Thursday, January 15, 2009

This is now, that was then.

First and foremost I want to thank James so much for a) starting this whole blog to document our musical histories and b) invite me to contribute. I have obsessive compulsive disorder which makes me an anal-retentive perfectionist as well so needless to say I have held on to anything and everything punk related that has ever crossed my path. It is so nice to now have a forum to share all of this shit that has driven my wife crazy all these years by taking up space in our home.

So a little introduction to those of you who don't know me. I was born Bradley Stephen Castlen in the year of our lord, 1976, in Louisville, KY. My family was living across the Ohio River in New Albany, IN at the time. I have a half-sister who is eight years older than me so she got me into heavy metal at the ripe age of 6, but Kiss was everything to me as a young 'un. I had a pair of drumsticks and would bang on the floor and furniture along to their records. One day my sister and I caught the show Night Flight when they aired a Bauhaus concert. From then on we were both forever changed. In the summer of 1986 before I started the 5th grade our family moved to Lawrenceville, GA in search of jobs. The first friend I made at school was a guy by the name of John Grant. He had an older brother who was into hardcore punk and I got to hear my first "mix" tape. On it was the Dayglow Abortions, D.R.I., S.O.D., and C.O.C. amongst others. I was hooked. I also got my first skateboard then and started riding that Nash with buzzsaw griptape down our steep hill daily. After just one school year my parents decided Lawrenceville was not a place to live at all and we moved to Lilburn. In the sixth grade punk rawk and skateboarding consumed me and I have been plagued by them both ever since. I have always jokingly said to never let your kids fuck their lives up like we all have with music...


My first concert was Kiss/Black & Blue in Louisville, KY at Freedom Hall on their Asylum Tour in 1985. I was nine. My sister had a friend who worked at the hall and he tried to get us back stage. We got to THE door and were cock blocked by a security guard who said Kiss had left the building.


My first local show. I was hanging out at the Gwinnett Place Mall's video arcade. Mike Bryant from Crisis Under Control was always there passing out fliers. You'd get in trouble if the mall security caught you so he'd hide them inside a Creative Loafing. It was kinda like selling drugs or something; "Psst, hey you with the skater cut. You like punk? Take a flier and don't tell your parents" kinda deal. I got a flier for this show and there was a guy older than me there by the name of Jeff Weese. I had skated with him once or twice since we had mutual friends so I asked if he was going to the show. He said yes and agreed to take me and my friend Jason Harp. Many years later I signed up for an Adobe Photoshop class at the Atlanta College of Art and low and behold Mr. Weese was the teacher, all tattooed and shit. So anyways we go to Milo's and Such As... were on first and they were hilarious. They weren't that bad musically but their spastic singer/bassist Steve Wishart was trying to rock out so hard he kept cutting the power off on the band. EVERYTHING ran through that power-strip and it was on the stage floor in front of the drumkit. It must've happened at least four times during their set. Act of Faith were damn good. I was in awe that local guys could be that rehearsed and sound like things I was listening to at home. I thought Steve Bolton had great presence at the time. I can't remember for sure but I think he might've had liberty pins or Colin G.B.H. hair at that show! I don't remember the Lost at all. The main memory I have though is the scary skinheads. NAZI skinheads to be exact. There were about five or six of them. They were B-I-G and had on Ku Klux Klan shirts. One of the skins was a guy named Brian "Dude" McDugal. They were rough as hell in the pit and my friend Jason got his t-shirt ripped almost completely off of him. This was before skinheads stabbed someone in Little Five Points and got pushed out to Marietta.



14 comments:

  1. Hey Brad - great post! I will hold off on the Quad post until this weekend to give everyone some time to get caught up.

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  2. My first concert was 2 Live Crew/Digital Underground/MC Lyte/Professor Griff/3rd Bass at the Omni in '88, I believe. It was right after Nasty As They Wanna Be was released, but before they were busted in Miami. My first "punk" show was All with Daisy and Young Fred at the Masquerade - 1990/1991.

