?? Uhh, ooookaaay.....

All I gotta say is the Bitter Old Punks complaining about Hot Topic, etc. have no one to blame but themselves. All they gotta do is look at the reading list of some of their Punk Godz.

Gimme METAL and H.P. Lovecraft any day as I await the release of a documentary that will tell *my* story.

On another note, doesn't the existence of Hot Topic mean that perhaps "Punk" actually won "The War"?

In the film one of the Bitter Old Punks admits they never really expected to change the government. If that's the case, then does it mean nothing that "Punk" did at least change popular culture's design sense? Discuss amongst yourselves.

Gimme Gimme Gimme.

Submitted by Dave:

In 1993 I moved to Richmond, VA and "settled into a squat" off Broad Street in downtown Richmond ("Da Hood") with old friends Buzzov-en.

The joke amongst us was how often we'd see the "Ja Man" himself H.R. copping crack down the street at the local McDonald's. I wonder at what point The Holy Bible and Think & Grow Rich came into play??

Umlaut says: BUZZOV-EN!

March 11, 1993
(From the Umlaut Archives)

From Umlaut #8:

Neurosis / Melvins / Buzzov-en
Kennel Club, S.F. - May 7, 1993

Surprise! Melvins played unannounced to break in "another" bassist. I grinned. Buzzov-en's guitarist looked like Steve von Till's long lost brother. I gafawed. Steve Von Till rocked onstage. I smiled. On the way back to the car some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. Steve Von Till makes me chortle.

Submitted by Big Wayne and John Silence:

Wayne: I remember the scene turning into a skinhead fest during 86-88. The LA shows were possibly the most violent gatherings I've ever experienced much like the Circle Jerks show in San Jose (I'm sure John remembers this well).

John: I remember well the San Jose Circle Jerks show - the skinheads were trying to beat up a little punk kid who finally sought refuge behind the band on stage.

The few L.A. shows I went to, especially the one at Fenders policed by the L.A.D.S., were pretty scary too. I remember walking up (with Stikky and Wayne) and having some skinhead or Suicidal type do a double take at me and say loudly, "Look! A longhair! Looks like there's going to be a fight tonight!"

I emerged unscathed, but there were a few moments of knuckle-cracking questions like, "Where you from?" Fortunately, San Jose was too far away to be deemed a threat to their masculinity. Other people weren't quite so lucky that night.

Oh yeah, and a seeing D.I. in San Jose was pretty amusing. They stopped (I can't remember if it was in the middle of a song or between songs) and all stared at me, exclaiming in surprise, "A longhair!" I think that was the same show where somebody thought I was in Metallica.

Wayne: That guy finally got pinned by those guys and his face went instantly black from being hit so hard. Somehow he got out of the club and actually jumped into the back of a passing pickup truck.

They also hated Mark Tippin because he was one of those hippie peace punks. I think the only thing that saved us was that we knew Cholo and he kept them off us.

Umlaut says: When all of this was going on I was seeing R.E.M. and wearing sweaters.

Book Talk with Drunk Ted and Umlaut:

Drunk Ted: I've read Think And Grow Rich. Great book. It's not what you think it is. It's more "mystical" in a way, which fits in very well with the Bad Brains (they're kind of spacey, no?). The book was written in the 30's or 40's and this guy analyzed all this friends (Ford, Edison, Rockerfeller, etc...) who were rich and found out that they all had 14 characteristics in common (a "definite chief aim", "no fear of death", etc...). Some of the other laws of success are "cooperation" and "always do more than what is asked for" (I call it the "go to '11' law"). Great stories in there too.

Umlaut: I guess you can't tell a book by it's cover (HAHAHA)... but I wonder if H.R. applied those lessons to being a crack addict in Richmond, VA.

Drunk Ted: Ha Ha, somehow I doubt it. I think he ignored the lesson about making sure you have a clear head.