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Selections from The Punk Vault [The Stains/MDC]

The Stains – John Wayne Was a Nazi 7″ (1981 Radical Records)

You might be more familiar with them as MDC (an acronym that would constantly change), but they got their start as The Stains.

In 1981 Dave Dictor, Al Schvitz, and Ron Posner, all residents of Austin, TX, formed a punk band called The Stains. They put out this 7″ before they realized there already was a band called The Stains (who put out one album on SST Records). They had to change their name because while there could be two Subhumans and two Youth Brigades, there could not be two Stains. A member of The Dicks (also a fellow Austin band) suggested the name and MDC they became.

Along with the name change came a change of residence. They moved to San Francisco and became pretty well known with the city’s peace punk movement. They moved into the “Vats” where another band, Condemned to Death resided and rehearsed. It wouldn’t be long before The Dicks would also relocate to San Francisco (well, half of them anyway).

Upon the name change and move, they put out their first album, which is a hardcore classic by today’s standards. They had their own label (Radical Records, later R Radical) and put out not only their own records, but by those of their friends Reagan Youth, Condemned to Death, The Offenders, and The Dicks.

The band toured the country plenty of times and put out a steady stream of records throughout the 80s, each one with a different theme and acronym. Over the years, members would slowly leave until Dave fond himself the only original member left. In the early 90s, the band (or at least Dave) relocated to Portland for a number of years. Dave also had a well documented (by him in his MRR columns) drug problem. Today MDC is still kicking with Dave and a crop of new members and Dave was residing in New York the last I heard. He was writing columns for Maximumrocknroll for a couple years but seemed to have stopped doing that. There is a MDC website that has a bunch of information on what the band is up to these days.

This particular record had two pressings. The first only had “The Stains” name on the sleeve, the second (pictured here) added the MDC name to reflect them having changed the name. The label art was different on the second pressing as well. I am actually in need of a picture sleeve for the first pressing as I have a copy of the vinyl that is missing the sleeve if anyone can help me out, please contact me.
As always, if you have any additional information or were in MDC, please get in touch.

Click here to hear “John Wayne Was A Nazi” from the record (right click and “save target as…”)


  • Indeed a true classic. I loved that first LP that they released. “Dick for Brains” and “My Family Is a Little Weird” are two of my favorite songs.


  • Hey MXV – perhaps you’re the right person to compile a “R Radical” discography. For awhile I was hell bent on collecting all the records on a certain label, and R Radical was one of them. I never could find a complete listing…

  • Jake,

    I updated the link in the entry, thanks. I tried to email Dave MDC in hopes he’d share some history/stories but he never responded.

  • What about the Offenders? Mikey played bass on the first MDC… I’ve seen a few discographies but they don’t include the album with the cover of “Keep me hangin’ on” which is a super classic. At least I think it was the Offenders…

  • MDC were classic! Along with other SF greats Sick Pleasure, Lewd, DRI – they had the best art and lyric concepts. The steam roller skull 7″ – with the fold-out was crazy and the 1st full-length is definately one of the best all-around old-school albums. The “John Wayne” bass line was what all old punk bass players would strive for – if you could play that, you were cool! Ron was one hell of a drummer and MDC would always come to town with a great lineup of bands. The last time I saw them was prolly ’95 and they played with Fifteen and both played naked sets. Long live the kings of thrash!

  • Hey man – thanks for the updating! 🙂 Just had to change the damn servers – sucks since Google still has the other fucking page listed. Ah well. Anyway.. great to see them mentioned here.. you tried his email I know he’s a busy guy.. but he or at least his organizer/manager type Eva should get back with you… they’re also on MySpace – for contact – I believe they check that a bunch. Hope you have better luck! Make that email subject stand out! 🙂

  • Jake, I tried that email and that was the one I got no response from. If you talk to him, please send him a link here and maybe he’ll decide to chime in with some history, or have him email me at punkvault[at]gmail[dot]com

  • I used to be a sorta roommate of Dave’s in late 80’s at Rathaus, our place near Mission Dolores. Fave memory is MDC playing on our roof as the pope rolled into the hood and we all got searched by S.S. Dave is on tour from NY after a stint in prison in mid nineties, and playing in SF on April 2nd at Thee Parkside with Retching Red a new band featuring Cinder Block ( x-Tilt) and Mike from Oppressed Logic. Haven’t seen the madman in years but we email now and then…seaking of nutcases, Saw drummer Al Schvitz at a Dicks reunion a few months back, he was just outta the joint and staying in a halfway house.

  • Hey i went to the rathaus more than a few times as a kid!

    Al Schvitz is my dad, he is doing much better now. M.D.C. just did a 90 day tour across the US, with ALL original members! Dave Dictor, Al Schvitz, Ron Posner and Mikey Offender. I got to come along and be their roadie which was the experience of a lifetime. they are all such great guys, i hope they let me work for them on their next tour.

    they played some shows with Retching Red and Oppressed logic, those guys are all great. maybe the most killer show of all was Dr.Know, Choking Victim and MDC in thompkins square park NYC on sept 11. like 2000-3000 kids out there and the biggest fucking circle pit ive ever seen or been in. what a great show, i got to get up on stage and sing born to die infront of all those people, wow what a rush! then i jumped off stage and when i got up off the ground I had these beautiful girls on both my arms telling me i was great… one of my finest moments haha…too bad we had to leave town right after the show for philly.

    check out mdc’s myspace – im the new guy doing the work on there.

    rock on everybody!

  • A couple years late to this post. But a bit of trivia, both Stains played together once at the Cuckoo’s Nest in California opening for Black Flag (if I remember right!?!) Don’t recall them using MDC at that time. That’s have been around the summer of ’81.


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