Here is the updated with new interviews introduction to the next book. Hopefully next year we can get it done. I thought I would print the introduction to the book to see what people think. And I am changing the name of the book. The proposed new title is MANCHILD 5: RABID PACK WITH SIRENS HOWLING.
The original title and its origins were sort of a sarcastic joke. No one will get it anyways, so it amounts to a title that is kind of stupid. Have fun reading!
LIKE GOLD DOWN A SEWER.
BRIAN WALSBY: I became infatuated with the North Carolina punk rock scene of the early eighties when I started reading scene reports in the then brand new Maximum Rock N Roll magazine & it more or less started when I heard the “Why Are We Here?” seven inch that came out on No Core Records in 1983. A friend of mine, Ron Cerros, had it. It had the following bands on it: No Labels, Corrosion of Conformity, Stillborn Christians & Bloodmobile on it. We listened to it all of the time. Then I got a copy of the Paul Mahern (of the Zero Boys, a criminally under looked Midwest hardcore band)’s massive double LP compilation record he assembled on his own label, called “The Master Tape Volume II”. No Labels had two songs on it. I thought they were both great. By then I was a big letter writer and tape trader.
Then shortly afterwards, I got a dubbed copy in the mail from an Australian pen pal, of the No Labels “Jane Doe” demo. I thought it was one of the best hardcore tapes I had ever heard, & to this day I still think so. From then I started writing to all of those guys out there. It was what you did when you were involved in that scene. Then in mid 1984 Corrosion of Conformity put out their first record, which I also thought was fucking great. They played Hollywood’s Cathay De Grande club off of Selma Blvd in Hollywood a few days after I got their record, & I missed it. After their tour, I struck up a pen pal relationship with Woody Weathermen &No Labels’ Ricky Hicks. In January of 1985, they came out west again to record Side One of “Animosity” & I met them all formerly at the Sun Valley Sportsman’s Lodge in the San Fernando Valley, where the band was playing one of the first “crossover” shows ever. The funny thing that I remember is that the mostly heavy metal crowd kind of took ten steps back when C.O.C. played, not being exactly close minded, but not being sure how to react. It was pretty funny.
They agreed to stay at my parent’s house that night & after pulling over to urinate in some strip mall in Simi Valley (me & then roadie Simon Bob Sinister) local Simi Valley police accosted us while urinating. Strangely enough, they let us go. Soon afterwards as the infamously graffiti covered & messy C.O.C. van pulled up to the house, Woody accidentally knocked over my parent’s concrete pillar mailbox. We propped it up with a few rocks. To this day, no one ever knew why it leaned so funny all of a sudden.
Six months later I found myself in Raleigh, North Carolina.
A that time, I was in this band at the time called Scared Straight, which was one of the many hardcore bands to come out of the suburbs of Los Angeles. We went on a tour of the United States in the summer of 1985 with our friends and mentors form Oxnard, Ill Repute. But then both bands got all of our gear & personal belongings ripped off in Pittsburgh. End of the tour. I look back and realize that this was a pivotal moment in my life. I ended up going to Raleigh to hang out. I met everybody & had a good time. The COC folks introduced me to all of their friends who I thought initially talked kind of funny (those accents) and some of them even looked kind of funny as well (no names here). I stayed there for maybe three months & then went home. It was then that I decided to move to Raleigh. In early spring of next year, I flew out here & have been here ever since. It is odd to think of how all of that had happened in the space of a few months.
I would like to touch on this one main thing that a lot of the recent memoirs and books that deal with eighties punk rock and hardcore always seem to gloss over; the importance of the letter writer. If you don’t understand exactly what that means, it was a person that wrote letters to other people and bands all over the world. You had the bands going to places where no one had ever gone before, and then you had the promoters that booked the shows. You also had the people that made the flyers, fanzines, artwork, went to the shows and so forth and so on, but the overall importance of people writing letters and doing that networking cannot ever be underestimated. In these days of the internet it seems like a million years ago.
In my town, I was the guy who wrote the letters. It was a very important way to get involved. The two biggest fanzines of the time were gospels of information. Flipside and Maximum Rock N Roll. I can’t even begin to tell you how influential they were. Getting those early issues of Flipside in the summer of 1982 was like opening a genie out of a bottle. How could so much cool stuff exist? And anyone who was reading it could be a prt of it if you wanted to seek it out. Flipside printed scene reports until Maximum Rock n Roll started, and they sort of took over the whole documentation of what was going on all around the world via scene reports. They were both bibles of information. They both started to print my own primitive little cartoons, months before I was actually able to start going to real shows. Without those magazines existing it would be doubtful that I would even be writing this book.
Thanks to being a letter writer, I ended up in part re-locating to the East Coast, and adopted Raleigh as my new home. I could have ended up anywhere because of punk rock but because of my fondness to Raleigh and the bands and people at the time, that is where I chose to hang my hat. I did a lot of stuff here and wouldn’t have traded it for the world.
In conclusion to this introduction, I would like to say that of course this is by no means a complete picture of these times down here in Raleigh North Carolina. It has proven to be hard to fully grasp what was going on down here for the very simple reason that until the spring of 1986 I wasn’t living here. So what I had known previously was what I had read or what I was told by the people that were here. Thanks to the people that offered some of their memories for this, it filled in some big holes, but a lot of things were left out; bands, other movers and shakers, participants and the like. I knew I would never be able to cover everything or talk to everyone so instead of worrying about that I just tried to focus on telling my version of the story.
Also a lot of people that I tried to contact weren’t able to get back to me. I might have also not gotten back to some people as well, and of course some people weren’t reachable for whatever reason. So keeping that in mind, this might have some holes in it but it is what it is. I think it is still an entertaining read and I would like to thank everyone who helped me out on this six years in the making project.
