Punk Was Rubbish
I found this article by accident but it addresses what's been going on in my mind as I read Dance of Days. I'm up to where Rites Of Spring, Embrace, Beefeater and others are creating a renaissance in the DC scene, the endlessly referenced Revolution Summer (aka Revolution Summer Camp). I can't stop laughing.
The scene is nth power earnest and really, really super important. It's desperately working to keep things peaceful, exciting, meaningful and real. Still, it can't keep itself from exploding, imploding and losing members to adulthood. It's the word "yearn" as a course, guttural sound, like a hissing whine or when last night's Mexican buffet insists on leaving the next morning.
"Jon Kirschten - Chris Bald's younger brother, who had started coming to shows in the last year - confronted some slamming skinheads in exasperation. 'I was nearly in tears', he remembered. 'I just took a lyric sheet and pushed it at the guys, saying 'Here, please read this.' Instead one of them gave Kirschten a hard shove, the usual prelude to a fight."
Printed lyrics soothe the savage beast! Maybe that's what Grizzly Man needed. Damn, I lived there the whole time and somehow missed out on this endless parade of teenage numbnuttery. The harDCore scene was a kidz only clubhouse but some great records came out of it and I gave them credit for being organized. Who knew they were also so goofy and hopeless.
One more thought. The book refers to an incident where Lefty, (get this) the black, female and psychotic leader of a gang of teenage racist skinheads, almost starts a rumble with bikers when her crew knocks over a row of motorcycles because they aren't American made. Riders of Japanese motorcycles are not "bikers". Bikers ride Harleys, and the day DC punks knock over a row of Mongol's bikes is the day their remains are found spread out over twelve counties.