Jim Trainer

Why the Past Sucks

In Uncategorized on January 23, 2011 at 7:47 pm

I got a message from D, an old friend.  He’s writing on behalf of B, another old friend.  B is building a website and wants to know if I would contribute.  The website will be an interactive history of our hometown’s hardcore scene.  The message was meaningless.  Not meaningless, I just couldn’t understand why B wouldn’t write to me and ask me himself.  I couldn’t get past it so I didn’t really think about the message until this morning.

Now that I have a cup of Barrio coffee heavy with cream&sugar in front of me and a limit of 3 cigarettes god help me, I can think about this message.

Here’s what I think:  the past sucked, now it’s the past.  yay! 

We win.

Just like we did then.  We won.  We cranked it down 1 to Sabatino’s we got kicked out of O’Hara’s talent show.  We had bands we had shows.  We had demos and fliers.  It was fun.  One night we knocked out the fucking partition wall where I slept in my mom’s basement so we could have an all out show.  We borrowed the cafeteria of Sacred Heart for two years in a row.  Those shows brought together all the township factions, their brand of hardcore or metal or strange hybrid of both.  Those Sacred Heart shows were a gun with many barrels.  Allot of these bands or their members went on to play a couple of Amnesty International shows at that fucking hated highschool one of which was shutdown and we weren’t even students there anymore.

I was a fucking hardon stupid kid.  I was as fit as I ever was or have been since.  We did shit.  Shit got done. 

Then, as with all scenes, came the new school.  Kids who perceived snubbing and upmanship when they were pint-size now had bands.  Rivalries started that had nothing to do with music.  The music was still appreciated, with all its contemporary twists and trends. 

This missive has less to do with the kids involved, all of us, than it has to do with hardcore in general.  Hardcore was dead when we started playing it, or it kicked alive that summer of 89 as far as we were concerned depending on who you ask.  When it became something it was nothing.  How fucking Buddhist is that?  The violence and upmanship had as much to do with personalities back then as it had to do with whitetrash fucking bouncers in a fucking hole off 69th Street. 

That place(do I have to mention it by name?)sprouted even more seeds, many of the Nazi kind.  I won’t even dignify whatever that was by calling it National Socialism.  we all knew them as nazis but they weren’t ever some fucking political movement or anything.  (if you’re still on that trip which I doubt you are welcome to the Chinese Century motherfucker) other than that, just knuckleheads, one and all, but differences were never about music.  At least, to me they weren’t.

Interesting things happened back then, in our scene.  bands I saw with Doyle and Gavin were ahead of their time and it blows my mind today when I think about it. 

Seeds of the 8-ball crew continue to blossom with people like Sicko still being Sicko, now in print and on film.  Paz.  word.  I’m giving big ups here and if there’s any connection besides the one to Delco’s “scene” it’s that all of the people I mentioned are still doing shit today.  and there’s still more I haven’t mentioned doing same.  the current lineup, the media has changed but the message is still the same. 

when a scene imitates genre, it’s called form over content. 

Copping metal-breakdowns back then was great.  but when it became this, by rote, stupid brownshirt human theatre in Upper Darby for cry eye the die was cast.  have your scene have your hardcore. 

People don’t understand how fucking righteous it was to put on shows back then.  none of the bands sounded the same.  think about that.  now think about hardcore.  if you didn’t get mentioned you know I love ya.  if you don’t know that I love ya than I probably don’t. 

thanks for playing music.  thanks for sharing some good times when we otherwise would’ve been bored in a small town or fucked up on drugs or worse played sports.  fuck them for the bad times but they didn’t do anything to me.  I was out on the fringe before they could say “David Geffen”.  they were dissing hardcore.  they were dissing me and my friends for not playing metalbreakdowns 1-2-3 while standing on the road we paved. 

all 30 of their friends jumped 3 of mine comfortably far from the reality of when there were only 4 skins at UDHS and yet we freaks held our own anyway. 

they burned down the forest and you’re asking me for leaves.   what happened to something we cared about so much?  My answer:  who cares?

just don’t suffer anything less than what it meant back then.  then you can look back, as I do, with gladness, pride, and scorn.


  1. Jim! Write a book please. Seriously.

  2. […] White, but, hey, I don’t wish nobody harm. And that’s the truth. You know I love ya. If you don’t know that I love ya than I probably don’t. In fact if you aren’t in my life anymore you aren’t a keeper, but you’re probably […]

  3. […] else was doing.  Because we were bored and our parents didn’t care.  We smoked and drank, post-Nevermind, and we wrote.  Those journals are gone, or burned, or on a shelf in a cold garage in Middletown, […]

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