The Punk Vault

Code of Honor – Complete Studio Recordings CD

Code of Honor CD

Code of Honor – Complete Studio Recordings 1982 – 1984 CD
Subterranean Records

Code of Honor were a Northern California punk rock band who sort of formed out of the ashes of Sick Pleasure, whom they shared a split LP with more than 20 years ago. The band was formed by Michael D. Fox, who was one of the two founders of Subterranean Records, and who played in more than his share of bands back in the day, as well as recording quite a few as well in his studio.

During their two year life-span, Code of Honor put out a 7″, the aforementioned split LP, and their own LP before calling it a day. Their early material was top notch hardcore punk that was as good as any of their peers at the time. As they progressed, they slowed down a bit and got a bit more musical and experimental, yet were still very enjoyable. I think the fact that the band’s records have been out of print for well over a decade has harmed their legacy and prevented them from being as much of a household name as many of their peers from the same era. This of course can finally be remedied as everything they ever recorded, including an unreleased song, is included on this CD.

The songs are presented in chronological order and all the lyrics are printed inside the booklet, along with some very interesting liner notes from Michael D. Fox about his punk rock history and how it led to starting Code of Honor sprinkled with some great old band photos. The packaging is really nice overall, not to mention the tunes sound as good to me now as they did back when I was in high school and heard them for the first time. I’m glad they finally got around to reissuing this material for the masses, and here’s hoping the Sick Pleasure material will be next!

Related links:

Subterranean Records website


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  • Yay At long last…and about bloody time this band got some recognition. I loved eberything they did…yes including ‘Beware the Savage Jaw!.

    I still have all their vinyl and I have bootlegs of all their recordings on cd’s. Now I’ll be able to buy the real thing to play in my cd player. Nice one Subterranean.

  • Code of Honor were one of the greatest bands I’d ever seen. As for the vinyl…I could never get enough. Have been searching for Jonathin Christ, and his whereabouts, now was told he moved to Arizona 22 years ago. What a shame, he was an awesome frontman. Can’t wait to get the CD. Thanks,

  • This looks cool. Don’t see it on the record website (and their website has not been updated since 2002?). If I should be looking somewhere other than the “C” section, let me know.

  • hey Q2,

    would you be into trading some recordings? i’d be into hearing the live CODE OF HONOR bootlegs. i’ve quite a selection of stuff as well…


  • I think you misunderstood me mate…..when I said I have bootlegs I meant of their studios recordings. I have their vinyl and boots of the same. I have no live stuff but would love to hear them if anyone can help us both.

    This band were so under rated and I clearly remember the slagging off they got in Flipside/MMR etc at the time for ‘selling ouy’ and ‘going prog’. Beware the savage jaw is finally getting the recognition it deserved 22 years ago. Punks back then were far too closed minded. I remember the same thing happenign to Bad Religion when they released ‘into the unknown’ who, like code of honor, split up soon afterwards. Probably as a result of the bad press etc. Funnily enough I sold my copy of into the unknown on ebay a year ago and it went for 150 dollars :o)

    I was ahead of my time!

  • One might argue that the difference between Into the Unknown and Beware the Savage Jaw was that the BR record was a cheesy pile of crap and the COH record was actually good.

  • Bah MXV ur crazy…into the unknown is a good record. Not even in the same body, let alone the same vein, as their other stuff but it’s still a good record.

    Maybe you should revisit it since you’re no longer a spring chicken. Time has a way of mellowing ones musical tastes 🙂

  • Hi I’m Sal – the Limey drummer. If you want a chat go for it. I have a master of this CD but haven’t seen the finished article yet! Not playing with anyone over here yet but who knows?

  • i just got the cd. its awesome. sounds great and the pictures are cool. well worth getting. that unreleased song is soooo good.

  • I can’t remember what that song was like – Poem right? Are there any drums on it? Haven’t got my copies yet from Subterranean.

  • the song is called “whats it gonna be ?”. its awesome. are you ever going to release live footage on dvd?

  • I know that song – nice little rolling tom fills throughout. I seem to remember Geza-X video taping a show in LA once. Also Joe Rees of Target Video has a lot of in-studio tape of COH. See if you can follow them up and good luck – I will try too. I am trying to get a bit of distribution for the album here in the UK and am waiting for my free promos from Subterranean. I hope the Sick Pleasure stuff will come out soon, but we need to get this ball rolling first. Sal

  • Hey Sal …I gotta question for you. How come a limey was playing drums for a US hardcore band?? I never knew you were a brit.