Brian Walsby: It is hard to figure out a way to begin this story but I think that the early friendships of Wayne Taylor, Reed Mullin and Ethan Smith is as good a place to start as any.
ETHAN SMITH: I was born in Winston-Salem. Then I was moved to New Orleans, Providence Rhode Island, Nashville, & then to Raleigh. We moved here when I was seven. My first memory was, we had this monkey, a squirrel monkey and the whole Taylor family-Wayne, Walter, Lila, came running across the street under the premise that they wanted to see the monkey. That is how I met Wayne. It was 1972. We grew up there. Wayne & I ended up trading music. He liked the old Beatles, who I really fucking hated. I hate love songs. He liked the Steve Miller band a lot. Anyways, except for that, we liked the same things. We bought records from John Swain’s store the Record Hole, & I used to listen to the radio a lot. When I moved here, I had never heard rock music before. The only stuff I heard was country & western, except for Elvis Presley who I seemed to like a lot. But I saw a commercial of Elvis Presley on television this one time, & he was singing hymns for God, & I never have ever fucking believed in God. Then there was Johnny Cash, who sang a lot about death & jails, so I kind of liked that.
WAYNE TAYLOR (NO LABELS, WWAX, ORIFICE): Reed went to a hippie school. Ethan and Reed and me, we were always together. Whatever I did, Ethan and Reed did, whatever Ethan did, me and Reed did, whatever Reed did, me and Ethan did. We all went in the same direction, we all kind of liked it. We had some friends that never went in this direction.
ETHAN SMITH: I met Reed at a bus stop. I was in fifth grade. There was this kid there who was new who looked a hell of a lot like that kid Oliver from the “Brady Bunch”. So the next day I was talking to Wayne-the Taylor’s were Catholics & went to catholic school, and I got Wayne to skip school, which was no big deal. So we went to meet the kid who looked like Oliver. We teased Reed relentlessly about looking like Oliver & he got kind of mad. Anyways, we all started hanging out with each other a lot.
ETHAN SMITH: The punk rock sort of bands before we became aware of things, the stuff coming out of Raleigh, I knew some of them, Like Richard Martin from Butchwax. The Hurtz were another band we knew about. There were a lot of new wave bands, stuff that reminded me of Oingo Boingo. The Cigaretz sounded like the New York Dolls to me.
WAYNE TAYLOR: We were young, we just said that we knew about them. We were a couple of years off. We were fifteen in 1980. We were all like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, products of the seventies. I don’t even know how it switched over into punk rock. All of those older bands, we saw them a couple of times, they were drunks, they weren’t what we thought punk rock was at the time. It was like something you’d see at Sadlacks right now or something.
KAREN WEATHERMAN (Mother of Woody Weatherman): Tony was born in Virginia but his parents moved here when he was four, and opened a jewelry store. When we met, I was in high school. Then we got married and he got out of the coast guard. He played music. On our first date he sang me a song. I was sixteen. We got married in 1964. We moved to Raleigh. Woody was born at Rex Hospital.
TONEY WEATHERMAN (Father of Woody Weatherman): We moved to Raleigh and pretty much settled into what we have been doing ever since, working at the jewelry store. We moved into this house in 1972.
KAREN WEATHERMAN: On Woody’s sixteenth birthday we asked him what he wanted for his birthday. He said he wanted a guitar, and his daddy always played an acoustic Martin. His daddy said, “what kind?” and Woody said, “A Gibson!”. And we said..”Oh! Okay.”
ETHAN SMITH: Woody came along in junior high. I hated school, so I used to sit outside and listen to music on a tape player. So one day I was sitting out there listening to “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath and Woody came up to me & started talking to me, like “hey! You like Black Sabbath? That’s cool.” He looked pretty much the same except he had shorter hair. So I started to get to know Woody pretty well from that, but he lived a couple of miles away so we’d hang out at school.
WAYNE TAYLOR: Woody was in a band called Middle Earth. Woody was good, we converted Woody into punk rock. We all hung out in Reed’s room. On a Friday night we’d go to Reed’s house and hang out in his room and play records and do stuff. Woody would come over and bring his guitar and we’d play him Minor Threat and he would be able to play it. We couldn’t even get fanzines down here, like Flipside or Maximum Rock N Roll.
JON MCCLAIN (Stillborn Christians, Ugly Americans): Lee Johnson has to get credit for adding "man" to my vocabulary. Man oh man, man! Hahahaha.
ETHAN SMITH: Lee Johnson went up to those old Wilson Center D.C. shows a lot, which is where Minor Threat and six other Dischord bands would play, and I liked the speed of all of that stuff, so I would give Lee fifty bucks and would say, “hey, buy me some records”. So I got all of those, & I would start going to Wilson Center shows with Lee & some other people. Somewhere along the way I transferred that stuff to Wayne, Reed and Woody, who all liked it a lot. Eric Eycke showed Reed how to play drums, & then that turned into what would be C.O.C. and No Labels a few months later. Suddenly Reed played drums a hell of a lot better then Eric. Around the same period, Black Flag did their first tour down here, a few weeks before “Damaged” came out.
WAYNE TAYLOR: Reed wasn’t aware of how good a drummer he became.
BRIAN WALSBY: Inspired by hearing (among others) Black Flag and Minor Threat, a handful of kids decided to form a couple of bands. The first band that came about ended up being called No Labels. They went through some members and different band names beforehand.
WOODY WEATHERMAN (CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, NO LABELS): Seeing Black Flag changed my life! My old man had to take me...it was this place called the Pier...you had to be 18 to get in because that was the drinking age back then...I was probably 15 or 16, Greg Ginn`s amp blew up in the middle of the show...these roadies came out with soldering guns and started working on it and fixed it and they kept on playing...I was like damn that is some pretty cool shit...Black Flag was the real shit...they were the real deal. .
