MARTA, GAVIN, ME and RAW POWER AT THE BEACH SAN DIEGO 1984
Life’s a beach.
In 1984 there was a big international punk show held at The Olympic Auditorium in LA that featured headliners Dead Kennedys with BGK from Holland, Riistetyt from Finland, Italy’s Raw Power and Tijuana Punks Solucion Mortal rounding out the bill. The same line up, minus BGK I believe, played in San Diego the next weekend at the Adams Ave Theater.
I was a high school kid living in San Diego at the time and would’ve been way stoked for this bill even if I hadn’t been asked earlier in the month by Chris BCT to host one of the bands during their stay in SD. Chris was a big booster of the international hardcore scene and was involved somehow in putting these shows together. I asked my mom if she’d let a band stay with us a couple nights and, if you follow my blog at all you know how cool she is now and was then, she said yes.
My friends and I went up to the LA show, and went backstage with Chris to meet Riistetyt the band I’d agreed to host. They were complete douches. They were no longer a hardcore band, they were now a glam rock band in the Finnish tradition of Hanoi Rocks . Along with their now crappy music they brought a crappy dismissive, drunky, druggy, rockstar attitude. I wasn’t going to let these guys into my mom’s world. No way, no how.
The dressing room next door was a whole other scene, even though only one of them spoke English, the guys in Raw Power were as warm and down to earth a bunch of guys as you could hope to meet. They were not only super friendly, they also played a brand of anarcho-metallic hardcore that was blisteringly manic and totally intense. These were the dudes I wanted to hang with. Hang with them I did.
On a side note: I also met Jello Biafra, the man I’d work for four years later, in the Raw Power dressing room. It’s funny to recall being a little star-struck at the time considering how well I came to know the guy in future days!
To make a long story short, my mom, my brother and I ended up hosting Raw Power for over a week! The couple of days got stretched out to over a week because after the SD show a couple of the Italians went down to Tijuana to party with Luis and Solucion Mortal, which was a big mistake because some of their papers were still in NYC with a woman who’d helped get them to the states. Even though this was pre-9/11 America, the border was still the border and a couple shaggy mediterranean looking guys, with the wrong papers, who didn’t speak English weren’t getting back into SD unless they were ready to hop the fence…which the TJ punks offered to help them do by the way.
After discussing the options, they decided to wait for the papers to be sent express from the East Coast instead of trying to get across illegally and potentially be barred from the US forever. It turned out okay, mom and the guys made tons of spaghetti, we got to know the folks at the gelato place in the neighborhood, and we went to the beach almost everyday. This photo was taken at Pacific Beach I believe.
I remember when Fabiano and Davide finally got back from Mexico to mom’s house and the company of their tanned, well-fed and rested bandmates they were rough around the edges and suffering from some gastric distress. Davide clutched his stomach and said “San Diego…very good…Tijuana…not so nice!”
My mom and I were sad to learn ten years ago that guitarist Guiseppe Codeluppi had a heart attack and died. He was a nice guy.
…oh yeah, I’m sorry to say the guy in SD who ended up hosting Riistetyt after the show was stuck with a huge bill for a bunch of international phone calls they made while he was at work. I always felt bad about that, but hey, I got first pick what can I say?
R.I.P. Guiseppe Codeluppi
(Pictured L to R: Mauro Codeluppi, Guiseppe Codeluppi, Maurizio Dodi, Marta Brandes, myself, my brother Gavin Traeger. Polaroid from my personal archives)