    Information on COH is very thin on the ground so hopefully this cd will go some way to addressing the balance.

    I remember after Beware the savage Jaw came out it was slagged off so badly, unfairly so in my opinion as I loved it then and still do now. Great album. How long after that came out did you guys carry on before splitting? Is there much unreleased stuff in the can still to come out from those sessions?

    Do wot other people have done from old bands and write a small history and send it to MXV…I’m sure he’d tag it onto the above. I’d love to hear more about the history. Along with BMB COH were always a firm favourite.

    I’d love to see and hear COH live, living in the UK we were starved of decent music way back then so I got to see so few bands that I really loved. Vice Squad just weren’t in the same league.

  • I was born in Washington DC but my dad was working for the British Gov. in the embassy there so technically I’m a limey. I found that out to my cost when they chucked me in jail and deported me in 1999! I was taught piano and classical guitar at school (posh) but always liked thumping the tubs best! I used to leap out from behind the kit during practice and grab dave’s bass sometimes if he wasn’t playing what I wanted him to! He didn’t mind as a lot of the time it would just be me and him jamming together in the studio. I was in a band from Texas the was an offshoot of Legionaires Disease and we practiced almost every day for 3 or 4 months without a gig – that got my chops together but I was itching to play, so when Sick Pleasure’s drummer had an accident and couldn’t record in the studio, I stepped in. They tried a session drummer but he couldn’t get his head around Joel’s quirky sense of rythym. It remember playing the proper beat to “Disintegration” on the dashboard of the band van and Nicky Sicky said “That’s it!” The session man just couldn’t do it! HA HA HA Muppet!

  • Hey Sal, Nice info man. Sorry to hear you got deported though….hope ur not living in London…anywhere else is a bonus. :o)

    I have to take this opportunity and ask …. do you have any live recordings of COD? I’ve trawled the web for years and found zip which really pisses me off. I loved ur band…along with BMB they were my favourites. I hope this live footage is also released that would be something to see.

  • No I’m afraid I don’t. Joe Rees has some cool semi-live footage of COH and Sick Pleasure, but he is a hard man to find. He’s up living in the mountains somewhere after the collapse of Target Video. Sniff him out if you can! Talk to Steve @ Sub, he might be able to point you in the right direction. Just got my promo copies of the CD. Looks good snd sounds even better but Mike has made some errors in his notes. perhaps his memory is failing him! Hahaha. Also there is a typo on page 1. See if you can find it! Here’s another story: We were playing some little club in Texas and I was up on the drum riser with my seat at its highest setting as usual. So I start flailing about, lifting my sticks up in the air – they smack into the tiles on the suspended ceiling and it all comes crashing down on my head!!!! Hahahahaha!Magic.

  • HaHa nice one….I’ve seen flash cans do that but not sticks :o)

    Just of of curiosity…where abouts are you in the UK? I’m in Newcastle

  • Hey Sal!

    Richard here. Remember me? LOL! I managed the band. Whatcha been up to? I was thinking about the band and figured I would look it up on the internet and, lo and behold, there you are! Remember the national tour we took? All 6 of us in Fox’s blue Ford van, smoking, and reeking. I remember all of us crashing at some house in Salem, Oregon + the girls that followed us there! Then there was Seattle, a brief stop in Montana – otherwise known as the middle of nowhere – looking up at the Milky Way. Next up was Minneapolis, Club Exit in Chicago, THE Bad Brains place in New York, and, of course, Minor Threat in DC. Ah, wow!! On the way back there was Texas – do you remember where we played? – and Arizona. The band really came up very fast after that tour. I was telling my son what we did as far as the introduction: When the band came on the dark stage, first you started drumming, w/ the light spotlighting you; then Dave would come on with his bass, followed by Mike w/ Johnathan doing his slide on the stage as a ‘finale’ to the opener. Awesome. Let’s do it again. …..

