I can’t remember exactly when Bad Brains became my favorite band. I first heard the band around 86 I guess…so it must’ve been around 88 that I decided this was my shit. After all, it was only a matter of time before the project dwelling, skateboarding, original Indiana rapping afro punk came to bond with the greatest hardcore band of all time. Below are some of my Bad Brains memories (in no particular order). I should put them in chronological order…. If I think of more, I will add them in.
Ian Rogers purchased a Bad Brains coffee mug for me
I began screening Bad Brains t-shirts in my graphic arts class at John Adams High School. Yes, kids do smoke weed in the high school dark room while film is developing.
Skated DeMeyer ramp everyday with Mike Tatay while listening to Quickness
Purchased my first Bad Brains t-shirt while skating the Kalamazoo skate zoo. I can’t remember the name of the record store I got the shirts from, but it was pretty cool at the time.
Purchased bootleg “Pay To Cum” 7”…first time I ever heard “Stay Close To Me”
Martin Bleinkensopp had the cassette tape for Rock for Light so I finally got to hear it. Life was a bitch before the internet.
I got off the 101 freeway and was heading home down Hollywood Blvd and I saw HR. I pulled over and said, “HR, you need a ride?”. He was like “Yes Bredren!”. I gave him a ride in my caddy for around 2 or 3 miles. We talked for awhile and he invited me to an upcoming show of his in LBC. I was in the middle of a sentence and he hopped out at a red light and said “Jah! Rastafari!” and bounced.
Amise and I had a band in high school called “Dead Homiez”. The only songs we played were Bad Brains songs. “Right Brigade”, “Banned in DC”, and “FVK” were some of the songs we covered.
Took in the Bad Brains show at House of Blues Sunset with Dj Destroy and Tony Kanal. Some kid wanted to stage dive from the balcony into the crowd below but stopped after being talked out of it. That would’ve been pure disaster. HR was playing air guitar with a real guitar the entire time, but it wasn’t plugged in.
On the way back from Sasquatch, we had time to spare in the airport so we went to the food court for something to eat. I decided on fish, get in the line, and notice that I’m standing directly behind Darryl Jennifer and Dr Know. They were stoked that I came all the way from LA to see the show.
Before it came out, I asked Ian a bunch of times to ask Yauch about getting me a copy of “Build A Nation” to no avail. Silva had it in his car on the way to a skatepark one day, but couldn’t find it. I had to wait until I could get my hands on the mp3s to hear the record.
I heard that HR was playing at the now ghost Coconut Teaser. He was going on after a member of Bodycount’s band. The place was somewhat packed for the fist band, but everyone split after the band finished. I was like wtf? Time passed and HR’s band took the stage while there were 5 of us in the crowd. I pulled a bar stool up to the center of the stage and took in a pretty good show with almost nobody present. Though HR didn’t know the guys in the band it seemed, they played well and did “I and I Survive” and “Pay to Cum”, among other songs. Did I forget to mention that he came out video taping himself and had some parakeets in a cage with him?
I heard HR was playing with some latin band so I went down to the Key Club to check it out. In the bathroom I got mean mugged by what I thought were bangers, but everything was cool, so I went back up to join whoever was with me. I said, “Some Kid Frost looking dude just mad dogged me in the bathroom” and laughed it off. To my surprise, it really was Kid Frost and he comes out on the stage to do a show like 5 minutes later. Anyway, HR does his thing with a pretty tight latin reggae backing band which was cool
There is a video tape that Ian made in Toronto of HR getting arrested and taken away in a police car. I will see if I can dig it up.
Rob Mitchell had a drum circle type jam party at his house and HR showed up to play the piano and sing. Rob sent me the picture of it as well as a slip of paper with a 100 Million Dollar Promissary Note written to him from HR from a Human Rights account. I wonder if HR has funds to cover it?
Ran into HR at The Shortstop in Echo Park. Paul and I snapped a quick pic with him.
Ran into HR at The Echo in Echo Park. He was on the mic chanting at a weekly club called Dub Club
Saw HR walking down third in Koreatown
I skipped going to see Bad Brains when they came to my college town because Earl and HR weren’t in the band at the time.