Literature Corner

Literature Corner

An excerpt from:

American Hardcore: A Tribal History by Steven Blush

by Steven Blush

Feral House, 332pp. $19.95

"Bad Brains' homophobia ignited their most infamous episode in Austin, Texas in 1982 on their first national tour -- an ugly incident involving Big Boys and MDC that resulted in a nationwide grassroots boycott from which Bad Brains never truly recovered.

"Jerry Williams: 'We hooked up with MDC when we got to Austin. We stayed in their and their friends' houses. They hooked up some gigs for us, one of which was with the Big Boys. I was outside after that gig loading some equipment when HR [Paul Hudson] got overexcited; he got abdominal cramps from Bibleing out members of Big Boys. He cursed them and called Jah down on them for being 'bloodclot faggots.' The next day, in the front yard of the house where we were staying, Darryl [Jenifer] got into it with the female Skinhead roadie of MDC, Tammy, saying her 'womb was barren,' that the Bible said she wasn't supposed to shave her head. Inside, evidently other Bad Brains were inside denouncing other faggots. It just got too deep. Doc [Dr. Know aka Gary Miller] was the only one keeping his head -- he's a businessman from way back; he was actually a burger house manager in his past life. The day we left, he left an envelope with money for payment for some weed as previously arranged; that's the last I heard of it until I talked to MDC months later. When they opened the envelope, it said, 'Thanks for the herb, too bad about the money. Fire burn all bloodclot faggots! Bye-bye!' It seems that HR came in after Doc put the envelope on the dresser, took out the money, and left his personal note."

You'll have to buy the book to read Tim Kerr's extensive retelling of the tale ("We had never been around Rastafarians before -- now I know better"), and how the underground punk network got the word out on the Brains' homophobia and effectively splintered the band. Author Steven Blush will be at Sound Exchange from 4-6pm, Saturday, Nov. 3, followed by a spoken word performance that night at Emo's, 7pm.

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