Tag Archives: murphyslaw

The unedited BOLD chapter

Back in the day in 2017, Tony Rettman was generous to send me an unedited BOLD chapter from his book “STRAIGHT EDGE: A Clear-Headed Hardcore Punk History” which I also shared in my fanzine in the same year. So you can check it out below.  Pics by: Free Thought fanzine, Boiling Point fanzine, Think fanzin, Ken Salerno.

bold217

(You can order the book here: https://sandpaperlullaby.bigcartel.com)

Ray Cappo (Violent Children, Youth of Today, Shelter): When Violent Children was active prior to Youth of Today, we always wanted a brother band to play out with.

John Porcelly (Young Republicans, Violent Children, Youth of Today, BOLD, Judge, Gorilla Biscuits, Shelter, Project X): Youth of Today’s first drummer’s little sister was friends with these seventh graders that had Mohawks and played in a punk band.

Ray Cappo: Crippled Youth was basically a local punk rock band made up of thirteen-year-olds. We were really excited to hear them. They played at the Anthrax in Stamford, Connecticut, opening for the Descendents, and everybody loved them.

Mike Gitter (xXx fanzine): Crippled Youth were twelve year-olds playing straight edge hardcore. That was such a great, uncalculated marketing idea. Who wouldn’t want to see a band of prepubescent kids playing their interpretation of old school hardcore?

crippledyouth37 think fanzine

Dave Zukauskas (Run It! fanzine): When Crippled Youth started out they were more punk. They had a song called “Desperate for Beer,” and they did Black Flag covers. But I guess even by the time of their first show they had posi-youth type songs like “Stand Together,” and that’s what really impressed Ray and Porcell. At the time there were no other straight edge type bands from the area. I’m guessing that Youth of Today saw Crippled Youth, who were all 13 and 14 at the time, as the one band playing the Anthrax with whom they had something in common.

Steve Reddy (NY Wolfpack): The scene was so small at that point that discovering these fourteen-year-old kids from Katonah, New York, playing hardcore was crazy. And the first time I met Crippled Youth, they were real punks. They had their hair gelled up into spikes and stuff like that.

bold223 free thought

Matt Warnke (Crippled Youth, BOLD): Ray, John, Darren and Graham from Youth of Today were all at Crippled Youth’s first Anthrax show. The fact that we were all from nearby and were into 7 Seconds, Agnostic Front, and Dischord Records made them interested in us. Also, we all skated at that point. We started hanging out, and those guys lent us so many great records by SSD, DYS, Jerry’s Kids, Negative Approach, Reagan Youth, the Abused, and Antidote. We knew of the bands, but having access to the records was critical and fortunate, and definitely helped to influence our sound and sensibilities.

Ray Cappo: They lived right near Porcell and we became friends. I had a ramp in my yard and we would skate it. They were young kids and wanted music. We’d give them all the good records and say, “It took us years of buying the stupidest records. I wish someone did this for me. Here’s a stack of nothing but the greatest records!” They became our younger brothers.

bold193 rev ad

Drew Thomas (BOLD, Youth of Today, Into Another): Maybe it is a bit lofty to think about, but I believe at the time Youth of Today tried to align themselves with what SSD had done as far as taking a leadership role in the scene. With that said, I think in Bold, we saw ourselves a bit more as a “younger brother band” like DYS, if there had to be analogies drawn.

Dave Zukauskas: Plus, you know, Crippled Youth needed someone to drive them around, they weren’t old enough to have their licenses yet, so it made it convenient for Youth of Today and Crippled Youth to play shows together.

Jordan Cooper (Revelation Records): Ray and Porcell probably consciously wanted Crippled Youth to be a little brother band, and they ended up becoming longtime friends. As for their “role,” Bold was probably the closest band to Youth of Today as far as mutual support and camaraderie.

bold207

Matt Warnke: Crippled Youth came upon resistance and resentment in the same way Ray and Porcell had. One incident in particular occurred after Crippled Youth had a one-page feature in Maximum Rocknroll right around the release of our seven-inch EP Join The Fight. Our label New Beginning Records and its founder Mike Trouchon arranged that. The piece was fairly innocuous, and I was just completely psyched, looking forward to being in the zine in which I had read about so many bands. One of the questions was something along the lines of, “How do you feel about yourselves and other straight edge bands getting flack for stating your beliefs?” Drew responded by drawing the analogy between us and other straight edge bands championing our beliefs and day-to-day habits, and those of Murphy’s Law, who sang proudly of their party-loving ways. No one questioned them for that, he pointed out. I remember reading that and having a bad feeling in the back of my mind that this would not go unnoticed. Fast forward to say six weeks later, I was at a show at the Ritz. I’m not sure who headlined, but Murphy’s Law were playing. About midway through the set, Jimmy G introduced a song, I want to say “Care Bear,” and he basically called out Crippled Youth for having the audacity to say something about his band. I just remember it felt like a spotlight shone right on me, and everyone who was near me stepped back six feet. I was thinking, “Thanks, Drew.” Mark Ryan from Death Before Dishonor and Supertouch came up to me and was like, “Don’t worry about it, I’ll talk to those guys and straighten it out.”
Murphy’s Law’s set ended, and Mark insisted we head backstage to iron things out. I remember the looks I got from Petey Hines and Joe Bruno. I was trying to be tough, but I was like fourteen years old facing these cats. Anyway, nothing was really resolved that night despite Mark speaking on our behalf. So the next day, I had stayed over in New Jersey, and we headed into Manhattan to the CB’s matinee as per usual. I remember being in the back of Mike Ferraro’s Camaro. I don’t think we really talked about it too much, but there was a sort of underlying concern of what could happen. We had no real way to know. I remember walking down Third Avenue towards CB’s. Then I think Mark again had a word with Jimmy Gestapo, and Jimmy just came over and shook my hand, made a joke, and that was that.

