Part of Apr 2011 by

AARP Cards in The Mail – It’s Biography Writing Time

I was recently at an old geezer punk show and I heard this one particular quote mutter through all the bar chatter that somewhat sums up the Mohawk maternity ward of my adolescence, “We were into what we were into and if you were into it all, all you had to do was be a part of it.” Yeah sorta, except when its a Midwestern 2am in 1983 and theres a bakers dozen of squad car lights going off like a Foot Loose dress rehearsal. Then it takes a bit more to continue on than just being, “Into it”. There are things to this day that I wont put into print from those days but braver souls are doing just that in a surprisingly orderly fashion.

My personal favorite right now is Manchild 5 by Brian Walsby. Yeah, I know, you just went “Huh” but thats okay its good practice. Brian Walsby has been one of the most prominent and important American punk rock writers/artists/cartoonists/ Et ceteraists since the early origins of the scene in the 80s. The first four of his books were an artistic blend of thoughts, visions, and soapbox but now with Manchild 5 he has chronicled the early underground music scene of Raleigh, NC which produced several important bands including Corrosion of Conformity. The first sentence of Manchild 5 reads: “This book is sort of a love letter to my past as well as a way of paying tribute to it.” Even if you were never part of the eighties punk scene this is very much an artistic archiving worth looking into.

Tesco Vee of The Meatmen was and is one of the most offensive and IMHO amusing characters that the punk rock scene ever produced. And lived. He also founded the Lansing. Michigan based Touch and Go fanzine in 1979 that ran until 1983 and ultimately became Touch and Go Records under the helmsman-ship of Corey Rusk (of The Necros) and is still operating today. The Touch and Go fanzine covered everything underground important in a Huey Lewis kind of world back then and for kids like me was the bubble of oxygen we needed. Mr. Vee, (or Robert Vermeulen as his wiki calls him) has assembled a 576 page book containing all 22 issues of the Touch and Go zine entitled: Touch and Go: The Complete Hardcore Punk Zine 79-83.  Which includes about a dozen introductory essays from many icons of punk rock and hardcore.  I could toss a lot of words name dropping and fire hosing now but Im not. Read this book – or watch the first couple minutes of this video.

Touch and Go: the First 25 Years

Touch and Go's anthology tells many a tale

Next up in part two: I, Shithead and some other people you should probably shouldnt know.




Write us your thoughts about this post. Play nice.