March 25, 2012


I decided to present these two cool pieces of ephemera together not just because they happen to have been stuck together in my archive box for the past 25 years but more importantly because they bookend a very important experience in my teenage life: the 1986 American/Canadian tour I went on with 7 SECONDS

The backstage pass sticker is from a Goldenvoice show that featured The EXPLOITED, Battalion of Saints (who ended up canceling), 7 SECONDS and Tales of Terror at Perkins Palace in Pasadena, CA, in 1984.  This show was the first time I met the guys in 7 SECONDS who my friends Martin Sprouse, Pat Weakland and I had likely gotten in touch with through some combination of doing our zine Leading Edge and by knowing Bessie Oakley and Jone Stebbins of the  Reno, NV. all-girl hardcore band The Wrecks (whose 1982 demo cassette is a total classic of the era btw) and the great zine Paranoia.

The show was a typical Goldenvoice affair of the time with a big Brit-punk headliner, a couple popular American bands known on the national scene and a lesser-known California opener. As was true for all these shows, there were tons of kids from all over the greater Los Angeles county area and from further flung places as well and everyone was packed into a big,old venue that was equipped to handle the mayhem that would almost certainly occur. 

I don’t recall any especially noteworthy craziness at this event but I do remember  something about the music and I know 7 SECONDS ruled the night. Of course when it comes to music and art its all just a matter of taste. As far as me and my friends were  concerned, the very popular mid-tempo spikey-haired British bands like The Exploited and G.B.H. who rolled through So. Cal. a couple times a year never held a candle to the urgent, stripped down, no bullsh-t American hardcore acts like 7 SECONDS.

We hung out before and after the show with the 7 SECONDS guys and really hit it off thus setting the stage for the tour I’d go on in a couple years. I think they might’ve come down to play San Diego and stay at my Mom’s house after this show. Though that could’ve been after a different show.

The postcard from Ian MacKaye was written in response to a letter I wrote him when I got home from that 86 tour. I’d met Ian once before when he and I were both staying at the Maximum RocknRoll house in S.F. in 1985. I got to know him much better when me and the band stayed at the Dischord house on tour. I was very enamored with Ian, Cynthia Connolly and the D.C. scene after spending some time there (who wouldn’t be?)  I wanted to come out for that summer for an extended visit. That’s what the postcard was about. 

I met the other D.C. Ian (Svenonius) and a lot of other cool people at the Dischord house on that tour stop too. Spiv, as he was known, was my age (young) was obviously smart, had great style (duh!) and was in a band he told me was called “Ulysses”. I’ll talk more about D.C. and the Ians in future posts.

I’ll also revisit that 7 SECONDS U.S. tour without any doubt.

Oh and by the way Ian, I’m still working on resolving that money issue, be there soon!

Postcard by Ian MacKaye. Backstage pass by Gary Tovar.

(Source: jasonotraeger)