John Porcelly: The whole Youth Crew thing is still relevant, because, like the new generation, we were young and considered naive and dumb for taking such a hard stance against drinking and still clinging to fast hardcore with breakdowns, instead of more “mature” music with complex songwriting and musicianship. Most of the older generation had moved on. But we loved that early mosh-tastic, super-hard hardcore. To this day I think young, energetic alternative kids find it the most powerful, moving music ever.

bold185 bp

Caine Rose (Touch X Down, 4 Walls Falling, Fed Up!): I think Minor Threat, the Faith, SSD, DYS and a few West Coast bands already heralded the turn of the philosophy into a movement in the early to mid 80s. The late ‘80s saw a new and more powerful revival of straight edge by these amazing New York, Connecticut, and mid-Atlantic bands. It wasn’t necessarily new, but it was more dynamic and even supercharged. It was the right time and place for a music revolution. And straight edge hardcore was undoubtedly one of the most formidable champions of musical zealotry.

Chris Bratton (Chain Of Strength, Inside Out): When Nirvana broke in 1991, they’d hit the reset button powerfully stripping shit back down to the basics and in doing so, they instantly swept away and made irrelevant all the hair metal bands and all the other shit, even Michael Jackson, who was infamously bumped from the number on position on the Pop Charts by Nirvana’s Nevermind LP. When Youth of Today broke big in 1987, they’d also hit that same reset button stripping shit all the way down and also instantly swept away all that had become bloated and irrelevant in hardcore.

Outburst photos / Joe Songco

It was originally published in Chiller Than Most fanzine, issue 6 (2018).

outburst05

CTM – 01. You played your first show with Abombanation, Krakdown, Token Entry at Right Track Inn in late 1987. As far as I know it was an amazing show where Ray Parada was covered in blood from busting his nose open during Outburst set. What are your memories of the first Outburst show?

Joe Songco – The Right Track Inn was this cool little club in Merrick, Long Island. That’s our original bassist Chris Bruno in that shot. I think it may have been ABombANation’s first show too. Rayco and Matt were also from around the way in Astoria and they were regular visitors to our south side of Astoria Park from the Ditmars Boulevard side. I sure do remember Rayco busting his nose open. Personally, it was awesome that he was dancing for us and fortunately he was okay to go up and do ABombANation’s set! I remember loving their melodic sound. I believe it was Jay Krakdown who got us on that bill. They were always so sick with their live show. I remember introducing myself to their drummer John Soldo because his cousin Christina was my classmate and good friend at St. John’s Prep. Along with Leeway, Kraut & Murphy’s Law, Token Entry were one of the established neighborhood bands so it was great to be playing with them. I remember being really nervous doing the long Johnny Feedback snare roll in “All Twisted” at the end of our set because Ernie was watching from the side. I grew up watching all those great Astoria drummers and I didn’t want to botch it!

outburst06

CTM – 02. Outburst with Walter Schreifels on bass

Joe Songco – That was our first CBGB gig in December ’87. Breakdown was supposed to headline but had to cancel so we played with American Standard, Department of Corruption and Atrocity. Our bassist Chris had a family trip he was unable to get out of. Chris and Brian were friends with all the Jackson Heights guys in Gorilla Biscuits & Token Entry. Luckily, Walter offered to fill in on bass and I remember he learned the songs really quickly. Aside from GB, he’d already played for Warzone & Youth of Today so his chops were really good. I’m so glad someone snapped that picture to evidence the time Walter played in Outburst!

outburst07

CTM – 03. What’s the story of this Outburst photo? Where and when did you take this photo?

