|July 10, 2012 | Recent Events Dictate
Psychic moments here and there. I hadn’t thought about the Cro-Mags very much for years, and the other day, Best Wishes, their second album, flashed into my head, and I took it out and listened to it, and I wrote a long article detailing my appreciation of this much-maligned record. The odd thing is that I was actually working on the piece while the events of Friday, July 6th were taking place. In light of these events, and of the many subsequent well-considered articles on Harley, the Cro-Mags, and what it all means, I’ve decided not to publish what I wrote. It just seems frivolous and an affront to the people involved.
* Compact discs, display of compact discs, worthlessness of compact discs, and the fact that my copy of 1989’s Best Wishes may be the oldest compact disc I own.
* Sound-checking of bass guitar by White Zombie roadie by playing the opening riff of the song The Only One. Sound-checking of guitar by me by playing the riffs from the songs Age Of Quarrel and Death Camps. Commentary on the general hot-shit nature of the guitar playing on the album. Thoughts about guitarists Parris Mitchell Mayhew and Doug Holland. Thoughts about Holland’s previous band, Kraut. Reminiscences about a discussion with the house engineer at Normandy Sound about the extremely volatile nature of the band’s dynamic, and also of hot-shit guitar playing by people who couldn’t stand to be in the same room with each other.
* Thoughts on production techniques of the period. Explanation of why I love the album anyway.
* Discussion of the band’s look in the photo on the back cover. Discussion of NYC street fashion of the period. A remembrance of Canal Jeans, a huge store where vintage clothing was sold in big lots for very little money.
* Discussion of my first meeting Harley in 1985, of being somewhat scared of him and his crew, and of Maximum Rock N’ Roll scene reports. Discussion of talking to Harley on the streets of NYC, and of his unexpected friendliness. Recollections of seeing Cro-Mags band members hanging around the heroin supermarket at 2nd and A. Thoughts on opening for a version of the Cro-Mags in Brooklyn.
I will tell you one thing, though. See how Harley, in the photo, has a pen in the sleeve-pocket of his bomber jacket? This one time, on the Lower East Side, we were talking, and, I don’t remember how we got onto the subject, but he advised me to carry a ballpoint pen with me, always. ” Nobody thinks of a pen as a weapon “, he said, ” but if you get in trouble, you can always stab someone in the neck with it. “