As tragic as his story ended, sudden death was perhaps the only way the germ's message meant anything.
Darby Crash had an affinity for amateur mind control. Before the two began working together as a direct result of their expulsion from University of Los Angeles High School for antisocial behavior, Crash and his then-classmate Pat Smear gained a reputation for running a mind control operation directly in line with idols L. Ron Hubbard , Benito Mussolini and Charles Manson. However, Crash was the mastermind. He was a deceitful genius who used raw intelligence to get what he wanted, intimidating subordinates into believing they were allies. It was common knowledge that Darby Crash could get anything he wanted. In theEncyclopedia of the Devil, a 2002 biography of Germs, Paul Roessler, a childhood friend of Crash's, reported that "he had this natural strength. Either he was far smarter than everyone else...or he had techniques he learned from the books he read or from the IPS." (IPS was a separate program within the University Public High School where basic Scientology concepts came together taught with other existence-oriented teachings.) "Or it just had magic," Roessler concluded.
It was this mystical mind control that led to The Germs' first concert appearance and their first experience of radio broadcasts, neither of which featured two unique official songs credited to their name. Their first real gig was in April 1977 when the band's line-up consisted of Crash (then known as Bobby Pyn) on vocals, Smear on lead guitar, Belinda Carslisle on drums and Lorna Doom on vocals. has spoken. Prosecutors to put her on a bill with local acts, the weirdos and the zeros. The concert was less musical than chaotic. Crash took the stage covered in red liquorice from head to toe. Friends of the group threw spoiled food on the stage. During a bland performance of Archie's 1969 hit "Sugar Sugar," the audience threw the eponymous condiment at the singer. The mics were more deliberately dipped in peanut butter than sung. As for his first radio gig, so much of the same raw energy: When The Germs released their first single "Forming" in 1977, Crash KROQ challenged DJ Rodney Bingenheimer non-stop for several days until he was forced to give them a spot.
The overall artistic composition of the Germs was one that flowed minimalistically into the actual music and dominated the surrounding energy. It's easy, and probably correct, to jump to the conclusion that Crash deliberately brainwashed all of the group's followers just as his peers did before his expulsion. (In an example Crash shared in an interview, he and Smearconvinced a classmatethat he was God and Smear was Jesus. Colleague nearly has a nervous breakdown.) The hyper-focused surround culture the Germs cultivated, even without the musical output that usually warrants such resonance, was iconic in many ways: their fans were affectionately dubbed "Circle One" before they even released a single. Disco; their simple blue circle emblem became the unofficial uniform of the gang's self-proclaimed supporters; and in perhaps one of the more flamboyant manifestations, Circle One members were often identified by burning circles on their bare wrists with lit cigarettes: the scar left an ominous ring that Donners dubbed "Germ Burns".
As calculated as such a transient thing appears similar to its own core when viewed from the front, much of the real substance resulted from a carefree attitude that mostly worked on the side. For example, the band's original name was Sophistifuck and the Revlon Spam Queens, but they ultimately settled on the Germs for two reasons: One was that Sophistifuck and the Revlon Spam Queens was too expensive to use. a T-shirt. Whether invented as a mask for the latter fact or actually conceived behind the scenes, the second reason was described by Pat Smear in the group's first interview as being very simplebeat(the indie punk zine that inspired the cover ofAlles Lottarot): "We make you sick."
And making people sick, they did. Germs' signature performance was not dissimilar to his stage debut. Even as a band whose only contact has long been word of mouth from a few local shows, it was common for their material to push the limits of human tolerance. Crash often left bloody entrances, claw marks on his bare chest and anger boiling in his eyes. Pat Smear's guitar sounded more like a drill pounding a hard metal surface than a set of six strings plugged into a speaker system. In the few interviews in which they appeared, both on radio and in the press, they were brazen and unfiltered, belittling their hosts and brazenly promoting a reputation as self-righteous jerks.
On oneQuestion and answer session on the screenshipment toThe Decline of Western Civilization, a 1981 documentary about the punk rock scene in Los Angeles at the time, Crash was asked by a reporter about the severe onstage injuries he sustained while performing.