ETHAN SMITH: Ricky (Hicks) appeared..I’m not sure where he came from, but he went to different schools and stuff. Ricky was funny because he was kind of serious about things, he thought the straight edge thing was a really good thing, he was into it. I remember one day talking to Wayne, Reed and Woody and suddenly they were playing with this guy Ricky who was a good guitar player and a real cool guy.
WAYNE TAYLOR: It was real exciting, things were cool. I didn’t want to be a singer but they already had the band with different members in it besides Reed and Ricky. It was like the original No Labels but they didn’t have the name. I came up with the name sitting around and talking one day. Joey didn’t want to do it and Roger and Grady..they asked me to sing. I didn’t want to do it, I sucked at it. My timing..it is illusive to me. They kept asking me because they knew I would do it and I guess they knew I would be a good frontman. Woody started to play bass, and it ended up being me, Reed, Ricky and Woody. And then right after that the COC stuff happened. It was during my senior year in high school and it was weird, because people liked us.
BRIAN WALSBY: No Label’s Reed & Woody also teamed up with two kids fresh from the Charlotte NC area, Mike Dean and Benji Sheldon. Charlotte already had a little scene going at that point as well. The new quartet went through short-lived dumb names like Misguided, Buckwheat’s Army, 7-Up and the Accused before settling on the name Corrosion Of Conformity. The original COC with Benji behind the mike was quite good, “a good fit”, as Ricky Hicks had told me.
Wayne Taylor: Mike Dean and Benji were not coming from middle class backgrounds. Those guys were different, even a little bit lower.
Ethan Smith: Mike dean was always a great fucking bass player.
MIKE DEAN (CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, RIGHTEOUS FOOL): I ran into these dudes that totally changed my life. This black guy had this total Jimi Hendrix outfit, which was kind of weird for North Carolina in 1981. He saw me looking at basses and said 'You play bass, man?', and I said, 'I'm trying to.' He said, 'Why don't you come jam with us, man?', and I said, 'because I'm not any good." They turned me on to all this weird jazz like James 'blood' Olmer, and all this funk. They said, 'Yeah, you're right. You can't really play, but you're a good guy. Why don't you take this bass cabinet and head with you? Our old bass player's in jail, and he probably stole this, so we don't want this hanging around but if you want to take it, you can have it.' He gave me a 1 15" bass cabinet and a custom head. I'd see them around sometimes and they were really weird, like, they kind of went the Afro centric trip and didn't want to talk to me, but they hooked me up with a starter rig.
ERROL ENGELBRECHT (TATTOO ARTIST, OWNER OF BLUE FLAME): I am from Wisconsin, I moved here in 1982, right on my eighteenth birthday…how did I get into punk rock. I was living in Wisconsin and pretty much hanging out with the loser greaser crowd at the time. The big thing was to cruise around in a big car, drink Boone’s Farm and listen to Boston on an eight track. And that was pretty much what I did but I was also heavily into skateboarding, and one day at school, I saw this kid who had green hair. Everyone freaked out on him; he was the only kid in school who looked different. This was ’79 or ’80. He was really into skateboarding, and I found out that he had a half-pipe in his backyard that he built. So I started talking to him, and then I went over to his house and started skating, and he played punk rock afterwards, and we hung out, smoked pot. At first I hated it. I was like, “this is shit, blah blah blah” but then I kept going over there, there was something about it that I really liked. There was something I really admired about the kid, you know..everyone in the school hated him because he was different and I was like, “Wow, at least people notice him”. I mean, everyone pretty much hated me but I was pretty much invisible at the same point. No one would look at me or anything, I was just..there. And I started listening to the music all of the time, he played the Dead Boys, the Clash, and the Pistols..stuff like that. And I just thought that this was the shit. And I stopped hanging out with those other kids. I went to Milwaukee with him and I went to this new wave salon, and I had long hair at the time and I cut it into a Mohawk, and there was dye in it, my friend stuck a safety pin in my ear, and I went to school the next day and boy..everyone freaked! And I thought, “Wow. This is cool.” (Laughter) So that was pretty much the start of it.
MIKE DEAN: I’m from all over man, I grew up in Nebraska and I was a teenager when my parents got divorced. I moved with my mom to Connecticut and then Charlotte North Carolina where I met a few people who were into that nascent Southern California hardcore scene as it was being born. Circle Jerks, Black Flag, Adolescents, Agent Orange, things like that. I ended up traveling with them to see shows in D.C…at that point we became where of all of the Washington D.C. bands. We met some people from Raleigh who liked to go to these shows a lot, so..just met some like minded people. We made some shitty attempts at being in a band back in Charlotte. I got a chance to play at some design school Halloween party in Raleigh..that was just by virtue of playing a new style of music not very well. This guy Jon McClain played the drums, and Benji Shelton, original singer for COC was involved. It was before we moved to Raleigh.
BILL MOONEY (Tannis Root): I was born in PA and moved to North Carolina just before high School, in 1981. I was the youngest of the group of kids I hung out with in Greensburg, PA and while I was in the 7th and 8th grade, most of my neighborhood friends were in the 10th grade and higher. We were all into rock music and manh had the benefits of older siblings with record collections but it was very much like Dazed and Confused: High School kids smoking dope, fucking in vans, partying in the woods, listening to Skynnyrd, Molly Hatchett, Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush. My best friends across the street had an older sister who liked Alice Cooper and had a boa constrictor and grew pot in her bedroom and another sister that dressed like she was in Little House On The Prairie, played the Harp, and I believe hooked up with Art Garfunkel. I liked Kiss, Ted Nugent and Cheap Trick, all of which were frowned upon by the older kids because Southern Rock, The Eagles, Jackson Browne - that was the scene with the older kids.
