Ugh, in case it was not clear that I was (and therefore probably still am) a terrible archivist, take as an example these two great photos of Saetia:
Saetia, clearly in the basement at ABC-NO-RIO, circa 1998
Saetia, maybe NYU?, circa 1998
I definitely did not take these. They were given to me when we were working on the Saetia full length released on Mountain. Apparently I never wrote down who took these pictures on the images themselves; I need to pull out one of my Saetia LP’s to see if there’s a credit in there.
The year? Definitely 1997 or 1998. Discogs tells me that I put out the Saetia LP in the summer of 1998, so these images were from just before then.
The picture will Billy screaming in the foreground is clearly the ABC-NO-RIO basement, a nice image capturing the conditions down there (big P.A., not much space).
The other one of Jamie, Greg, and Adam (and I believe the late first bass player Alex) I am guessing is at NYU, but that’s just a weak guess. Is that a young Mark McCoy in the background?
So much to say about Saetia, most of which I will post later. An amazing band that I was very lucky to work with.
I love skateparks. They are such a triumph, for me as their visitor and for their very existence. And there really isn’t anything more impressive than the do-it-yourself skatepark. You probably have heard of the original, Burnside Skatepark in Portland (Oregon), a skatepark that’s almost as old as my skating career. I have also been to Washington Street Skatepark in San Diego, a pretty impressive beast of DIY evil genius. But to me FDR Skatepark in Philadelphia will always be the DIY skatepark that got me into skating big, messy skater-made parks.
One funny thing about DIY parks is that they are often extremely difficult to skate. This is in part due to the fact that they are put together in a fairly unplanned, hackneyed manner. They also usually feature rather inconsistent concrete, especially when compared to the professionally-built skateparks that are now a common feature of so many towns and cities across the nation. So you kind of need to learn how to skate a park like FDR, and I don’t think that’s a mistake of the builders: part of making a DIY park is that you do so to create a space that’s not going to be overrun by every person who owns some rolling device with two-to-eight wheels attached to the bottom of it. There’s quite obviously a very strong connection between DIY skateparks and DIY punk shows: both require a bit more from those who participate. You need to be ready for a bit of a mess and little bit less safety to enjoy the DIY versions of what can now be enjoyed at manicured concrete parks and in manicured concert halls.
This “selfie” was shot at FDR pretty recently on a trip to Philadelphia visiting my pal Adam Goren. Adam has accompanied me on FDR runs going way back, and with every visit the park has expanded. Do I know how to skate FDR? Not really, and that is why I know well enough to show up relatively early in the morning, the hour for the kooks among us.
JJ Rudisill was a big part of my most recent skate renaissance. Back when I lived in South Brooklyn, I had a 24″ dirt jump/park bike and I used to ride it at Owl’s Head Skatepark. This was probably 2008 or 2009. There were these guys my age there skating the pool, really old-school and pretty stoked. And it turned out that they lived in the same neighborhood as me. Eventually I got clued to ditching the bike and getting back on my board, and JJ was a big part of that. My first new board was a Funhouse and JJ gave me a bunch of advice on where to skate and what was going on skate-wise in NYC.
This photo is from one of JJ’s “Cold Man Jam” events at Pier 62. You can see me in the back with my winter helmet liner on (if there’s a corny bit of gear that you can own for some occasion, I own it). The welcoming spirit of these events is a big reason why I got back into skating in New York City.
Obviously I didn’t take this photo, but I am not sure who did… sorry if I stole your image!
Bricks Avalon (nee Brian Cavalone) and Mike DeLorenzo tearing it up Shaolin style!
Oh boy, I am a bad archivist. I know that I can eventually track down the location and date on this photo once I locate my cache of old Mountain Monthlies, but for now this remains a mystery shot. I want to say that this show was in Staten Island. It was in some weird apartment where I was able to get this shot from the balcony.
For my taste, there are too many hands in the pockets among the in-the-front crew in this shot.
I am pretty sure that I took this picture of Ben from Econochrist in the basement of ABC-NO-RIO in the summer of 1992. I know that after this show I interviewed Econochrist for the second (and final) issue of Think Again, a fanzine that I did with Drew Gilbert. There was a lot of activism happening that summer and I remember asking the members of Econochrist if they are involved in any form of activism. Their answer? “This is it”. I have always appreciated that answer. I don’t want to get into what forms of activism are more effective than others, but there’s no doubt that playing in a band can be a form of activism.
The legend was that Ben wore this Fury Resurrection shirt for the entire tour, so you should be able to spot other photos from this tour based on this shirt.
On its ill-fated Summer 1995 tour, Half Man played with a lot of great bands. Here’s one of my favorite San Diegans, Jose Palafox, drumming for Swing Kids. A lot more to say about how awesome Jose is, but for now here’s a picture.