So…Imagine yourself as an adolescent in 1983. C’mon…indulge me here.
It’s 1983 and your parents are in their mid-to-late-thirties. Maybe even their early thirties or forties. Regardless of exactly how old they are, they lived through the 1970′s and may even remember the heady days of the late 60′s. They are boomers through and through. And with their boomer status they feel they have seen everything, done everything and thought of everything.
You wanna listen to black music? That’s cool…you can borrow their Jazz LPs or Donna Summer LPs. Overthrow the state? How nice…just like Patty Hearst! You will grow out of it. Sex? They remember when Deep Throat played at hip mainstream theatres. Drugs? Do I even need to address this one?
They have a lock on popular culture. Prince is recording his Paisley stuff. When did Wonder Years with Fred Savage come out? It’s all a blur….bleargghhhhh!
SO what was the one thing that could really piss off your parents and the dominant ideology of the day? How about this….
Yes, Casey Royer from the back of the first Adolescents LP. This was everything your parents feared in one simple photo. Check it out! The guy is pockmarked and drug addled looking. His hair is vaguely aryan which is reinforced by his swastika spray-painted on his sweatshirt. He looks nihilistic and ready to kick your ass.
At this point boomer-mom (or dad) would undoubtedly start to retch. “Ughhh…everything we worked for…all for this?” Then they would look at the song titles…
“I Hate Children!!! Get this shit out of my house.”
At which point you get to deliver the much cherished, uber-rare “boomer-slam”.
You say, “I thought your generation was all about freedom of expression but you are dictating what I can or can’t listen to! You people are hypocrites!”
You bolt out the door. Adolescents records in hand and you invariably end up at one of your buddies’ houses where you hang out in the basement smoking weed, listening to Kids of The Black Hole and ripping on the Me Generation. Maybe later in the night you go destroy private property or something…who knows? The world’s an oyster.
And what does this have to do with today’s post? Well Casey Royer went on to form DI. the seminal Orange County band. He moved up from behind the drum set and became the singer which is really where he shoulda been.
DI was an amazing band in the mid-to-late-eighties but they suffered from a few things. First of all their albums were incredibly poorly packaged. No flyers or lyrics or anything. Second of all, they recycled the same songs from album to album which just screamed “lack of material”. Third they were too late. By the time they started really spreading the word the SoCal thing had waned and in its place was the dreaded posi-core. The Adolescents first album came out at the zeitgeist. The DI albums seemed retro when in reality the corpse wasn’t cold yet. Look at the other bands on this flipside cover. Notice anything?
Another element that hurt DI was the perceived reactionary element to their lyrics. Guns for instance. Was it pro-gun or anti? They weren’t telling you. And as the post-Ian Mackaye kids got increasingly politically correct, DI seemed in poor taste.
Except to me. I always loved em. I get a perverse thrill out of offending uptight people and Casey never disappointed me….except they needed to not recycle songs. The albums are all still in print but here is a sampler of the first three. My favourite and the one to start with is Horse Bites Dog Cries which contains their best versions of Hang Ten In East Berlin and Guns as well as the amazing Youth In Asia.
Casey and co are still kicking it today. They were recently on Monster Garage. They recently did a benefit for Brent Liles’ family who, by the way, is taking some heat from a moron on KBD Records who recently discovered The Maids and is now a fuckin’ expert on all things punk. Whether you are hearing these records for the first time or revisiting them ….DI effin’ wrules..