I remember going to see Star Wars and then going to the grocery store in the same shopping center, where the 25-cent gumball machine showcased a cigarette lighter and a plastic necklace that was a pistol with a Sex Pistols sticker on it. That was my first awareness of Punk. Maybe a year later, a TV show called PM Magazine had a feature on DEVO and then a nightclub, called Hardy's, which was just down the street from my neighborhood, had The Plasmatics play a show, which caused a stir. This was an hour outside Pittsburgh, so it is bizarre that they were playing there but it was a big deal in the town of Greensburg PA. So that was my intro to Punk and New Wave and it seemed both foreign and adult - it didn't really grab me. Shortly after moving to Cary, NC a neighborhood friend bought The Ramones LP and I bought the Rolling Stone with The Sex Pistols on the cover, at a yard sale. We would listen to the record and read that magazine repeatedly and we thought they were both hilarious. Johnny Rotten tells Rolling Stone that as a kid, he convinced his classmates that black people had hair on the roof of their mouths and that he had "piles" so bad that he had to cut them off with a razor. Both made punk rock seem funnier and more juvy. We thought the Ramones were hilarious the first time we played that record.
RICHARD BUTNER: I was born in Winston-Salem (two hours west of Raleigh) and lived there until coming to Raleigh in 1981 to go to NC State. My family didn't have a lot of money so I didn't have a stereo or very many records. I remember reading one of the first Time or Newsweek articles about punk (so, I must've been 12 or maybe 13) and thinking it sounded really dumb, because of course the article just concentrated on safety-pin fashion and not on the music or the ideas. The thing that really got me into punk was Devo. I loved them from the first moment I saw them. And they were very much associated with all things punk and new wave, at least in Winston-Salem if not in the big city. So, I quickly changed my mind about punk, too. The hardcore scene didn't really exist until a year later, though. Summer of '82 (which I spent back in Winston-Salem) was when bands formed, folks moved up from Charlotte, all the kids who had discovered Minor Threat and Black Flag got to know each other, and the hardcore scene coalesced.
SCOTT WILLIAMS (SECOND COMING, DAYS OF..,GARBAGEMAN,DOUBLE NEGATIVE): I had a pretty normal upbringing with a middle class family…Gastonia, North Carolina. My oldest brother moved out when I was ten. I was involved with skate boarding and was a product of the seventies. When I was thirteen, my parents let me stay up one night and I remember watching Devo on the show. I heard about new wave and punk rock but it was only in pictures, and that didn’t relay the message. Bands like Devo were radically different then all of the bands that I knew about, your Foghats and your Led Zeppelins. I never liked that stuff . And when I saw Devo it was like whoa! A week later I got a Ramones record. And I thought that it was really cool, but it still didn’t hit me. And I remember my parents saying, “you better not bring the Sex Pistols record home: so right then and there I knew I had to have it. So I went out and bought it and put it on and when “Holidays In The Sun” came on I was listening to eat on head phones and a rush went through my body. I had never heard anything like that, It blew me away. When I was sixteen I was able to drive so I went to Charlotte and started to see bands there at a place called the Milestone. The first band I really saw was 999 in 1980, and that was just insane. Like a lightbulb going off. Everything about that I can still remember. The first hardcore band that I saw was at the end of 1980 and that was the Subverts from Chicago. They were great.
Mark from No Rock Stars went to California to visit his family and came back with a bunch of records. The Black Flag seven inch and UXA. We were blown away by that stuff. And we began to see pictures in magazines of kids doing the Huntington Beach Strut. Shows in Charlotte were actually real violent. There wasn’t a circle pit or anything. Around the time of Black Flag playing in Charlotte, we met Lee Johnson, Eric Eycke and Debbie Shamblee. Maybe JD Holder. They came down and they were from North Carolina and they were..they looked hardcore. Eric Eycke, he had a shaved head, no shirt,,you know jeans..maybe a chain around his belt. I had never seen anyone look like that. I was like..holy fuck! It was weird, you know what I mean? And he was really kind of a snob to us. The Black Flag show was extremely violent, it was like people fighting in front of the band. I met Lee Johnson and started to write to her. She had started her magazine Southern Lifestyle so I wrote a Charlotte scene report for it.
JON MCCLAIN: no rock stars was playing the first night i went to the milestone. i was a mazed. i hadn't heard any punk music at that time. so it literally blew my mind. it was around '81/82. i was fresh out of high school. i had a scholarship to one college for music, from my brother's coattails again, and one for theater. but i really wanted to be in a band sooooo badly. i made a deal with my parents that if i could get ona record within a year i would go on to pursue that and if not, then enter dr mcclain! hahahaha. jonathan lee mcclain, it's an excellent name for a doctor. right? so i think no rock starts was my first punk band. we were sort of the house band at the milestone. but i joined the band as it started to fall apart. one of the bad things about being the jonny come lately. i hear it now when i listen to leadfoot or when picasso trigger played without me. the whole essence of the music changes. maybe it was just time for a change to everyone but me. but nrs didn't last as long as i wish it had. good players, charismatic singer, but baby sitting mark was a full time job! he was charlotte's original punk boy! ever had a bottle of nitrous oxide shoved under your nose while you were driving? hahahah i have. and even worse was when HE was driving!!! then i was in "the screaming shits" with benjy and a guy named rowdy remington. he was a fucking good guitar player and benjy rocks as a front man. i don't think we ever had a bassist. that was probably our problem. that band brought me to raleigh for the first time.