"I did it on purpose at first," she said, nonchalantly reaching for something from a nearby fridge. "In order not to get bored."
The film then switches to Nicole Panter, Germs' longtime manager. "He comes out of shows with huge scrapes and claw marks all over his body, he's just pouring blood, but he always looks a lot worse than he is," he said.
When asked to report the worst injury on stage, he also explained with remarkable nonchalance that he walked down a flight of stairs straight into a broken whiskey bottle. The injury required 36 stitches. He did the show anyway.
It's a chilling vitality that outlasts its creator in even the few songs the group recorded.American soldier(which stands for "Germs Incorporated"), the band's first and only album, was released in 1979 on Slash Records. Slash was the only record company willing to take the risk of throwing themselves into an unpredictable band like the Germs: they were not only declared by author Kickboy Face to be the "most elusive band in the world", they were also proclaimedthemselves"the worst band of all time" without shame. Still, their eclectic live act exuded a potential that caught the eye of Slash founder Bob Biggs, who promptly offered them a deal, hiring punk legend Joan Jett to produce and time at Quad-Tech Studios Los Angeles bought to use them for group shots.
"I was a glorified babysitter trying to make the sessions work," Biggs told inEncyclopedia of the Devil🇧🇷 "I used to go to Joan's house and there were naked girls everywhere having sex with each other. Then I would pick Pat up at her home in West Los Angeles. We got into the studio and Joan passed out in front of the console and I had to wake her up and turn it on."
It's anecdotes like this that show how impossible Biggs' task was in the end: getting The Germs to record a full, polished work was tantamount to not only infiltrating a punk culture, but subverting one that relied on entropy the core consisted of .calculation place. Biggs' company is really fascinating to introduce. There were geniuses, yes, in LA's unrelenting punk scene(s), but that genius only had enough energy to live and die once conceived. It was a flame that was dying instead of dying. Putting it on a register would mean preserving it for many years. But putting it on the disc would also mean pushing through a rock.
As much asAmerican soldiermay seem conventionally off-putting at first: the only LP released by a gritty noise-rock band that hasn't lasted more than five years; It represents, in many ways, an incredibly clear snapshot of a target that has never stopped moving. It's not just about getting lightning in a bottle, though: it feels like it. "Communist Eyes," the album's second track, blasts through your speaker system with the kind of unrelenting blitzkrieg not far removed from Crash's totalitarian idol war. Every audible instrument is as loud as it is fast. You don't have much time to figure out what that means before it's gone.
Also on "Richie Dagger's Crime" (perhaps the closest thing to pop music to the Germs), Pat Smear's guitar sounds a lot more like a mechanized torture device, dishing out gunfire and automatic ammunition rounds, than six tunes. - rope device. Coupled with Smear's layering of chainsaw-style chords, newly added drummer Don Bolles' heavy cymbal attack delivers a palpable intensity that leaves you both desperate and too mesmerized to hit pause at exactly the same time. 🇧🇷
With every song onAmerican soldier, one constant that never changes is the voice of Darby Crash. Her dialect of choice is an ominous snarl of incomprehensible chaos, filled with a thirst for amateurish mind control and shameless in its utter and utter hopelessness for human understanding. Beyond its chaos, however, there was a much deeper meaning. "They didn't know the words because it was all like 'Warrrrrrwarrrwarr' when Darby sang it live," said John Doe, lead singer of the band X, in oneEncyclopedia of the Devil🇧🇷 "Everyone was blown away when they got the first Slash record and read the lyrics. You were great!"
Much of Darby Crash's genius receded behind his cheeky exterior; and the delivery ofAmerican soldieris a fiercely accurate portrayal of career-defining dynamics: "Richie Dagger's Crime," for example, came across as anarchic screaming and screaming over instruments that cared equally little about the listener's hearing ability, but at its thematic core was Crash's Von Bowie-inspired autobiography, the describes his life as an outsider and exults at the high-spirited persistence that kept him going against all odds. "I'm Richie Dagger / I can stamp and strut / I can stand up to all your heroes," the song begins. "I'm Richie Dagger / I'm young and skinny / The boy nobody owns."
