My first real punk rock show.
Norman Oklahoma, November 18, 1983. Flyer by Jim Blanchard, who did many many flyers for Oklahoma shows at the time as well as publishing his Blatch zine. He's one of my favorite artists to come out of the punk or hardcore scene of the early 80's.
There were several shows at this American Legion Hall over the course of a couple years (I remember going to see the Dick's there and chatting with Gary Floyd - eyeballing me? - , but having to leave early since it was an hour drive home). It had two rooms, the first was a meeting hall, wood floors and walls covered with members photos (all in uniform or at least wearing the hat). I don't think any photos or anything ever got broken in that front room, and I remember at least one show out there, but this one took place in the back room, a large storage area for all the tables and chairs for their functions, concrete floors, bare walls and little or no ventilation - sweating walls during hot summers or freezing during winters (this show was cold one and I seem to remember snow or ice going to and from).
I have vague recollections of the Hostages
being an art-damage/punk group that played a couple of shows...fuzzy memories of trench coats and smoking and them being a "Bowery Band", which meant that played at the 21 and over club in Norman, which of course was totally fucked thing to do. Am sure there was nothing released, maybe someone has live tapes. I'm sure no one cares. No Direction
were headed by scene leader Davis Fallis
who also published a great zine (Dry Heaves), set up shows, did a radio show (my Tunnel - I could sometimes pick it up...if I happened to be in Norman - they had great chili-cheese fries at he Campus Corner all night diner), brought Decline of Western Civilization film to the O.U. campus (midnight showing - I was allowed to go because my school councelor's son escorted me - more on that later). Dave also looked the part, like he could the Heatmiser's handsome young son.
He of course booked this show and was responsible for saving a lot of teenager's lives in OK at the time. There must have been a demo or two recorded and someone's got it... someday it'll turn up.
I saw None Of The Above
play more times than I can honestly remember.
Along with the Flaming Lips (they owned the only fully functioning PA system so even when not playing on the bill, Wayne Coyne or Jon Mooneyham would be manning the controls), N.O.T.A. opened for every touring band rolling through Oklahoma at the time and were really the local standard against which all the other bands judged themselves and especialy the locals judged out of town bands by... They were older, they owned Slade records and were flirting with boots and braces imagery, and wrote anthemic, angry tunes. Every area should have been so blessed in 82/83 to have such a band.
couldn't have been more of a shock to the system at the time -
I mean, besides a couple people with spikey, bleached hair, most everyone looked like regular car mechanics or army reserve guys. Like I said, there was a decidedly "oi/bootboy" vibe about the Tulsa contingent, more working class than the Norman/OU College/No Direction crowd (this difference would become more and more pronouced over the next couple years as the skinhead movement hit OK hard), but nothing had prepared me for 4 of 5 guys in complete big city (SF) vegetarian punkers with red, green and dreadlocked hair and oh my, one of them seemed to be an asian AND angry. Not a lot of those in Oklahoma at the time. I recall them being really loud and they must have played stuff from the first 12 but I'd never heard it at the time. I can almost make out the set list in one of the photos I found but not quite.
Yes, the photos - while starting this post it dawned on me while I was writing this that somewhere here was a box that held the original mock up for No Loitering zine, started shortly before this show and given reason to exist by this show - an interview with the band featuring such prescient questions as "what do you feel about the arms race?" and the important to the small town audience ones like "what do your parents think of what you are doing?". I remember Drew from America's HardCore being the friendliest one, he had just joined the group a few weeks previous
when their guitar player left them in LA. AHC were probably the most popular band at the time that no one had really heard, but their stickers were pretty awesome. There was a track on a comp but I've gone fuzzy now (memory eradication program I've been on for some years - coming along nicely, thanks)
Anyway, this was one of those life-changer nights for a 15 year old.