MIKE DEAN: Benji convinced me to move here after him and McClain moved down here. Pretty much straight away..he hooked himself up with a job straight away. And at some point my Mom moved to Raleigh, so I kind of had a place to crash for a little while. Shortly after that she moved to Florida so it kind of gave me a good base of operations for a few months.
ERROL ENGELBRECHT: It took a few months to find out what was going on down here. The very first night I moved here I just turned eighteen, and the drinking age was still eighteen down here and the Romantics were playing at the Pier. I thought, what the hell I’ll go down there. I wanted to see if there was anything interesting going on down here. And I remember that there was a really long line, I just walked by and everyone was like (makes face of shock) disbelief. Like, “Wow! That is a real punk rocker!” I went into the show and I think I just scared the hell out of everybody. But apparently Ricky Hicks was there and his story that he told me was that he saw me there and he wanted to talk to me, but he was afraid that I was going to spit on him, so he didn’t.
DANNY HOOLEY (UGLY AMERICANS): I was born July 15, 1962 to unknown (and probably, unmarried) parents in Yonkers, New York. Three months later, I was adopted by Stuart and Virginia Hooley of New Rochelle, who already had an adopted daughter, Kathy.
We moved to Durham in 1967, when I was 5, so that my father could work for the corporate office of Liggett and Myers Tobacco as a payroll tax supervisor. I was an artistic kid, and was fascinated by music from an early age. I went from teen idols of the day (Bobby Sherman, for instance) to loving The Beatles at around age 8. The Record Bar at Northgate Mall had a section of 45s that were archival -- there was a long row of Beatles singles going back to stuff like "Twist and Shout," and I got `em all.
I listened to the radio constantly (WDNC AM top 40, and later, WQDR FM album rock). I first picked up a guitar at age 11, inspired by my heroes Mick Ronson and Ritchie Blackmore. By that time, I was reading Circus magazine avidly, and I loved glitter rock -- Bowie, Alice Cooper, NY Dolls, even Kiss. I would shoplift at Arlan's department store, price-switch at K-Mart, anything, just to get the albums and 8-tracks I wanted.
I had to leave school in the eighth grade, when I was 13, because I had kidney disease, and I went on homebound teaching (a teacher would show up twice a week with assignments from Chewning Jr, High, and later, Northern High School). This have me a lot of free time to pursue music as a passion. I was reading Creem, Rock Scene, Rolling Stone, Crawdaddy and Hit Parader. Through Creem, Hit Parader and Rock Scene, particularly, I discovered punk rock in 1976. The moment I saw a Creem magazine photo of spiky-haired Paul Simonon wearing a graffiti-covered shirt and playing a bass with the notes painted on the fretboard, that was it. I went and got my long hair cut off immediately. I also started listening to Ken Friedman's late-night punk show on WXYC.
We moved to Rockland County, NY in 1979, when I was 17. We lived there four years. During this time I went to NYC to see shows on many occasions. I saw my all-time favorite band, The Clash, play four times, including one of the legendary Bond's International shows.
“SIMON” BOB MCILWEE (UGLY AMERICANS, COC): I grew up in San Diego. As a teenager I moved to Wisconsin and then North Carolina. I was going through the usual teenage rebellious behavior. I blamed all of my problems on my parents; the government; jocks, etc. This was the late 70’s so I was listening to the first wave of punk; Ramones, Sex Pistols, etc. My first show was in ’81 I think. It was Black Flag and Saccharine Trust at the Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill. I was totally blown away. I had never seen anything like this. The energy was addictive.
SAM MAUNEY (SECOND COMING, DAYS OF..,GARBAGEMAN, PICASSO TRIGGER): I was born in Atlanta, GA. After my parents finished grad school in 1970 we moved to Pittsburgh, PA. We lived there up until the Fall of 1979. From there we moved to Raleigh. From a very young age I spent most of my time skateboarding and riding bmx. I had been a long time subscriber of Skateboarder magazine. Eventually, Skateboarder was repackaged as Action Now. Compared to Skateboarder it sucked but it did have a lot more music in it. That was where I first heard of the names and saw pictures of bands like Black Flag, Circle Jerks, and other LA punk bands. At the time I had no way of acquiring the records so they just remained a curiosity. The only record store I knew of was the Record Bar in Crabtree Valley Mall. Punk rock records were non-existent there for a long time.
Eventually I was able to buy the Sex Pistols, Ramones ‘Road to Ruin, Dead Kennedy’s ‘In God We Trust, Inc’, and the Black Flag single ‘Six Pack’. I played that Black Flag single over and over again. The ‘Six
Pack’ artwork had a big impact on me as did a lot of the Pettibon artwork at that time. Simple and disturbing.
I didn’t have any friends at the time that were into punk rock so I was pretty much on my own in the search for more. Eventually I became aware of the wonderful world of mail order. I ordered every catalog possible and wrote to every record label I came across. Sometime in 1982 I found out about School Kids records. I would get my mom to drop me off at the NCSU library under the pretense of doing research work for school. I would then head on over to School Kids. I don’t remember what records I bought but I do remember buying copies of the Southern Lifestyle zine and a Xerox photo book that had pictures of bands and local punk rock folks. I lived way out in North Raleigh and too young to drive so seeing all the pictures and show reviews really blew me away. I really wanted to get involved but really had no idea how to go about it.