„Building produces an insane dichotomy: either it has an excess of substance that goes undocumented, or it has an excess of documentation that lacks real substance. There is little room for a middle ground, and at either extreme the fundamental problem remains: movement can never last as long as its energy requires.
Reading between the lines of Crash's writing also took you into the darkest corners of his character. On "Lexicon Devil," the biopic's title track, Crash scoffs in white-hot fury: "Gimme, gimme this, gimme, gimme that." The line, repeated over and over, paints a poignant picture of his ruthless affinity for getting what he wanted. He didn't ask you to give it to him. I told you that you will do this. "'Lexicon Devil', perhaps the most iconic (GI) entry, reuses Crash's favorite manipulation device."forceescritor madison bloomwrote in a review of the album's reissue🇧🇷 "The song was an admission of Crash's thirst for dominance and confirmed that nothing he did was accidental."
One of the compelling factors aboutAmerican soldierIt's not the fact that it was released, although that in itself is an achievement, but the very real possibility that it never came out.American soldierIt's often thought of as the first hardcore album, but once you realize the reality of what it took to get it to shelves, you have to wonder how long each subgenre has been going without hitting the same L.A. To be recognized underground punk rock he went. popped up. that's it thenAmerican soldierwill be the firstDocumentationof hardcore punk music, rather than the first instance of it. Like the surrounding sonic culture itself, the proliferation of rock music in the late 20th century was much more about existing in the moment than pretending to exist on tape. Emerging from a series of decades in which riotous classic rock 'n' roll redefined old doctrines for purely musical reasons, this was a movement that was instead culturally at the forefront. You didn't have to make music to contribute to punk culture, you just had to be a punk. And as revolutionary as that approach was, it's precisely why we may not have as much to show for that period as actually existed.
For an era more or less characterized by a variety of movements, some mainly local, others national, all trying to draw new members out of a multifaceted new rock 'n' roll zeitgeist, this was almost a contradiction in terms Called themselves revolutions, they were not claimed by the champions themselves, but invented by journalists and viewers trying to make sense of what was inherently meaningless. This was a dark period spanning from the 1970s to the early 1990s, during which the demise of genre-defining bands like the Beatles and the Sex Pistols dug huge, impossible-to-fill holes in the musical niches they served and a Handful of them left newcomers behind. Groups to understand the rubble. Still, it wasn't the absolute intention to make sense of the rubble, not many post (insert genre here) artists aspired so much to be "the next Beatles" that it became an unintended side effect of what the context brought up. The punk culture exhibited by many of these acts was an epitome of individualism that surpassed all classifications.
Case in point: an obscure five-day festival held at a New York gallery called Artist's Space gave way to an equally obscure city-centric mini-gang scene in the 1980s."no wave"– was not called out out of sheer pride, but out of anger from its wearers: in an interview with Roy Traken the deceasedNew Yorker RockerTeenage Jesus and the Jerks frontwoman Lydia Lunch has poked fun at the question of whether her group's music could be called "new wave". "More like 'notSay hello'” he sneered.
Although developed on a completely opposite side of the United States, the germ's brazen stance was the perfect continuation of an era that was defining a dynamic: too quick to explain its own importance, but too stupid to live long after it's over was. level of incubation. Where the traditional formula for a commercially successful production is about 75% music and 25% diverse energy, germs have turned the equation on its head. In contrast, her own makeup was more like 10 percent music and 90 percent nonsense. And yet they came up with the right answer.
A feat that is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve in the internet age. As streaming services place increasingly ominous pressures on artists to package their work into consumable, web-friendly packages:even if the signature of such a structure contradicts the creator's values– the possibility of remembering without tangible documentation to show oneself becomes more of an illusion than a reality. There are several cases where artists, who may have emerged from a commercial structure, have had to quickly adapt to the latest manifestations. In one case, Gucci Mane, a rapper who rose to fame in the mid-2010s, suffered a long string of arrests in the 2010s. During his time behind bars, staying relevant was a growing concern. Tag replied with85 albums released in 2015 alone.
