Saturday, October 23, 2010
Here's a preamble.... Back in 1999, when I was at the Knitting Factory in NYC, I found myself in a conversation with Eremite's Michael Ehlers. He'd written reviews for Forced Exposure as a teen in the mid/late '80s, so I began quizzing him about Forced Exposure's enthusiastic coverage of Venom in its early issues. How could they have been serious? He assured me that Jimmy Johnson and co. were serious, and that many punkers back in the day were impressed by the tuneless, leathered-up Geordies, and not just FE (that's true: check the recently-issued Touch & Go compendium). He then delivered the million dollar line: You know, in hindsight, most early '80s hardcore was no less dumb than something like Venom anyway, so it's no big deal. I was about to argue the point - you know, them punkers were all about smashing the system, bringin' The Kids together and making a DIY cottage industry, destroying the music biz, etc. - when I realised he might be right.
The proof... My buddy Joe Stumble over at Last Days Of Man On Earth alerted me to this clip from 1984 by Tucson, Arizona band, Useless Pieces Of Shit (or UPS... you know, like Fed Ex). It's their "classic", "Fuck Shit Up". I assumed it was an Anarchy 6-style parody w/ Dave Markey behind the camera, though he has assured me it's for real. Friends of his had seen this band in the flesh. If I'm posting this under the impression it's the real deal and it's not, then call me a sucker. If it is the real deal, then reality truly is funnier than parody.