  • I am a longtime COH fan (also dig Jonathon’s earlier band “Society Dog”) who actually has a live bootleg of the band from 1984 in L.A. There are some songs from this show that were never recorded. Jonathon talks in btwn songs about the upcoming Presidential election and why people should care about it, etc. I have no idea of its current condition as I unfortunately never transfered it to DAT. If I can find it and it’s in decent condition still, perhaps it could be transfered by someone who has the proper equitment (not me!). For more info, contact me at:

  • Hey Bubba!!!! How the hell are you? I can’t remeber the name of the club where the ceiling fell on my head but I think it was in Texas – I may be mistaken. I know we played at Club D in Dallas! I’d like to play with the guys again but apparently Johnny’s gone AWOL. I will be available for the BOB festival in Bath next year but I don’t know if Uncle Sam will let me back into the USA! I’m not sure I want to try either. I’m going back to college in Oxford to get me a degree in September – so I’m looking forward to that. Talk to you soon! SAL

  • Hey, yourself! It’s great to hear from you. I’d forgotten about the ceiling incident. Now that you mention it, though, I can see your face and actions: Needless to say, we were all surprised! I remember Club D now, too. All of the shows were SO hot!

    My most memorable gig on tour was in Baltimore. As I recall the place was packed. Minor Threat was really great but we kicked ass as always.

    You might want to try for a ‘tourist visa’ but usually there is a 10 – year wait if you get booted. On the other hand, an ‘entertainment visa’ is easy to get and you shouldn’t have any problem.
    I am in the early planning stages for a major trip through Europe- UK included! I am planning to be over there for hopefully a year.

    Do you know anything else about the rest of the guys? Mike? Dave?

    Again, great to hear back from you, Sal! Let’s maintain contact…

  • Hey Bubs,

    I’m off to college in Oxford in September. Leave your email address here if you can and I’ll mail you directly. I don’t want to leave mine as right now it’s a work one. SAL

  • Anyone aware of that bad metal band now using the moniker “Code of Honor”? They even have a page or two on…likely they already know they’re not the first to use it but figure no one’ll really notice or care. Anyone know if they’re legally-bound to change it?

  • Awesome to see this stuff in print again. I’d transfered my vinyl to CD a couple of years back, but I’d love to buy the new official cd. I can’t find it on Subteraneans website. Their website is a piece of garbage… I have the COD Target Video stuff transfered from the original VHS to DVD myself. Awesome stuff. I was a HUGE fan back in the early 80’s when the Hardcore scene was at its finest. I’d love to see COD do a tour!!!!!!!

  • I couldn’t find it on the site either; here’s their contact info…


    Mailing address:
    Subterranean Records
    P.O. Box 2530
    Berkeley, Ca. 94702

    CD’s are $11.00 postpaid in the U.S., don’t know their foriegn rates.

    Anyone have access to a DAT machine? Let me know!

  • jonithin christ, aka John Vible Powers, was living in AZ at least through the early 90s. He was working as a messenger, and stealing from his friends and family to support his habit. One band he had back in those days was named Deadline Screamer.

  • The above comment while sad is not a complete surprise. Members of his old band Society Dog mentioned to me about 10 yrs ago that he’d left SF due to a “bounty” on his head evidently from a drug deal gone bad. I believe that was the basic quote anyway. Regardless, wherever he’s currently at, hope he’s doing well.

  • AHhhhhhhh so sad……and that was over 10 years ago…I would have thought that bad habits would go away. At some point people have to kick them or face the reaper. I would love to see the band together again and really push them to the top as we were well on our way to doing. The band had climbed to headlining status and was just under the Dead Kennedy’s in 1981/82…..When we returned from nationwide tour we packed the house at the On Broadway in SF.

  • Sal Paradise/Rupert G. + Niliom & Jan Wells

    Hey ya drunken BASTARD how the f___ are ya pal? It’s Bobby, your ol’ roommate from 164 Beulah. Kenny? Dovas? John Lewis? AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! NOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

    PK RULES! (Pretty Killer)

    I’ll be in London in a few weeks for work most likely at DeLaney Studios.

    Saw COH is on MYSPACE so I added you to my “friends” (I’m starbebe).

    Anyhow love to hear back from you & have a pint or 3 when I get to London Town, brothah.

    email me here:


    Bobby J

  • If Sal is still reading, or to anyone else… my lyric/picture insert to the COH “What Are We Gonna Do?” 7″ was signed sal x when I bought it (new) back in the early 1980’s. I always wondered if a band member actually signed it or if it was scribbled on by someone else along the way. Any info?

