Just hanging out indoors on a snowy Sunday, watching old hardcore show videos and digging through my recently reclaimed record collection. Minus some sweaty dancing and a pigpile or two, it’s pretty much the same as my youth. Well, obviously not, but I’m not sure I have either the energy or the enthusiasm for finger points and stagedives.
It’s funny now to think that an all ages show would simply mean they’ll allow some of us over-30 crowd to hang out.
But I can’t help but still get wrapped up in a breakdown or emotional for a sing along when listening or watching these. And to be honest, given the chance to see some of my old favorites again, I’d be out there picking up change with the best of them.
I look back fondly to this era in shaping who I am now. I still hold true to most of the values and ideals. Still believe in straightedge and loyalty and a diy ethic. And as negative as a son of a bitch as I’ve always been, I still try to live a positive and non fascist lifestyle. I know I was very lucky to have fallen into the right scene in my youth. Lucky to have latched onto the right set of ideals and structure that many missed as they crashed hard into adolescence. I very much believe hardcore, specifically sXe hardcore, played a huge part in guiding me through life with nothing more than some sore jaws and black eyes.
I remember the arguments about late hours, loud music, odd dress and weird behavior. As parents from and era of heavy drug use and weird hippie shit, they couldn’t ever trust that all bizarre teen behavior wasn’t drug related. It wasn’t until much later in my life that my father ever acknowledged my difference in lifestyle.
Long after the thrown coffee cups and early morning screaming matches.
The tattoo arguments are another thing altogether.
Anywho, enough ruminating. Record pics to come. And currently in talks for possible podcast incorporating all of this, including some vinyl.
But for now:
Chain of Strength
And yes, I know, not all sXe hardcore. Boohoo.
Sometimes it’s just about putting in time.
“I know now you never cared about
those days, those fucking days
i know now you never understood
those days will always stay with me
and i, well i wait
maybe its just not coming back
but five years down the line
you won’t see me ashamed”
-Chain of Strength
It’s that time of summer where hot days don’t cool off into the night and sometimes it’s nice to just go for a drive. To have the windows down. To turn the radio up. To sing along like I used to. The same kind of nights where six deep in an old beater car we’d be dirty and sweaty and still so stoked on the show that we’d be doing sing-alongs at the top of our lungs the whole ride home. Stupid kids doing stage dives from front seat to back. Immortal and fully alive. Idealistic and enthusiastic. Nights full of shitty late night food and aimless pool-hopping. Nights where it was not unheard of for thirty deep to meet up at a swimming hole at 2AM.
Along with the fun, I actually believed in things. In a lifestyle. In change. In principles. In Straightedge.
A whole bunch of years later, I still do. I have no doubt my life would have tumbled into an abyss if at thirteen I hadn’t started listening to Gorilla Biscuits, Youth of Today, Judge, Lifetime, Bold, etc, and decided that straightedge was for me. Two decades later I still don’t question it. I no longer X my hands and have never gotten a huge XXX tattoo, but I still live and feel the same way I did then. And even now, I can’t watch videos of old shows without that lump in my chest and the urge to raise a fist in the air and point my finger at the stage and scream along at the top of my lungs. Goddamit, stagedives DID make me feel more alive!
I remember how people on the outside would comment on the perceived violence of a stage full of kids pig-piling and screaming. How they always failed to notice the arms around each others shoulders, the smiling screaming faces, the compassion of a crowd willing to protect and police their own. The love and the camaraderie.
The word was scenester. And yeah, we were. We shared beliefs. We shared ideals. We shared the music. We shared those hot sweaty summer nights and words echoing up into rafters.
We were quite a fucking scene indeed…
Long live chugga-chugga and the break down.
Just happened onto a beautiful blog with a great look and amazing photos. Cats, owls, a New Englander’s obsession with the West and a blog title related to the writings of Farley Mowat. Definitely all things I can get behind. Please check it out.
Making Owls Cool Since 1986.