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DC summer of 81

stage dive!

"Kathy" is Kathy Russell, who's graciously given me permission to use her photos. Thanks Kathy!

When I first got this phone call from Eric (C) telling me my assignment for the fanzine was going to be "write a review on this summer", I thought "Oh shit, c'mon". But anyways, here goes.


Not much happened as in shows, but what did is all here.

soa11 - (MINOR THREAT / CIRCLE JERKS) 9:30 Club

This was a pretty good show and when I say pretty good, I only mean Minor Threat cos Circle Jerks sucked! It was quite a big disappointment for everyone who'd ever heard their album "Group Sex"--which is a fantastic record. But this night the CJs couldn't even come close to the energy level the record put out. Well, it might have been for a couple certain reasons like (1) their regular drummer broke his hand, so was replaced by drummer for the Plugz--a good drummer, but couldn't match up to CJs drummer who is "a total maniac on the skins." (2) Singer, Keith Morris, was a total asshole drunk and burned out and acted like he could care less that he was doing a show that he'd rather be backstage nursing his (beer) bottle. And (3) guitarist, Greg Hetson kept on fucking up on songs to the point where they stopped in the middle of a song and Keith would hit him and threaten to beat him up "Boy, I'm Scared ya homo!" But me and the hardcores spent all the time diving offstage into the crowd, getting up and diving again (a continuous motion 'cos it was the only fun we could get outa this lame band. Minor Threat were great, never put on a disappointing show. Singer, Ian, is a total wildman, bouncing and hopping all over the stage like a fucking rabbit and vocals are fantastic. Brian B. putting away the bass lines; Lyle playing great guitar and Jeff cranking out the drums are all great. They blew CJs away with no problem.


bald punk10 - (BLACK FLAG/SOA/AUTISTIC REACTIONS) Starlite Ballroom Philadelphia

The big riot that DC won't forget.

Almost all of DC Hardcore trucked up to Philly (land of cream cheese and baseball bats). When the crew I was w/first drove into the club, we hoped nothing bad would happen 'cos the gig was being held in one of the most roughest east side sections in all Philly. (No chance, we were in for a real violent excursion.) When everyone was inside the club, that's when the Philly freak show began. It seemed that Philly scene was all new wavers/Sid clones, bondage boys, (safety pins and all)/fat boys and asshole spectators. Autistic Retards played and nobody cared, so nobody listened. SOA played and had many sound problems, but DC thrashed and Philly watched. This was to be Henry's last time singing for SOA 'cos he's now singer for Black Flag. SOA were good but not great. Black Flag were amazing as usual. Surely in my opinion the #2 best band ever to see live, DK's being #1 fave. BF never let up for one moment; the energy they pump out is incredible (they have an unmistakable aura about them that makes you wanna move no matter how tired you are). Tonight was no exception; they were going and so were the crowd. DC hardcores got into a few fights w/Philly assholes. Henry joined BF for one song and everyone had a great time. After the show, that's when it all happened; lots of DC hardcores were fighting outside w/Phillies and nobody helped SOA load up their equipment, so I thought I'd help. When I got outside, I saw Eric (C) w/cut across his nose and he said he got a lead pipe in the face. I thought "shit, well, I guess it's all over" (It wasn't! Police had lined up blocking everyone on the street and just watched it all (vicous pigs)). More fights erupted and out of the woodwork came local gang, Kensington Boys w/baseball bats who hit Jaimie across the head and me and Sab saw it happen. We were standing about 10 feet away from him and couldn't do anything; we were frozen w/shock) but we grabbed Jaimie and w/about 4 people in the front seat, took off for the nearest emergency center. As soon as we got there, we took him inside (by this time he and us were covered with blood and all very scared. Me, Sab, Wendell, Paul and Chris waited around the place scared shitless and thinking about Jaimie and his condition. While sitting around a man came in holding a tissue to his throat, we asked him "what happened?" He took the tissue away from his throat and there was a big chunk of meat gone from his throat. He said he got into a bar fight and the other guy couldn't fight so he bit sum meat outta his throat instead. Jesus Christ man, Philly is for barbarians. Jaimie ended up ok w/22 stitches, but it was definitely an experience that was anything but fun.

bald is beautiful11 - (STIMULATORS / BAD BRAINS) 9:30 CLUB

We all just got back from Philly Horror and were ready to kill any asshole who even mentioned cream cheese! Sab, Paul and Chris all had sunburn 'cos we all lounged out in Jaimie's father's pool and mansion (an estate that compared to fucking "Dallas" (the tv show)). Stimulators were lame "what can ya expect from NY," but Harley--their drummer--is a little wildman that belongs in another band (he is now - ed.) Bad Brains - rasta, ganga, reggae and roll. Total shit. A band that used to rule now eats shit! They keep on trying to play their old stuff but w/no success. I hate them all (rastas).

16 - (YOUTH BRIGADE / MINOR THREAT / GOVERNMENT ISSUE (at the very last minute) 9:30 Club

This was the show that made DC hardcore famous (the big Washington Post article on slam dancing). For better or for worse? Youth Brigade played good, but kept on screwing up on songs; so did Minor Threat. But, oh well, so what! I played what I thought to be a very good set. (not to be egotistical since I'm the singer). The bands were good and many stage dives and pile-ups were had by all!