ETHAN SMITH: Before COC and No Labels started up, there was another older scene and they would have parties on Turner Street, where I lived. We finally got evicted from Turner Street by A.R. Perry, that was our landlord, and it was really funny because they were getting annoyed at these huge parties, and the previous Turner Street crowd, people like Eric, they had a party there, and Rick Cardner, Vic, and Sheldon Terry had stolen these huge cement lions from the Velvet Cloak over there. You know, they sit by the doors? They pulled up in front of there, and Rick distracted the doorman by talking about the free apples, which we always stole from them. And in the meantime, Shelton and maybe Eric lifted up the cement lion and threw it in the trunk of their car and then Rick said, “Oh, have a nice day!” and they all drove off with it. When they had the party, the final party at the previous incarnation of the house, there was a whole gaggle of hippies upstairs that I hung out with and smoked pot with, and right below them were the first generation of punk rockers. It was really funny. I’d be upstairs with those guys listening to Hawkwind or Traffic and we were greeted constantly by Shelton Terry banging on the door downstairs for “us fucking hippies to shut up” with an axe in his hand. And then in the meantime, I met Rick Cardner who lived downstairs, and he’d play me stuff like Public Image’s first record, and stuff like that. But they had this huge final party with like three hundred people, bands playing in the street; they made bonfires in the middle of the road. They spray painted dead figure outlines in the road. They just abused it, there was like melting asphalt in the road. And inside of the house-they had been evicted, by the way, inside of the house they had a five-foot bonfire going. People were picking up the three hundred pound cement lions and getting three or four people to heave them entirely though walls. They busted out every single fucking wall in that place.
Then, the funny thing was…after this, Eric Eycke, whose name hadn’t been on the lease previously, came up and he and J.D. got a lease from the “new” Turner Street, three or four months later. And the place had cheap wood paneling covering all of the walls that had been disemboweled. They had come up as these good upright citizens and re-rented the place and we proceeded to take the second generation there, and we’d have three or four hundred people there with bands playing again.
J.D. HOLDER (COLCOR) (writing in a early issue of Lee Johnson’s Southern Lifestyle fanzine) : 14-A Turner Street was a mere gleam in my eye eighteen months ago. Raleigh at that time was a void. Hardcoreially speaking, that is. 14-A was known to me by past association with the infamous Blind Boys, the happenings that went down there were enough to fill a book-but I’ll leave that to someone who cares. Midsummer of 1982, Eric and myself are looking for a band house capable of holding the walls in on max practice sessions as well as the occasional party. Turner Street was the desired location all along but the landlord complications denied us access to the closed property. After having no luck elsewhere in our search, providence smiled and I came face to face with A.R. Perry. Mucho mucho of the silver tongue convinced the dimwit that I was a responsible tenant. “Being from a good family, I can tell.”
MIKE DEAN: I was here in the fall of 1982. I might be wrong..I might be off a few months. I was back and forth for a few months between Raleigh and Charlotte. I met Reed and Woody through Eric Eycke. I met him pretty early on because he would come down to see the Bad Brains and DOA, things like that at the Milestone club in Charlotte, a horrible shithole.
JON MCCLAIN: Benji and mike dean convinced me that Raleigh was the place to be. there were also other factors. The Torres brothers are way up there. as is Davis Chamblee. Well Davis is how i actually met the Torres’s?! Davis used to play for a band call crucial truth. they opened for the bad brains in charlotte. the show got cancelled. me, keko, jose, and ivan were all out front talking about the bands and hating that the show was cancelled and we started talking about crucial truth and in concert, we all said davis at the same time. man he was a dynamo on bass. he'd be chugging along with a good solid rhythm. for me, a drummer, to be fixated on a bassist says a lot! if i could get him, he'd be the bass player in my all star band!
Back then we were all like family. we'd travel from charlotte to ral, dc, atlanta to see bands. so charlotte, raleigh, threre was a little "scene" rivalry, but we all supported each other. my plan was to move to ral for a couple of years, then to dc, and ultimately to nyc. but i loved it here and while i did eventually leave, i always came back. but i moved here to play in a band with davis. and i did. missionary. davis, jd holder and i. it was pretty interesting. if you've ever seen the movie quadrophenia, that's what raleigh reminded me of when i first moved here. it was the punks vs the jocks insted of the rockers. the bars really weren't inot what we did so besides sadlacks we had to go to the bali hai. apartment clubhouses like pickwick village, and then there was TURNER ST! 14 and 16. i lived at 14, 16, and 18. but 14 was when i first moved here. bands would play in the living room. there wasn't any furniture to speak of so it was pretty easy. but that was alive and kicking before i got here. stareted by vic fool, eric eyke, and guys like that. again, before my time so don't anyone bum on me if i forgot anyone or if i get some of the people wrong. but at 16 we'd have huge parties in the back yard. bands would come and play all day. the reelo, now handy hugo's provided a good source for beer. hahahaha. Eventually bars started to open and punk got legit. pc goodtimes/the brewery, and later the fallout shelter became the places to play.
MIKE DEAN: Things kind of clicked when I played with Woody because we had the same frame of references. He was really into a lot of seventies hard rock and metal that was coming out at the time, so it was a better frame of reference then some of these people who were coming out who had no musical foundation or who were more influenced by early punk which didn’t really do much for me.
SCOTT WILLIAMS: On my seventeeth birthday there was a show in Raleigh. It was Double O, Faith and some local band. Faith didn’t make it, and Colcor played as well as the Accused. They later became COC. Jeff Haney, John McClain and me rode up to Raleigh. I got there, Double O was there, and the funny thing was we drove into Raleigh through Western Blvd and I knew right then that this was exactly where I wanted to live. We got there, and I met Reed and Wayne and Woody and Mike Carter. It was weird to meet all of these kids who knew more about stuff then the handful of kids I knew back where I lived. There was a bunch of them and I thought that it was really happening. So I ended up spending the night just hanging out with all of these kids and the next day I ended up taking a bus back to Gastonia, one of many fun trips I would make back and forth to Raleigh. And I knew that that is where I wanted to be.