The dynamism is also evidenced by a recent increase in posthumous publications. While the subject has always been a subject of controversy, it has seen a noticeable surge in the last decade, with less favorable records being issued by the heirs of recent artists such as Juice Wrld, XXXTENTACION and Lil Peep. The latest in a long list of suspects istrustby Pop Smoke, the murdered New York rapper who promised remarkable potential with his sinister intonation. “While it's hard to be optimistic, there's a long history of shameless, cash-grabbing posthumous albums; And now, after a tragic few years in rap, a whole new generation of fans are being terrorized and exploited by their shows."forcesaid the critic Alphonse Pierre in aCheck recording🇧🇷 "Where should we draw the ethical line? How far are we from the days when it was common for record companies to release live holograms and pay a tech company to replicate a voice?trustIt's a grim reflection of the reality that nothing is off limits if it helps record labels rake in a few extra bucks.
However, there is a small window of opportunity for a seed-like approach (less music, more energy) to successfully build a culture outside of the studio's clutches. London hip-hop supergroup Neverland Clan, for example, rose to fame not because of an impressive discography, but because of a chaotic live performance that drew thousands of fans looking for riots. "We were a group that really brought that punk energy back into the black community," said Ryan Hawaii, co-founder of the group.said Sammy's World in an interview🇧🇷 "Like mosh pits and shit. Jump through the crowd. That kind of shit didn't happen in London, I mean rock of course, but not in hip hop. We were pioneers in making this energy famous.”
The Neverland clan would make waves fierce enough to hit the likes of Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Carti and Virgil Abloh, but as questionable as it is to defend their legacy, it can be said with enough justification that they have never existed. 🇧🇷 The most damning evidence is their lack: Clan Neverland did not record any music during its short time as a faction. It exists primarily in memory, and its effects vary depending on who you ask. That is, assuming the person you're asking remembers.
A common complaint in surrounding communities is that punk culture is dead; and much, its original essence is. The commercial climate in which groups like the Germs emerged was free from the temptation to prioritize documentary over material substance, unlike the acts they face today. Contemporary building produces a maddening dichotomy: either it has an excess of substance that goes undocumented, or it has an excess of documentation that lacks any real substance. There is little room for a middle ground, and at either extreme the fundamental problem remains: movement can never last as long as its energy requires.
With much of Darby Crash's genius smothered beneath layers of intimidating hostility, one of the clearest images of it came in a precise target set by the leader years before the seeds peaked. "Five years beyond the music itself marked a period that Darby cared about," said Don Bolles, drummer for The Germs and author ofEncyclopedia of the Devil🇧🇷 "The Chinese Communist Party had their five-year plan, Bowie was singing about it, and Darby thought if he hadn't taken over the world by then, why bother? So he had to take it after five years or shut up."
Darby Crash literally wanted to achieve a cult of personality in a span of no more than half a decade. And while this plan proves to be publicity shock to most, for someone with Crash's gift for mind control, it was completely and completely within reach. That was why, without a single official release in Los Angeles, the Germs were able to play enough shows to nurture a seething subculture, get their music to radio amid a crowded rock movement, and delight the ears of the fans of a prominent record label owner, the would lead her to record one of the most influential records in the long history of the genre. There were no businessmen in suits and ties running around behind closed doors to strike deals with A&Rs and local promoters. Instead, it was Crash bugging executives with non-stop phone calls, urging organizers to put his band on their set lists and driving people crazy enough to give him what he wanted. All because he had a plan, and it wasn't supposed to last more than five years. Yes very much.
