'Darling, let's have one more slam dance for old times' sake.'
January 31, 2007 5:00 PM   Subscribe

New York Magazine published an article about the hardcore punk scene back in May of 1986, written by future best-selling author Peter Blauner. It was the story of two girls. One, 16-year old Becca, rose from the gutter to be near the stars. The other, Natalie, a grizzled veteran at 20, had to fight to keep her status as punk queen. Like with everything else in those days, it ended up on Donahue (clips from the episode, not the whole show). The band most featured in the article, Murphy's Law, is still a pogoing concern.
posted by Kattullus (20 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
So it is written, so it is done.

[I kid. Fine post.]
posted by quin at 5:17 PM on January 31, 2007

Great post. It would be great to know what the principals in the story (other than Jimmy, of course) are doing now -- they have very unGooglable names, unfortunately.
posted by escabeche at 5:26 PM on January 31, 2007

So they play on pogo sticks or what?
posted by delmoi at 5:30 PM on January 31, 2007

eschabeche: This is probably Natalie, but I'm not 100% positive.

Natalie Jacobson's first novel 'No forwarding Address' is based on actual events from her life and is written in th elanguage and voices of the squatters of the Lower east Side. jacobson is a veteran spoken word performer, who has performed with such luminaries as Jello Biafra, Patti Smith and Jim Caroll. She received have reviews for her contributions to the compilation cd 'Homa alive': the art of self defense' and anthology like 'Six faces of Eev' and 'Revival: Lollapalooza Anthology 1994'.

Though, it seems pretty likely, given the plotline of her book. I found no trace of Becca Levine.

delmoi: I was making a pune, a play on words. I tried mighty hard to resist it, but in the end, it proved to strong for me, and I fell into tempatation.
posted by Kattullus at 5:40 PM on January 31, 2007

I like the title of this.

"I remember when I was a kid, when kids knew how to get a circle pit going....... now-a-days, it's all violence and crowd surfing...."
posted by peewinkle at 5:40 PM on January 31, 2007

My wife was friends with a former drummer for Murphy's Law in college in the early 90's. He was getting a degree in education.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:02 PM on January 31, 2007

Here's a 1997 review of Jacobson's book from Epulse, the electronic version of Tower Records' "Pulse!" magazine.
posted by escabeche at 6:17 PM on January 31, 2007

I can't believe I'm unable to find the scene from Cremaster where Murphy's Law plays in the Guggenheim. The internet is useless!
posted by gwint at 6:27 PM on January 31, 2007

punk scene, 1986? it was dead by then.
posted by caddis at 7:11 PM on January 31, 2007

I like the part in the New York article where they're like, "oh yeah, there's also apparently a hardcore scene in D.C."
posted by escabeche at 7:31 PM on January 31, 2007

punk scene, 1986? it was dead by then.

Guess you were living in the wrong city.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 7:53 PM on January 31, 2007

yeah NYC
posted by caddis at 8:11 PM on January 31, 2007

Punk was dead in '23.
posted by breezeway at 9:22 PM on January 31, 2007 [1 favorite]

ok, hi all. i'm new here but i couldn't help not post to this one. i knew becca in several different facets. during our hardcore days, she was quickly ostracized after that article came out in New York magazine. She would be teased horribly by the kids at CBGB's matinees to the point where she stopped attending shows and basically turned her back on the new york scene. Some bands even went as far as mocking her in their album liner notes (Adrenaline O.D.). then i got to know her again in the early 90's. we attended the school of visual arts (SVA) film program. i don't know what she's up to now but during college she seemed to have her act together and i'm sure she's doing great things today.

and no, punk was not dead in 86 in nyc. bands like the cro-mags were tearing it up and the rock hotel shows on jane street were also pretty big during that time too.
posted by cazoo at 9:58 PM on January 31, 2007

Punk died after the Goths fled Constaniople.
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:59 AM on February 1, 2007 [1 favorite]

cazoo: Thanks for letting us know! I feared that she'd gotten ostracized, what with the "groupies" comment on Donahue. I'm glad she came through.
posted by Kattullus at 5:09 AM on February 1, 2007

punk scene, 1986? it was dead by then.

Perhaps, or else you could say it had morphed into hardcore (and well before `86, too, at least in NYC). Not the same scene at all.

Jacobson's book, which I have not read, sounds atrocious based on the ePulse review.

That little girl with the red bandanna is adorable.

Also, I find it amusing how the hardcores in the audience mostly raise their hands politely and wait to be called on.
posted by scratch at 8:23 AM on February 1, 2007

this is a really powerful issue donahue is dealing with. im surprised. good post, mon.
posted by phaedon at 8:41 AM on February 1, 2007

Late to the thread, but I found this book to be very informative on the topic.
posted by dr_dank at 1:17 PM on February 1, 2007

I knew that scene from 83 to 86 and Jacobsen at NYU. It's painful to watch that Donahue thing. Hardcore was a mass of competing contradictions. Which was not necessarily bad as it fostered tolerance and apprecaiting the music. It pains me as someone who is proudly working class to see that a knuckle dragger like Gestapo was anointed to the head of the class. That article was probably responsible. His lyrics and attitude were weak. (What kind of fucking rebellion is it when your spouting off the same shit you hear from your parents say?). It was a shame as there were lots of other better bands ML weren't even in the same class as Minor Threat, Dead Kennedy's, Black Flag, the Minutemen, Husker Du or the Butthole Surfers. Even in NYC (Reagan Youth, Heart Attack..). Blauner, injected his crap sensationalist angle and consequently helped to kill the scene. It became about boozing, drugs and power. The thugs moved in bigtime. Every show turned into a mini fiasco with bands having to stop every 10 seconds to keep assholes from hurting the real punks who who didn't follow the carefully proscribed HC uniform and weakly hidden racist crap. It would be interesting to know what happened to Natalie and Jimmy as the class differences asserted themselves. I wonder if being the social climber she was, she dropped him like a hot potato and is doing the soccer mom with the BMW SUV thing. Or maybe not. Maybe she's a cool and wise woman. Maybe Jimmy Gestapo has turned into a sweet compassionate man. Who the hell knows? We were all pretty fucking stupid back to be honest. Just needing to do something, anything...
posted by Skygazer at 11:26 AM on February 3, 2007

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