The Punk Vault


Yesterday when I got home, the JFA CD was in my mailbox, sent to me from Don Pendleton. I quickly opened it and checked it out for my writing in the liner notes. There it was, in its printed glory, alongside such luminairies as pro skater Duane Peters, Steve Caballero (pro skater and Faction member!), Tim Kerr of the Big Boys, some dude from the Vandals, and a few others. They did edit down what I wrote, basically I wrote two paragraphs, and they cut out the second one. Here is the cover art, you all should go out and buy one, because JFA is one of the all time greatest bands from the early days of hardcore, not to mention they pretty much invented “skatepunk”.

And included here is what I wrote:

In 1983 I was 13 years old and it was my freshman year of high school that a friend of mine gave me a copy of “Blatant Localism” by JFA. I took that record home and was completely blown away by what I heard. At the time my exposure to punk had been limited to bands like the Sex Pistols, 999, and The Damned. I had not heard any hardcore bands and this was like nothing I have ever heard; it was fast, energetic and had this sound that was as dry as the desert heat I imagined them skating in. I had to have more and soon found a copy of “Valley of the Yakes” and proceeded to wear out my first copy of the record. They quickly became my favorite band at the time. I would draw their logo on my notebooks and clothes and I always yearned for more music from them. Not only did JFA turn me on to hardcore, but they also turned me on to something else that would become a staple of my teenage years – skateboarding! They would sing about it, there was pictures of them skating on their records, and they even ended up having their own skateboard decks! Their turning me on to hardcore and skateboarding forever changed my life. Back then I would play their songs to everyone I came in contact with, and ended up getting all my friends into skateboarding at the time too. We would take a boom box with us and blast their music while we were skating and you often would find us singing such skate-punk anthems as “Beach Blanket Bong Out, and “We Know You Suck” while skating down the street.

And what got cut out was this second paragraph:

JFA were also one of the first bands I wrote to for an interview when I started a fanzine, and their “My Movie” single was the first record that was ever sent to me to review in the zine. Many years later, I ended up meeting them in person and interviewing them again, which turned into my putting out a single of theirs. To be including a 7″ of one of my all time favorite bands with my zine was a big deal to me and is something I am most proud of. When Placebo Records called it a day, JFA’s records went out of print and have been unavailable for years. I would regularly hound band members and labels I knew to look into reissuing their material as the music still stands up as strong today as it did nearly 20 years ago when it was released and I felt it a crime that the new generation of punks could not easily get their hands on the music. I was elated to find out Alternative Tentacles took up the task of making available again music that was so important to me and really changed my life, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.

I wish they used the whole thing, but I am honored that they asked me to write something and that they used it, it is something that will always mean a lot to me. When I got into that band 20 years ago, I wouldn’t have thought in my wildest dreams that not only 15 years later would I be putting out a 7″ of theirs, but that 20 years later I would be writing something in the liner notes of a reissue CD of the very records that opened up a whole different world to me.



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