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Too Old Punks
by Michele Christopher
Funny how things work out; The other day CJM and I were having lunch at this cool little bar in South Philly where the bartenders basically play whatever they want, and it's usually very good Punk - old school, local and some newer (accepted) stuff... that's right, ACCEPTED. You think I'm a snob, you should meet some of these old school Punks in town! We were talking to one of the bartenders and I said to him, "you look familiar as hell..." He returned by saying that he knew who I was the first time we came in last summer but he remembered me not being very nice so he didn't say anything to me... I've always been a dick!. He said his name and it all came back to me. After a lot of conversation about old times, that CJM stayed out of for some reason, I started thinking...
CJM was the first in our crowd to spike his hair and start wearing Dead Kennedys t-shirts. This was a ballsy move in the surrounding suburbs of Philadelphia. Back then, the city was booming with Punks; South Street was covered in mohawks, green hair and random violence... the Kennel Club was still open and booking the best bands of the scene... Pontiac Grille was still Dobbs - and it ruled (if you could get in).
Not in the burbs -
Denim jackets, hair feathered and parted in the middle, mullets and cheesy 70's metal was the way... not a couple of Punks with torn bondage pants and colored hair. I jumped right in and few kids back then did the same... most of the ones that did, did it very cautiously. One kid, who became a very good friend later in life, tagged along with our group doing anything we did, trying so hard to be radical but never really pulled it off. We never took him in. He was younger (and we were fucking young, 13, 14) and was more a pest always trying to hang out and stuff. We had enough trouble trying to get drugs and alcohol back then without some 'kid' following us around.
He went on to be the first in his crowd to take the dive... the younger ones. Later on, in my twenties, I ran into him in Doylestown. We bullshitted for a while about the early days and how much CJM and I were such assholes! We ended up becoming good friends and he turned me on to his crowd. This is when I got into a lot of the indie bands I dig. The big one he got me into is GVSB, yes, thanks to him.
These guys at this bar are his boys.
So here's CJM and Tesco sitting here all toned down Punks while these dudes are still full bore. I looked at CJM and said,
"You made these dudes Punks...everyone they turned on to it, you're responsible for!"
Funny how it all comes back around...