DIY - Raymond Epstein tells us why it still matters
Did you ever do it yourself?
Get your minds out of the gutter for a millisecond you sick-o's. There is plenty of punk rock perviness to go around (so I've been told ;)) and you can look that up that on your own time. Maybe I will write something about that kind of thing for future article, but I will need to do more research, heh.
In the meantime, I was at a show last week (Ghost at the Roxy...great show BTW, but the antithesis of this article) and was discussing seeing bands in assorted venues. My wife stated that when she was in high school she did not go to clubs to see shows, seeing only shows in large venues or arena acts. This is likely true for most people. My first concerts were in arenas too. I was not even a teen when I saw ZZ Top for my first concert in the late 70's. I saw a few more arena shows until around 9th grade when I first went to a "show" at someone's house.
Now, thirty-five years on and a gazillion shows later, I still hold DIY shows in high regard. The first of these were basically local bands that either had people over to their practice space when their parents were out or maybe, if things were really going, cleared out a spot in someone's house to play. The sound was typically terrible, relying on whatever the band practiced with. Bands I was in did this on a number of occasions. The sound system I found most amusing was a PA that was "borrowed" from a church, but I digress.
These shows cost nothing and everyone brought their own refreshments. They were noisy as hell, messy and really some of the most fun shows. As noted, there was no money and little to no attitude. Everyone was simply there looking for something to do and bug out to some tunes. Several of the ones we played in Va. Beach were combined with skateboarding where mini ramps were set up so the bands provided a soundtrack to the chaos. Loose boards hitting band and audience members was a given and beer spilling on everything added to the mess. It was as real as it gets as it's tough to fake people "stage diving" off couches or ramp decks.
However, I am not looking for this to be simply a wistful nostalgic look back of an old punk creep. Sure, there are still modern versions of such events (See Bayview Rock festival), but that's just other old fuckas like me still doing our thing. My hope is to rouse others to make their own such events. Teens and then some. Make a mess and go nuts. Try not to have the cops called, but whatever. We probably will still pay your bail. Start a band, have a show and blow up some shit.
About Ray: Hello Tidewater and World! I am native of Norfolk/VB, however I now call Alpharetta (topside of Atlanta), Georgia home. I grew up playing guitar (and some singing) in numerous bands from high school on for which a punishing amount of detail can be found somewhere in the archives 'round here. These days I am a dentist, cyclist (mostly mountain biking), half-assed graphic artist and I still occasionally pop up in some hair-brained music outings. I've probably forgotten seeing/playing with more bands than most will ever see and still find my way to shows despite my otherwise domestic milieu. Hit me up with questions, comments, hate mail and dirty pictures.