TONEY WEATHERMAN: Mike’s father was gone early and his mother lived in Tampa and didn’t have much contact with her and so of course Karen just…the mother instinct took over, she was going to look after Mike no matter what. And so we did what we could. But she looked after everyone that came through town, you know if they needed a shirt or whatever. They were all like Woody, really young and sort of out on tour in defiance of their family’s wishes. We used to buy people things to eat, there would be these shows with five bands and some of them wouldn’t have enough money to buy food. I think it was very enjoyable for us to do that too. It wasn’t like we were sacrificing. Whenever you help anybody it makes you feel good.
SCOTT WILLIAMS: When I saw COC it was when Benji was singing and I don’t care what anybody says, Benji had timing, he had the voice and the snotiness…Benji..these people weren’t trying to win any popularity contests. I don’t know if people would understand that now but if you were a hardcore punk rocker, it really was a “fuck you” kind of thing. It was the uncoolest thing that you could possibly do. It really was. Rednecks and everybody were coming down on you..you were just asking for it.
BRIAN WALSBY: Washington D.C. was five hours north of Raleigh, and was clearly the closest big scene so it made sense that the Raleigh kids would go. Reactions were mixed. Some of the results made on the upcoming “No Core” tape, courtesy of assorted Colcor, No Labels and Corrosion Of Conformity songs.
RICKY HICKS (1983) (NO LABELS, FVK, FINGER) (explaining things in a old fanzine interview): On Raleigh and D.C.: Because of Raleigh’s small size, a relatively small scene and narrow minded club owners, very few national bands make it to the area. No Labels and others have relied on D.C. as a place to go and see shows. They have some of the best bands anywhere. This is important because the song “hardcore” on the North Carolina cassette compilation No Core has seemed to cause a lot of tension between NC and DC. It is unnecessary and misfortunate. We would like to explain that we personally think DC as a whole has a great scene with good attitudes and good people, but within any scene because of its size, one is going to find problems. We cite DC in the song because we are familiar with the place. Its intention is not to breed ill feelings, but to serve as constructive criticism from an outside view stressing the distinction between territorialism and localism, and the stupidity of the hypocrisies people commit just to be “accepted” in the “scene”.
ETHAN SMITH: We’d go to shows, & I never looked any different from how I look now. Jeans, a t-shirt and a flannel shirt or whatever. I never had a shaved head. We’d go up there and they seemed to me like they were..pretty dumb. I mean, it just seemed like these people mistook me for a redneck or something not punk rock, and very often you’d find things like when people were dancing, they’d go out of their way to intentionally run a shoulder into you or that kind of crap like that. The funniest story is when we went up there to see the U.K. Subs, and Lee had kind of a look going on, and then Errol, who had appeared in high school was very punk rock looking, very nice guy though. Leather and studs, the Discharge look. The rest of us didn’t look punk rock, and it was the funniest thing when people would go up to Errol and ask him where he was from and being pretty accepting. & then Errol would say, “Oh, these are my friends” and those guys would be like..it didn’t seem like they didn’t feel that there was any common ground for relations. Anyways, a lot of those got transferred into the anti D.C. thing. (laughter) I mean, there came a point when Reed and Wayne and Woody and everyone, a cotangent of people started to shave their heads which was kind of more making fun of it more then anything else. And when they arrived in D.C. after that point there were no communication problems. But when they had hair, it was…kind of a problem. (Laughter) I liked a lot of the D.C. bands and I met some of those people and they are really nice. So it was nothing personal.
Wayne Taylor: We looked like redneck hicks from the south.I looked like Prince Valiant. It was like snobbery. We weren’t dressed in chains or were bald, we didn’t know any of that. I didn’t care. What was cool to me about punk rock was you didn’t have to give a fuck about what other people thought about you. But there were certain people up there and I guess Reed was pissed off. People up there when they were slam dancing would target you. And we were not from some rich family...it wasn’t everybody but you know...Minor Threat...white middle class people. There was some bullying and we were goofballs.
MIKE DEAN: Even at the time, it was clear that it was a good gimmick. Confrontation, there is no better gimmick then to single out something to criticize. There is always going to be a few “cool” kids like that, snobby to outsiders. So I think that the bands on the No Core tape just took that ball and ran with it pretty far. And I think that a lot of people from New York and Philly had met the same kids too, so they applauded. They could relate to our denouncement.
BRIAN WALSBY: And lets not forget the Bad Brains, who had re-located down here for a little bit. Everyone was having their minds blown by the music. Clearly they were as influential down south as they were in Washington D.C. and their legendary contradicting behavior also traveled with them.
ETHAN SMITH: The best Bad Brains story is all of the stories. Any contact with them was fucking ridiculous. I went out to where they lived in Wendell. A joint was being passed around to one of the Johnson sisters and then it was handed to one of the Bad Brains people. I can’t remember if it was H.R. or Gary or Doctor Know or whoever. They refused to smoke pot after the female..uh..smoked some. This was due to-as they put it, “their religious beliefs”. We couldn’t believe it. It was like, “fine. more for me.” (Laughter) The Bad Brains would play somewhere, and something would always happen. The redneck owner chased H.R. out of the Big Bad Wolf when they played there with a baseball bat. There were words exchanged like “Redneck” and “Nigger”, blah blah blah. Then fifteen minutes later, H.R. ran through again, still being chased by the redneck owner. It was very funny. I saw the Bad Brains like two dozen times before that ROIR tape came out & they were probably the greatest band in the world. They were incredible to see and it was always kind of a dilemma going to see them because I disliked their personalities so much. I thought their shows were great but the “jah” crap I always thought was a put on.
