|January 30, 2013 | Photos Of J.Yuenger
April 29, 1983 : 16 years old, opening for Minor Threat. A. posted this a couple of weeks ago and blew my mind, because I didn’t know there were any photos from this show, let alone one with me in it. Well, that’s not quite true. A kid from my high school took pictures ( I have one 8X10 print, a blurry shot of Ian Mackaye, who you can barely see because there are so many people on stage ), but said kid died later, and nobody I know knows anything more about it. MCI shot this one.
Things I can tell you about this picture / the gig:
1. I still know quite a few people who were there, and they tend to get misty when the subject comes up. I can’t remember a show that was more highly anticipated, or exciting, or fun. Actually, by just a hair, the most fun I’ve ever had was at a show which was also at The Hall ( Centro-American Social Club ), by a band from Texas called the Big Boys. But that’s another story.
2. In the photo, standing in front of me in the white shirt, is my old friend Chris. Chris has shown up here a few times before, in Guitars 1,2, & 3 / The Story Of The WZ Guitar / Chris’ Room and also in Trenchmouth.
3. I’m wearing a Negative Approach jacket, painted by Ken ( someone else who was there, who I still know ). I loved that band to death, and later, when I had recently joined White Zombie and was literally starving, I sold my copy of their 1982 EP. I’ve regretted it ever since.
4. I’m playing my white SG, the first ‘real’ guitar I ever had. In 1989, right after I joined WZ, I sold it to a guy in New Jersey so I could get the money together to buy a Marshall head. I don’t know what happened to the guy or where the guitar is now. I still have the Marshall head, the stock JCM800 I used all the way from my first show with WZ to the recording of La Sexorcisto to the shows leading up to the release of the album.
Click for large.
5. The flyer says End Result Vs. The Audience, and that’s exactly how it went down. My friends and I were solid pals with End Result ( I am solid pals with Steve S. to this very day ), but there were other kids there who didn’t know / understand. For more on that, take a look at You Weren’t There. I don’t remember AOF’s set at all, but they were always great, and the atmosphere was electric, so I’m sure they were fantastic ( I asked A. if he remembered anything, and he said, ” there was also the Nerf football game during AOF’s set. I have a vivid memory of Ian’s face as he turned and gave it a toss “. MDC were great. Someone from MDC did some graffiti in the bathroom, and they got yelled at by everyone. Also, Ron from MDC let me use his input-jumped Marshall full-stack for our set, and I think the look on my face is sheer awe at how good my guitar sounded.
Another thing about MDC : this was the first time I ever met and interacted with straight-up ( radical, militant ) gay people who were around my age. Several of my fellow Chicago teen hardcore punk scenester friends would eventually figure out where they were at as far as all that, but at this point, no.
6. Minor Threat : this was the five-piece Out Of Step lineup. I don’t remember talking to Lyle or Steve – the only thing I remember about Steve is that there was something wrong with his bass and he had to borrow Franco from MDC’s Jazz Bass, which was a little funny because it had a spiky punk wristband wrapped around the headstock, which was very much not what Minor Threat was about. I don’t remember anything about Jeff, except that he sat in a corner reading a paperback during all the opening bands.
7. I talked to Brian Baker extensively. He was very friendly and answered all my questions about the DC scene, guitars, etc. I remember specifically that he told me that I really should save up and get a Marshall, because then I wouldn’t need a distortion box ( it would be another six years before I finally owned one, see #4 ). I remember that he was delighted when I told him that Teenager In A Box by Government Issue ( he played guitar on the recording ) was one of my favorite DC hardcore songs. I remember questioning him extensively about the Faith/Void split, which was a record we were all very into. He told me that he had no idea how Void were able to make such a cohesive recording, since their sound in concert was generally chaotic to the point of sheer confusion. He also told me that, on the other hand, Faith were the best live band in DC, but that they couldn’t seem to make a recording which reflected that.
8. Ian stood right in the middle of the crowd and watched our whole set, smiling. He sold A. and I copies of the Double-O EP, ( which I actually still have, and which I transferred and posted and discussed here ), and possibly other records. I have the entire early Dischord discography, and it’s hard to remember which ones came from where.