Fuck This City
by Johnny St. Clair
i was in Baltimore, visiting the fam back around 1984, i guess. one of my cousins – 19 – would school me on all the finer things in life: when i was younger, it was baseball cards, video games, and poppin’ wheelies; a little later on, it was music, alcohol, and pussy.
me and my other cousin – his younger brother – would listen intently to these lessons before trying them out by ourselves in the neighborhood, allowing the scars of learning to happen on their own.
and i remember showing up down there around ’84 with, like, Dio or something playing in my headphones, fresh on the scene with the info about my older cousin leavin’ some chick’s panties in his pocket and his mom finding them and throwing him out of the house. might have gotten her pregnant or something.
i don't know.
but anyway, i get there, my folks leave, and there’s no adults around except him. he gives me and my other cousin a six pack of 16oz. old milwaukees and a joint, and tells us to get out of the house, go somewhere, fuck…wherever, go to the arcade down the street. just get out. his girlfriend was coming over.
goddamm, i thought, this motherfucker is my IDOL!!!
the Meatmen, the Dead Kennedys, Suicidial Tendencies, Fear. the cream of the mid ‘80s hardcore crop. i remember getting transfixed on the cover of My War from Black Flag.
“fuck that. you don’t wanna hear that one,” he replied, and tossed me a cassette. “you wanna play this one. first song. in fact, you can keep it. but look, you little motherfuckers have got to go, ok. so i’ll see you guys later.”
that tape could be the reason we smashed the video screens down at the arcade that night. or it could be the reason we spray painted “honky lips” on the side of the police cruiser. it could have even been the reason we tried to get those cheerleaders to play stinkfinger with us, until their high school boyfriends showed up and beat our asses. but i’ll tell you this, man, i’ll tell you this: it was the reason we were gettin’ our kicks before the whole shithouse went up in flames.
listen: black flag - nervous breakdown
buy: black flag records