But as fate would have it, the germs themselves would not survive that long, let alone provide Crash with a solid lever to gain dominance on planet Earth. After the release ofAmerican soldierFed up with Bolles over a growing conflict between the two, Crash fired him and recruited his close friend Rob Henley to replace him. The band broke up shortly thereafter. At this point came Crash,very much like Johnny Rotten from the Sex Pistols, tried to redeem himself with a selfish second act: in 1980 he formed the short-lived "Darby Crash Band" with Smear, Circle Jerks drummer Lucky Lehrer (who joined the day before their first live performance), and bassist David Lehrer. . Danford "Bosco". This group also disbanded in less than a year.
Crash approached Smear about doing a Germs reunion show, citing the need to "put punk in perspective" for the newcomers who appeared on stage in his absence. Swabs agreed. The Germs' final performance, with Bolles back on drums, was to a sold-out crowd at Los Angeles' Starwood nightclub, packed with kids marveling at the group's unparalleled energy. Although Crash Smear said before the show, "The only reason I'm doing this is to get enough heroin to kill me," many band members were confident that this was the start of a lasting relationship. Reconciliation. After all, Smear later said, Crash made similar threats so often that they read like macabre humor.
"We did this show so new people could see what it was like when we were around," Crash said just before the show ended. "You won't see him again."
Four days after the performance, on December 7, 1980, Crash took the money he had won at the event ($600) and overdosed on heroin. He was 22 years old. The overdose was part of a suicide pact he previously made with friend Casey "Cola" Hopkins; But in an unexpected twist, Hopkins eventually survived and discovered Crash's lifeless body beside him as he regained consciousness.
As tragic as Crash's death was, one of the most heartbreaking yet synthetic developments in his career around him came in due course. Just a day after Crash overdosed, a man named John Lennon was shot dead by a crazed fan in New York City. Not surprisingly, Crash's suicide was overshadowed by the death of a much larger cultural figure: even the local paper incorrectly reported that he died from taking too many sleeping pills.
Crash's shadow of death was oddly connected to the secret genius he often hid behind his chaos; and in keeping with this construction, there were a number of things that even his closest friends would not know until after his death, including his sexual orientation (Crash only came out as gay to a very small circle of family and friends). The most difficult question of all, however, was what else did he have to say. Burning instead of disappearing was the last statement, but what if Darby crashedhe hadmanaged to rule the world in a span of five years? Like the game he was defending, there are no points, only question marks.
The Germs were a band that took their "underground" label very seriously: not only were they underground in the sense that their respective scene functioned under that title, but they also existed, almost intentionally, purely outside the canon of American music . 🇧🇷 Music. (They didn't produce enough ephemera to be acceptable, and the few ephemera they produced were unacceptable.) In this way, they not only embodied underground culture, they personified it. Being underground means living in the submerged part of the iceberg; Think of it as the popular "deep web" diagram that your elementary school teacher might have shown you in computer class. At the top of the glacier are all the officially registered artists, whether through extensive discographies, the here and there snippets from EPs or singles that stand out as lone representatives of decades of work. On the other hand, buried beneath the water are the much larger catacombs of acts that actually have no legitimate documentation to prove they were ever real. The flatter parts may contain covers from well-known artists, but not commercially, perhaps Kanye West who didTurboGrafx 16, the amount of A$AP youth that producedGentlemen don't worry, or the many Playboi Cartis that discarded originalsAlles LottarotLeakproof designs. The water darkens as the proof of existence disappears. And by that metric, Germs has probably spent most of their careersAllthem, if Biggs hadn't intervened, at the bottom of the ocean.
American soldierGoing out was the equivalent of a fisherman pulling something from the seabed. Like most deep-sea creatures (of the few species we've ever discovered) that exist on the ocean floor, germs were best known for their bubbly qualities, hostile mannerisms, and odd nature compared to the rest of the world. What this appeal does, however, is push the important parts of its message back into the dark underbelly from which it emerged. It is very aesthetic, it becomes the anchor that holds you down.