  • I remember seeing a Code Of Honor show that was on SF public access great quality ……..years ago.

  • i did not leave sf with a bounty on my head. i did have a band called dealine screamer and a band called morphius in the early 90’s. i did not steal from my friends, i don’t know anyone named cake. good to read your words sal and richard. i am very happy and sober in phoenix with three kids. oldest in college, one in high school and one starting kindegarden. i am glad people are still interested in coh, sal was the best drummer i ever worked with. sincerely, johnithin christ

  • Johnathin

    Great to see your words & very happy you’re doing well. Don’t know if you would remember, but back in the early early 80’s I lived with you guys at the Guy St. house (in the very front room) right after Carlo & Erica moved out. Other roommates at that time were D.O.G., Sportacus (spelling?). and John (black guy who’s last name escapes me). Oddly enough, I ended up living with Sal in the Haight for several years too. I came across this site ’cause I was listening to a punk radio show on Sirius & they were playing COH and talking you guys up in a very positive way. Couldn’t believe it! It was super cool. Again, glad to hear you’re well. Peace.

  • Well, it least I know now that Jonithin is alive and kicking…thank God! As well as being sober! Now, it’s time to get COH on the road again. For me, COH changed my life. The urgency and creativity of the music was outstanding. There are few bands the ever posessed that. Hope for a reunion tour.

  • bobby j thank you for your kind words. yes, i do remember you moving in to the house, those were great times. i doubt that a tour of any kind will happen for coh. it is wonderful that people are still interested though. i plan to launch my own blog with some work i’ve done after coh, and some that i am working on now. again thank you, to you and to everyone for there kind thoughts and words

  • Sounds great! Can’t wait to hear some of your other bands, etc. Although it is a shame COH will never reunite. How about Society Dog??? Just kidding. Like I said before, it is great to know you are still alive and kicking!

  • hey Johnithin, Sal & all,

    it’s f**kin’ killer to hear/read that you’re all still around and doing well!

    i grew up listening to COH in sacramento and actually named my now non-existant band management company “new era management” inspired by the words to “new era” which is called “poem” on the cd.

    was “poem” the original title and then “new era” got printed on the record when it was pressed?

    last december when i first heard the COH complete recordings was released i purchased every copy i could find online as well as at amoeba records on hate street and gave them all to old friends. it goes w/out saying their eyes bugged out and they were more than stoked!

    yeah, as Mikhail mentioned – Dave Chavez is rocking with Nikki in Verbal Abuse and he and his gf [and baby boy] live up the street from me here in sf.

    he actually rang last night to remind me that VA was playing at annie’s [formerly the cw saloon]. VA have been playing quite regularly the past year or so.

    i’ve been meaning to hang w/him as i’ve a vhs tape of COH on an sf cable access program which is pretty rad! thanks to Mikhail for that, btw.

    Dave said he’d be into catching up with you all so feel free to email me at: and i’ll forward his # to you if Mikhail hasn’t hooked you up already.

    did you hear of the ruthie’s inn reunion show next month?

    september 23rd

    Ruthie’s Inn Reunion Show
    @ Nimby’s
    26th & Campbell St.
    Oakland, CA
    All Ages


    No Alternative
    Social Unrest [w/Cretin Chaos]
    Verbal Abuse / Sick Pleasure
    Stone Vengeance
    Arno Corps
    Overdrive AD
    Fuck Ups w/Society Dog

    be well people…

    aka Malakeye

  • I gotta say, that show sounds a lot better to me than the much hyped T & G anniversary show. I loved ALL of the COH output, and would even go as far to call Beware one of my 10 favorite LPs of all time. I’ll be looking forward to Johnithin’s site. If COH did a reunion tour I might lose my mind, so maybe it’s best they don’t.

  • i guess i’m kinda lucky as i’m going to the T&G anniversary show as well as the one across the bay next month!

    if you’re here in the sf bay area keep an eye out for Triclops! @ el rio this saturday…

  • yeh…….Johnithin……….thought of you often I am sooooooo glad, and happy all is well with you! Great to hear about your family and kids I am sure they are wonderful. Sometimes I pass through Arizona maybe we can get together. My 15 year old son plays bass and loves old punk along with most everything else. Can I book a reunion gig? let me know how bout a nation wide tour again?
    ps we will have to sneak Sal in ! an entertainment visa might work


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