ERROL ENGELBRECHT: I personally never had any dealings with the Bad Brains. Being a man I guess made it easier but if you were a woman though-apparently from what I had heard people had problems with them because they didn’t seem to care for females too much. I just liked to see them play and didn’t really get too much into the politics involving their band, didn’t want to sit there and start arguing with them.
BRIAN WALSBY: All of a sudden, there was a scene in Raleigh. There were some bands, so things needed to be documented. Released in the fall of 1982,The No Core cassette compilation featured No Rock Stars from Charlotte and Colcor, No Labels & Corrosion Of Conformity from Raleigh and it should be noted as the first hardcore/punk compilation in the state.
ETHAN SMITH: J.D. Holder was the main one who organized it (the No Core tape), & then Reed had a very fair amount of input. No Rock Stars were on it; they were people that Mike Dean and Benji had known. Oh, this is a great story: Eric & J.D. had a skate ramp in their front yard. On the inside of the tape it shows a picture of Eric sitting there. Eric and J.D. started to really hate each other a lot but it started when Eric accidentally hung J.D. in J.D.’s picture. (laughter) Eric was taking that picture and it was like, “Man, you’re doing a really good job! That’s really life-like!” and he walked up to him and looked at him and saw that the chair had accidentally slipped out from beneath him. The noose had tightened and his face started to turn blue and there was froth coming from his mouth, he nearly suffocated. He was intensely pissed off at Eric for a really long time. J.D. had nerve damage in his face for a few months after that.
Wayne Taylor: Jd .it was weird to me cause he drove a BMW. He was clean cut and yet he was this guy who was all into punk rock.
Ethan Smith: I actually burned the Southern Flag on the No Core tape.
Wayne Taylor: It just makes me laugh looking back. Certain people thought that they were going to make money from it. A certain singer of COC at the time from Charlotte gave JD shit because he would go up to DC and sell the No Core tape, like he was going to pocket a hundred dollars. It was all done on four track.
SAM MAUNEY: Eventually I got my hands on the No Core tape. I thought all the bands and songs were great. Still do. I eventually called Reed Mullin out of the blue from a number that I found in Southern Lifestyle. He was very nice from the beginning. I would eventually call/pester him on a
regular basis to find out what was going on. A couple of times he drove out to North Raleigh and met me at the Kerr Drugs at Stonehenge Shopping center. I remember asking him a million questions about
different bands, etc. We met a couple of other times at the shopping center where he would give me mix tapes. Later on I would sell COC and “Why are We Here” t-shirts at Millbrook High School. He would meet me at the shopping center to deliver more shirts and to get the money from the sold ones. Never asked for a cut from sales, I was just very happy to somehow be involved. I will always be grateful to Reed for going through the trouble of driving out to North Raleigh hang out with me.
KAREN WEATHERMAN: I will tell you something about my son putting me in my place. We are very liberal and we don’t think that anybody is better than us or that we are better than anybody. But I came home one afternoon and Woody was about sixteen I guess, and Errol was outside and there were about six or seven other guys out there too. And Errol had safety pins all of the way up his ear. And me being the jeweler, it was a little grim to me you know. And Woody came in the house and I said, “Woody. I don’t know about that guy.” And Woody said, “Mom. I like him. You always said don’t pre-judge people.” And I felt about this big. He didn’t put me in my place but he did teach me a lesson. We picked up Errol once at Halloween and he said it was one of the only times that he felt comfortable, because everybody else was dressed up.
BILL MOONEY: I remember hanging out with Woody and going back to his parent’s house and Woody’s father was like, “Woody I bought you this amp today. I had to haggle on the price some but he came around” and Woody was like “okay..thanks.”. It was a Sunn cabinet. And Woody’s dad was asking if Woody wouldn’t mind trying it out. He didn’t know if the amp would be okay. And Woody plugged his guitar into it and cranked it up as loud as it would go and it was like RRROOOOAAAARRR!!
Then Woody said “It sounds fine” and we went upstairs to listen to some records and I thought that it must be really hard to rebel against parents that are so nice.
SCOTT WILLIAMS: I think Reed was fifteen and he dropped out of school. And for someone like that to drop out of school and to have a Mohawk and playing in these bands, his parents were pretty fucking liberal . He was allowed to do it and sit back..his parents encouraged him. The bands were allowed to practice in the upstairs office of the Mullins business. It was a soundproof room. And I think Reed being really inspired by this music and totally identifying with it, and having access to drums, he excelled at it. He became a really good drummer, and the first time I had seen him play I don’t think he had a kick drum pedal on the kit.
MIKE DEAN: We were a hardcore band that was challenging the boundaries of it and challenging the little subculture with bits of unfashionable things like Ted Nugent. We were really inspired by Black Flag, and by Void, a band from D.C, that was really underrated. They were on all the Dischord compilations, and they had a split album with Faith way back in 1983 or so. They were this intense...metal-meets-really-fast-hardcore with real psychotically strange arty twists. Very demented. They influenced us a lot.
GRADY ORMOND (UNICEF): No Labels were my favorite NC hardcore band. I liked their music. They didn't seem to care about fitting into the tough guy punk rock stereotype. Very much the opposite of the jock-like "Boston Crew" thing that I was used to up north. Wayne was quirky and fun. Ricky was a great guy. I was very disappointed when they broke up.
SCOTT WILLIAMS: No Labels were my favorite band. They were great everytime. I thought they were really cool. As much as I liked COC, there was something special about No Labels. They were a little bit different. No Labels started out as pretty much a hardcore band but if you listened to the songs off of the “Jane Doe” demo compared to the “No Core” demo, the songwriting ability had changed and developed.
Woody and Reed of COC at the Cathay De Grande in Hollywood, summer of 1984. Photo by Andy Nystrom.