Punk Rock and Remember

Or, If you were really punk you’d have thrown a full bottle, part 2… I guess.

We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen. was on TV today, the Sundance Channel. It was pretty riveting stuff for me… but really a pretty weird documentary. I didn’t really, say, learn anything new about them. There was very little historical footage to be had, I guess, and it’s mainly current interviews people who were around 20 years before (the film was made, that is. We’re 2 more years on now). The real true thunder mersh for most people is on the 2 DVD set, which has many the extra hours of live stuff and the bands few videos. Ahhhh “Search” just came on… from The Punch Line… just amazing. I wore my copy of My First Bells into a thin squeechy bunch of ribbon years ago.

There’s really never been anything else quite like the Minutemen. It can be easy to forget these things. Don’t.

Second act bring the story up to 25 years…
or Happy Birthday MRR!

Yes, it’s true. On stands now. As Punk Planet has bid us goodbye, Its stepfather MaximumRockNRoll turns 25… about 10 years after the passing of MRR mainman Tim Yohannan. Haven’t read it yet, but it looks, well, mainly like another issue of MRR… Very nice cover by Aaron Cometbus. He has a unique design sense that confuses me, but I like it.

I had a fun couple of years as a shitworker and zine reviewer at MRR. This was 1994-1995. I wrote about a hundred reviews, I guess. They made a bit more of an impression than I would have thought possible… you know, death threats… that sort of thing. One funny thing was that I couldn’t use my real name… exactly. Reviews were (and are) credited by initials, and they already had an MA. So, I said, just use my middle names shortened, and I’ll be Billy Joe Arsenault (You will know why this would be amusing to me if you do)… so I was BA in the review credit. There was a taboo at Maximum… there shall be no mention of John Crawford. This was a little hard to avoid, as the creator of Baboon Dooley’s smear of the various bay area punk feuds – real and imagined – in his comic strip “Queen of the Scene” appeared in an awful lot of zines, and I seemed to get all of them to review. So I started putting things like “and another pointless (worthless, puerile, etc.) episode of Queen of the Scene”, in the descriptions. These, then, made their way into Crawford’s strips and those relentless packages of material that he sent to every damn zine on the planet. “pointless” – Billy Arse, MRR The final compliment was, of course, the appearance of the Tim Yo worshipping minion Billy Arse character in the Queen of the Scene strip itself. I guess there are worse kinds of fame.

I really miss Tim. I used to drive him nuts with requests to start a folk column in the zine… “but, no, there are so many interesting parallels, Tim, don’t you see it? The whole subculture/DIY/Make Your own Scene thing, man, I think it could be cool”. He didn’t buy it.

In other exciting MRR news, I found out recently from the lovely and talented Paul Curran that MRR Radio is alive and kicking. You can even subscribe to it through iTunes (paste this link into the “Subscribe to Podcast…” window under “Advanced” in yr iTunes). Another vital punk podcast is the one for the long-running PDX radio show Life During Wartime. I have been unable to figure out how to subscribe to this, but they do have downloadable MP3s of the show.

Party with me Punker

–Marc Arsenault

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