Sunday, April 28, 2013
Why Be Something, That You're Not
Why Be Something, That You're Not (Detroit Hardcore 1979-1985) by Tony Rettman
A few weeks ago, I bought this book from Amazon. I then proceeded to read it over a weekend. It is 239 pages, but a really quick read. Prior to reading the book, I did not know a lot about the Detroit Hardcore punk scene outside of The Meatmen and Negative Approach.
The book evolves from the introduction of The Fix through to The Necros and finally to the bands mentioned above. It was an interesting read about how Tesco Vee of The Meatmen played an influential role in the creation of the scene prior to starting his own band.
I was surprised to learn about how fragmented the scene was due to the slight difference in age (maybe 4-5 years). Bands like DOA and Black Flag get mentions for their influence on helping create contacts nationwide for bands like The Fix and The Necros to setup their own tours. It was also interesting to read about how The Fix and The Necros, while different in age, both faced similar struggles upon their return back to the Detroit area after their nationwide tours. Neither band recognized the bands, style of music, and the change in culture of the scene that they in their own way helped to developed which led to the eventual break up of each band.
There were also interesting stories about venues each faction of the scene created for local bands to have a place to play. Reading about the different fanzines created by this scene - Touch and Go, Burp!, Inside View - and their influence in spreading the word of local hardcore bands across the globe. There was also an interesting relationship created between The Necros and New Jersey's Misfits and WDC's Minor Threat.
The book had lots of photos of shows, flyers from the scene, as well as, a brief listing of local shows and information on the local bands. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about the influence the Detroit scene had on the spread of hardcore punk across the globe.