13 - (IRON CROSS / BLACK MARKET BABY / COUNT 4) American University

A gig that Iron Cross would definitely like to forget cos the band didn't get through 1 song before the guitar broke and guitarist walked offstage disgusted. Also half of DC was up in NY for a Necros / Bad Brains / Stimulators show. And considering AU was a big lecture hall w/mucho seats, nobody there really wanted to dance, what a waste! OK, no Iron Cross, so next band comes on, Count 4, a (homo Mod band). What a joke, they all wore their little Mod outfits except for Ray, the drummer, he was cool, he wore a superman t-shirt and shorts. The band played early Who covers and their own originals that had lyrics like "We Catch the Tubeway and Drink our Tea"--gimmee a fucking break. There is no such thing as an American Mod band; these guys wanted to be in England so bad they could taste it. Only thing to do was lie on stage and act like you're asleep. Guitarist did the worst Pete Townsend imitations possible; it seemed like choreographed jumps too, 'cos he was real careful not to jump on me (considering I laid right in front of his feet.) What a wimp! They all did their little Mod imitations except for the drummer--good drummer who didn't belong w/these clowns. OK enuf Mod shit--Black Market Baby were hot. They played a great show w/many hardcores thrashing onstage and trying not to fuck up BMB's equipment. This was definitely best band of the night.

minor threat does coke!26 - (RED C / NECROS (OHIO) / NECROS (DC) / YOUTH BRIGADE / MINOR THREAT) Branding Iron Beef House

Not much to say on this one 'cos I missed it (I was in the studio putting down vocal tracks for the e.p.). Heard Red C were great also Necros (Ohio) and Youth Brigade. (DC) Necros--everyone said they sucked and nobody bought any drinks so the club shut down before Minor Threat could play.

23 - (YOUTH BRIGADE / MOTORHEAD) Ontario Theatre

A gig that never happened. Motorhead were supposed to play but club didn't want Youth Brigade--a punk band--to open up for Motorhead--a heavy metal band. Motorhead's drummer got sick, so they didn't play anyways. Who cares!


Another flyer w/out a gig. Bands were all present, but PA, power, Bad Brains weren't, so no gig. Boy do we have fun!


youth brigade24 - (GOVERNMENT ISSUE / ASSAULT AND BATTERY / BEAVER) Columbia Station

Government Issue is my band, so I'm not going to hype on myself. I'll just say we were good. Beaver are a really funny hardcore 3-man band and they were great tonight. Assault and Battery (now Artificial Peace) are hot, really thrashing fast, trash band. "That's all I'm gonna say".

30 - (MINOR THREAT / YOUTH BRIGADE) Columbia Station

I missed the show 'cos I was sick, but heard it was real good ok?

From parties to clubs, DC has come a long way! Overall the summer's been really good for gigs (a lot more than anyone expected. And by now DC hardcore has become known and famous among punks all over; especially, LA where everyone used to idolize the bands. The scene has grown from a tiny, underground thing to mass proportions and all the bands are getting famous. Scene-wise, it's gotten out of hand where all the kids know each other's problems and wanna be one big family (well, that's bullshit), everyone needs to separate themselves from the scene/bands. Keep your good friends, but don't tell everyone your problems or else the scene will turn into one big psychiatrist's couch where everyone is neurotic and just not any fun anymore. All in all, DC has grown to have quite a reputation of being home of HarDCore. But who wants to be famous, I just want a cult following.

(signed) Stabb

artificial peace

iron cross

By the end of the summer, several new bands emerged onto the DC Hardcore scene--many of them looking for a different sound other than the smash/crash sounds of before.

Probably the best of the new bands playing right now is Deadline. Consisting of Brendan Canty on drums, Chris Caron on guitar, Terry Scanlon on bass and Raymond Hare doing vocals. For variety, they use a mixture of slow and fast music reminiscent of Red C. Though they have only played twice, their sets are tight and well thought out.

Branching from a band called Square One, is a hot new band called Beaver. Contrary to what the name might make you believe, they are far from being wimpy. Live--they're powerful--and fun. Tom comes off as a cross between a philosopher and a stand-up comedian--definately the focal (also vocal) point of the band. Their demo tape is also one of the best to recently hit DC.

Another band emerging strongly onto the DC scene is Washington's answer to the Oi movement, Iron Cross. Unlike previous bands, Iron Cross' influence comes from England. The band itself consists of Sab on vocals, Mark Haggerty on guitar, Dante Ferrardo on drums, and Chris Haskett (on the demo tape) - Wendell - Jamie on bass. Iron Cross' demo is probably the best going around town and their live shows are powerful as well. All they need is a permanent bassist!

The thrash band in the whole crop of new groups is Assault and Battery. The majority of their songs are fast and hard hitting, although they are starting to write slower, moodier songs. The band consists of Pete on guitar, Rob on bass, Mike on drums and Steve providing vocals.

Two bands worth mentioning, although they have not played live as yet are the Faith, consisting of Alec MacKaye, Chris Bald, Ivor and Mike Hampton. The other band (emerging from the Dischord House) has no definite name--the members are John Falls, Jeff Nelson, Eddie and Ian MacKaye.

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