"It was years before Crash was universally recognized as a gifted writer, but his work took a new lease of life when it was finished," Bloom wrote in the above article.American soldierRevision. "The Germs made an immediate impact on their L.A. peers, but their contributions were especially felt in the decades to come, as artists like Hole, L7, Melvins, Henry Rollins, Meat Puppets and Red Hot Chili Peppers labeled the band a major influence. 🇧🇷 🇧🇷
Though the Germs quickly sold out after reaching their peak, as such a long list of creations would suggest, their imprint far exceeded the confines of their brief life together. Smear currently plays rhythm guitar for Foo Fighters; Bolles has been in a long list of acts; and Shane West, a replacement for Crash in later reunions, played the late leader in a biopic called 2007What we do is secret.
The mystical legacy they held in punk circles, coupled with the fact that they were as influential as ever, adds another question mark to their raw history: what if the germs had gone, rather than burned away? It's a difficult image to conjure up given the band's uncompromising nature: imagine, rather than falling apart dramatically after a fully realized project, they released album after album over the next decade, to a fan base that grew so small how it fell apart. from the rest of the American music canon. Yes, existing outside the mainstream lens conformed to the sloppy gospel of germs. But as tragic as his end was, it's clear that his sudden death may have been the only way his message meant anything.
"Discs are just a medium for doing something else," Crash saidEncyclopedia of the Devil🇧🇷 🇧🇷 🇧🇷 🇧🇷 I want to die when it's over."
As it stands, we only know the one-sided reality that Crash's statement conveys - we unfortunately understand all too well how Crash seems to die when he says it's over - but what could that "something more" possibly be, what he fought for 🇧🇷 🇧🇷 maybe was? In spite ofAmerican soldierRegistering for consumers as a focused project that was a priority rather than a wait function for something bigger, both the quote and the intense, overarching nature of Crash paint a picture of a much larger mission that is terrifying in its own right. . and poignant in its incompleteness.
Everything Darby Crash could have made lies about who he was. And by the way, most of what Darby Crash found in what he idolized: L.Ron Hubbard, Benito Mussollini, Adolf Hitler... You get the point. But it wasn't so much his questionable ideologies that drew him to this crowd, but his mastery of mind control, which he so desperately wanted to one day rule the world. Hubbard pocketed millions of dollars from a self-created religion that insisted on penetrating the inner workings of the mind ("You don't get rich writing science fiction," Hubbard famously said. "If you want to get rich, start a business You a religion. ") ". 🇧🇷 Mussolini perfected the totalitarianism that would characterize some of humanity's darkest decades. Hitler used his brain control to commit the most horrific form of mass murder known to modern mankind. Darby Crash found inspiration in such feats rather than the heartbreak they naturally evoke at first. If intelligence for mind control was the price of world domination, andyoucould it do, why couldn't it?
For someone who believed so passionately in his ability to take control of the world (even five years from now) that he killed himself when he failed, the possibilities of what he might have become if that were "something different ' would have been realized far more disturbingly. as cool. Had Darby Crash not been exposed to a punk-infused landscape to channel his psychic energy, perhaps had he grown up in a different country or maybe even a different region of the United States, his canon of blankets would likely very quickly have been that of the legendary pioneer of punk rock to the mind control expert on the loose with endless dominion over a rapidly expanding sphere of influence.
In an anecdote that continues to be sharedEncyclopedia of the Devil, fellow punk rocker Rick Elerick from Los Angeles testified to Crash's troubling mental state and the effect it had on him over the long term. “He taught me to question everything, to look at reality holistically, not to accept everything and to make my own decisions. (…) He did it for everyone he came in contact with,” he began. "Sometimes Michelle Baer and I would talk about Darby when he wasn't around and Michelle would wonder out loud if she knew what we were saying about him, if he had some kind of telepathic power because his mind power was so overwhelming. 🇧🇷 🇧🇷 I once thought, 'Maybe he really knows what we're thinking.
