Sometimes I stop and think how much I miss CBGBs, NY's perrenial hardcore punk venue. There was always a hardcore matinee, usually with a few terrible bands and then one or two bands that I actually want to see, but just knowing it was there was comforting. Not anymore though, it's gone.
Reading the oral history of NYC's metal/hardcore crossover scene brought back some memories.
The Village Voice published an excerpt from Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal, featuring the chapter covering the crossover scene and it features some gems, including Peter Steele saying that Carnivore, my favorite output of his, was inspired by hardcore punk saying:
[Carnivore's second album, 1987's] Retaliation was extremely influenced by my discovery of hardcore music at CBGB in '85 and '86. What I strived to do was create an album that was half Black Sabbath and half Cro-Mags, Agnostic Front, Murphy's Law, Sheer Terror, Black Flag, stuff like that. I loved the heaviness, the slowness, the dirge of Sabbath. But at the same time, going to CBGB on Sundays for the matinee, there was so much unbelievable energy in there. It didn't even matter if bands were not in tune.
Scott Ian talked about how there was never any segregation between the metal and hardcore scenes back in the day:
I used to go to the CBGB hardcore matinees and that got me totally into Agnostic Front, C.O.C., and D.R.I. You'd have all these hardcore and metal kids coming together to see these bands and there were definitely fights, but at the same time you felt this sense of community.
The oral history covers drugs, sex and rock and roll, and features a particularly interesting anecdote from Biohazard about "the book":
GRAZIADEI: Evan had "The Book." Really, it was Biohazard's book, but he likes to take credit for it. The way it started was we'd get a girl to consensually show us her tits and we'd take a picture of her. At first, there were 10 Polaroids on the table. And then somebody decided to put them into a photo album. The album gets bigger and bigger, and it progresses from, "Oh, shit, this girl showed her ass" to, "Oh, shit, this girl showed her landing strip for her Brazilian wax." It turned into a full-on porno book. There were volumes and volumes of these things.
SEINFELD: I heard that Gene Simmons had a photo album of naked girls and I thought that was the coolest fucking thing ever. I thought, "This guy is documenting his role as a super-pimp." So my friend Drew Stone says, "You should take it a step further and take pictures of chicks sucking your dick." I said, "That's really funny, but how are we going to get them developed?" He goes, "We won't, we'll get a Polaroid." So we got the camera and one day I said to Drew, "When I get her back in the bus just come in with the Polaroid and I'll ask if she minds taking a picture." A lot of girls were into it, posing with my cock, and it became really funny. Then Billy and I hosted MTV's Headbangers Ball and we had to interview all the bands who we were on this festival tour with, including KISS and Ozzy Osbourne. After the interview, Gene says to me, "So, I heard you have a book." I was floored. I said, "I have a book, Gene. Actually, you inspired my book because I heard about your book." So Gene, who's in KISS makeup, in his full demon outfit, reaches into his shirt, under his wing, and pulls out a photo album. I'm looking at this book, and there's hundreds of pictures of naked girls. He goes, "This is just one volume from the last tour, but there's hundreds of volumes." I was impressed. Then he says, "So, can I see your book?" I felt it was like a meeting of the minds, and I sent one of the guys from my crew to get it. So he brings it back and Gene opens the book. It has facial cum shots and girls with my dick stretching their mouth. Gene's face was somewhere between shock, disbelief, envy, and disgust all at the same time. I'm thinking to myself, "I'm on to something here."