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  3. My first concert was Frehley's Comet and Iron Maiden in July of 88 at The Fox. Iron Maiden cancelled at the very last minute (after Frehley's Comet had already played, even), and we were told to come back the next night to see them. I was 11, and only one of my older brothers was interested in going back. He bummed a ride with some friends, and to this day I've never seen Iron Maiden.

    First punk show was The Ramones in 91 at the Masquerade.

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  4. Hey Carter - that was also Chad Wiener (my bandmate in the Midget Farmers) first punk show! He went to see the Ramones at the Masquerade, and told us all about it at school the next day. The All show I went to was a month or so after, so that was my first show. For some stupid reason, I never got to see the Ramones. I should have gone then. I also never saw Iron Maiden, which would have been a seventh grade dream, but I have no siblings, so it was not an option. I'm totally taking my daughter to punk shows when she's older, though, or whatever she's into. A girl I knew in high school saw X with her father in 81 or so, when Under the Big Black Sun came out. That is the kind of father-daughter experience I'm looking for.

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  5. I never saw the Ramones either. Don't know how that happened. I guess I just figured they'd be around forever and I'd get around to it sooner or later. The AOF show was my first local show but the first national show I saw was C.O.C. at the Masquerade with Greg Pettay. I believe it was '89, maybe '90. The dj on WREK's metal show said to get there early to check out this awesome local band Dirt. We followed his advice but thought they sucked. We had only heard "Technocracy" and C.O.C. came out sounding like death metal. We were totally bummed. Long live Simon Bob Sinister!!!!

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  6. Wait a minute here, "their spastic singer/bassist Steve Wishart"....c'mon I wasn't that bad. Okay, okay...I admit I got a little spastic sometimes in those early ...Such As... days. I was just feeling the music man, you weren't feeling it too?

    That Milo's set up was awful and if you weren't careful you could easily unplug everything. I think we actually learned our lesson after that show. At the time there wasn't really anywhere for bands to play but Milo's and Visions.

    Lost was a band from Pennsylvania that had called me for a show. They were one of the first out of town bands that I ever booked.

    Oh, and I designed that flyer for the show too. Cool to see someone kept it, I am not sure I even have a copy now.

    Signing out...Steve "spastic" Wishart.

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  7. My first show was Sept. 30, 1988 at the Excelsior Mill with After Words, Gardens Of..., Now or Never, Ghost Story, and Knifedance. Growing up in Panama City, Fl, there wasn't much going on music wise so I hadn't even seen a band play before of any type. I moved to the Atlanta area in 1987 and I ended up diving in straight to a punk show for the first music I ever saw performed live. It was a pretty great show too. Although, I got no where near the skinhead laden pit.

    James - I can't believe your parents let you see 2Live Crew. That's crazy man.

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  8. Hah! My first post and I'm already in trouble. Well by the time I saw you again in CVD you did seem to have worked all that out, but then you had Rothman to be spastic instead of you! I loved "Property" the first time I saw you live but every show I caught after that Rothman was so all over the place the backups were sloppy. I was pulled aside once myself by one Ken Saluzzi in EMO to tone down the rocking out-ness!

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  9. To be honest I think we heard about the Milo's show at the mall, but I picked the flier up off of the ground at the actual show because on the back (you can see red in the scan) is a note from Soren to "Cindy" asking her to go to his house.

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  10. my first show was metallica/queensryche at the omni in jan of 1989. my first punk show (i think) was animosity and self existence (formerly and later to be such as) at visions in october of 1989.
    monkeysatan, like you i liked 'property' at first... but we got sloppy and stale on it pretty quick. we pretty much were off of that one by the time we recorded it.

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  11. steve, that's awesome that afterwords and ghost story played on the same bill...

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  12. my dad took me and a buddy to see that ramones show at the masquerade in 91. i was so disappointed cause 'cj' was playing in place of dee dee. i can't remember if that was my first punk show, or the dead milkmen/connells (haha) show at lassiter high school. can't remember which came first. cool post brad!

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  13. Welcome to the party, Brad. I'm eager to see what your packrat tendencies yield.

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  14. Will - that Dead Milkmen show at Lassiter was in May or June of 1991 - right at the end of the school year. Not sure when the Ramones show was relative to that.

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