As much as Crash's mental dominance was frighteningly benevolent at times, his narcissistic and dictatorial ambitions shone through the cracks. Alice Bag, for example, is a legendary singer from the same LA punk rock underground that gave birth to Crash. The two often had long intellectual conversations about the weight of being admired by many people. They often disagreed. While Bag believed the proper way to deal with retainers was to treat them as respected colleagues, Crash believed it was to assert oneself clearly and authoritatively as a superior. "It really bothered me that Darby liked trying to control people," she said years later. "I found it humiliating, not just for his fans but for him as well. Darby resented my treating my fans as equals. He taught me what people want from a leader."
Is thisThatDoes Crash think people are waiting for a leader? "Darby definitely wanted to make his presence known, he wanted to be the guy," said journalist Tony Montesion. "He wanted to tear down the whole structure, point the finger at a guilty nation and so he was the new captain, he was this narcissist."
Almost identical to the hardcore punk culture he represented, Darby Crash didn't need to make music to turn ordinary people into minions. Everyone felt the effects of his psychic powers, from close confidants to stunned onlookers, and the remorse he felt for any damage done was tiny enough that his mindset propelled him awfully far into the global dominance he craved .
But again, the downside to his story, which makes it more interesting, is that there was a good chance we didn't even know he existed. We only know that Crash, a man with psychic superpowers and an intensity that built a subculture from the ground up, was real because Bob Biggs was present at one of his shows. In a way, this reality is justified, because he was the leader of the quintessential underground culture: it would make sense that he also existed at the foot of the iceberg. Look at it from a different angle, however, and it becomes maddening to contemplate its history. If Darby Crash was a tragic super-powered hero who admired feared totalitarian figures, and we were lucky enough to discover his existence because a record executive took a risk, then what super villains can they live on?miZone? How many of them have world domination at the top of their wish list? and how often hasyoufrom an ordinary person to a devoted subordinate?
At the time of publication of this article, theroll hardTaking place in Miami, the festival feels like we've emerged from the darkest parts of our disease-ridden tunnel and are finally starting to see the light. The venues are reopening, and in style: In New York, Madison Square Garden opened its doors a month ago for the first time since the pandemic began: to a packed house. Among other things, spectators were removed from vaccination fans a year later,Dave Chappelle jokingly sang Radiohead's "Creep" while the Foo Fighters played their instruments in the background.Exactly one month earlier, the New York Knicks defeated the Atlanta Hawks in a first-round playoff game in front of 15,000 fans, the largest gathering in New York since the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020.
„What if Hitler, when rejected from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, didn't channel his anger at the state-controlled genocide into a guitar amp? What if, instead of doing it through a self-invented dictatorial religion, L. Ron Hubbard satisfied his lust for money with a spunky hip-hop mixtape?”
With the return of mainstream culture, bigger than ever, comes the return of the underground. And as the culture begins to take root at the tip of the iceberg, the depths of its basement deepen at the same time. Yes, there are probably super strong local musicians in your neighborhood; Yes, there is probably extensive covert mind control operation right on your block; and yes, you, and possibly all who come after you, when a record executive is not appearing on a particular show, are blithely ignorant of the presence of either entity unless you have seen their respective vitality with your own eyes.
However, unlike germs, there's still a chance you'll catch lightning there even if nobody catches it in a bottle. You can go to this show. You can hold the flyer that the guy in the baseball cap at the subway station lets you hold every time you walk past him. You can turn right on the way home and check 36th street noise.
what youcan notInstead, it means understanding the opposite of Crash's dynamic: Crash represented a punk rock pioneer destined to become a totalitarian leader. What if totalitarian leaders became punk rock stars? What if Hitler, when rejected from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, didn't channel his anger at the state-controlled genocide into a guitar amp? What if, instead of doing it through a self-invented dictatorial religion, L. Ron Hubbard satisfied his lust for money with a spunky hip-hop mixtape?
These are questions that will die unanswered in a direct line with their short-lived imitators. They're two from an infinite pantheon of what-ifs. There is no other way to give accurate answers than to have been there.
Now, however, as we return to our cultural ebb and flow, an opportunity that many seed devotees continue to yearn is in our collective hands: answering these questions before they need to be asked. And most importantly, with no risk of smiling cigarettes burning circles around our wrists, the door is more open than ever.