Joe Songco – This was taken on the campus of Columbia University in Manhattan. Our roadie and former high school classmate Julio (to my right in the black leather jacket) had gone to Columbia after high school and he invited us one night to come party at his school.

outburst08

CTM – 04. Basketball…

Joe Songco – This was taken in Long Island City, which is a neighborhood on one side of the Queensboro Bridge (on the other side is the famous hip hop neighborhood Queensbridge Projects, home of Nas, Mobb Deep, Roxanne Shante, Marley Marl, etc). Jay and his brother Al were big time basketball fans like me and we often got together to hit the courts. On this day, Brian and one of our other roadies Carlos joined us and we played all afternoon. What’s really cool about this shot is I’m wearing the original Run DMC & Beastie Boys “Together Forever” tour shirt. Eminem also wears this shirt in his video for “Berzerk”.

outburst09

CTM – 05. CBGB…

Joe Songco – I’m pretty sure this CBGB show was with Breakdown in ’88. That’s Eric Fink from Side By Side/Uppercut about to launch himself into the crowd off of Brian’s back. This photo was taken by the legendary BJ Papas. I remember during our cover of Kraut’s “All Twisted”, Gavin from Absolution/Burn took the mic and sang the whole second verse.

outburst10

CTM – 06. Remembering Elkin

Joe Songco – Elkin just roadied the NYC area Outburst shows. Just a few blocks away from CBGB was St. Mark’s Pizza. We’d usually go there after shows or if we had some time in between bands. “Gotta get that extra cheese slice!” he would say, every time. He loved how they would put a handful of mozzarella on top of any slice with a topping before it went into the oven. That’s all he ever needed as payment for his services. Our roadie, my homie.

outburst11

Show review: Supertouch, Token Entry, Murphy’s Law, Bad Brains at the Ritz

The New York Times:
“Bad Brains, a reggae and hardcore rock group, is to appear tonight at the Ritz, 11th Street between Third and Fourth Avenues (254-2800). Tickets are $13.50; the show is at 12:30.”

murphyslaw02

Murphy’s Law at the Ritz, NYC 5.27.1988. Photo by BJ Papas.

showreview09b supertouch token entry murphys law badbrains theritz yes zista

Show review by Yes Zista fanzine (issue one)

showreview09 supertouch token entry murphys law badbrains theritz

Show review by In Effect fanzine (issue one)

The Pyramid Club / A hardcore-fanatic’s guide – Part V.

It was originally released in Chiller Than Most fanzine, issue 5.

pyramid01 pyramid03

In the late 80s New York was still dangerous and not yet gentrified. East of Avenue A was still a wasteland. The Pyramid Club was (and still is) a nightclub in the East Village, located at 101 Avenue A in Manhattan. The institution named for a pyramid motif in the building’s original tiling, opened in 1979. What made this club unique was that the inclusivity across all cultural lines, mixing disco and hardcore/punk, pop culture and high art, straight and gay. The Pyramid Club shows were organized by many members of the NYC hardcore scene. It was the first time in NYC during this era that the bands actually made up the bills. The shows ran on a semi regular basis from 1987-1989.

pyramid04

Alex Brown, Sammy Siegler, Chris Burr, and Dylan Schreifels in front of the Pyramid Club

You can check out a video about what the place was like between 1983 and 1988 on youtube: “Drag Queens, Skinheads, Artists and Some Girls: the Pyramid Club of the 1980s.” In this video Raybeez and Jimmy Gestapo attempted to describe what made the Pyramid special (5:51)!

– Pyramid matinees were some of the best hardcore shows, Absolution, Warzone, Side By Side, Youth of Today, Underdog, Collapse, Sick Of It All, Token Entry, Hogan’s Heroes, Judge, Gorilla Biscuits, Krakdown, Life’s Blood, Killing Time, American Standard, Project X, Under Pressure, Uppercut, Our Gang had a couple of very memorable gigs there.
– Security included Jimmy Gestapo, Raybeez and Richie Birkenhead, while doorman Bernard Crawford kept out the yuppies and junkies.

pyramid05

Raybeez and Jimmy Gestapo

– The Pyramid Club is the place where Ray Cappo and Raybeez were booking shows together, most of these shows were Saturday matinees. The first matinee gig was a benefit show for Some Records. “Starting April 11th at the Pyramid Club, 101 Avenue A we’re gonna have hardcore matinees between 2:00 and 5:30 every other Saturday, starting April 11 so you gotta check it out! The first show is with Sick Of It All and Token Entry and you know, we’re headlining, word up! Check out the Village Voice!” – Warzone interview on WNYU’s Crucial Chaos radio show.

pyramid07 pyramid08

– The Pyramid Club is the place where Sean Penn and Madonna got into a heated public argument in 1986. A fight erupted into violence as an obviously inebriated Penn shoved his wife up against a wall, then carried their shouting match out into the street.
– The Pyramid Club is the place where Nirvana and Red Hot Chili Peppers played their first New York City concerts.
– The Pyramid Club is the place where Into Another performed their first show.

pyramid06

– The Pyramid Club is the place where Warzone cameout with a fog machine, and they used so much dry ice that you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face in the pit. Warzone was playing and the smoke machine went off while Ray Cappo was on stage about to do a stage dive, it burned his leg.
– The Pyramid Club is the place where Warzone played a show with a go-go dancer on stage, which was very likely an influence from the “Licensed To Ill” era Beastie Boys.
– The Pyramid Club is the place where Djinji Brown (Absolution) broke Jules Masse’s (Side By Side, Alone In A Crowd) nose during a show.
– The Pyramid Club is the place where the really underrated Altercation played a gig with Death Before Dishonor on May 23, 1987. Shortly after that Jay and Paul left Altercation to join Warzone so the band broke up.