Posted by:on October 8th, 2007
OK. So I’m adding a “Shot of the Week” post category because a lot of these pictures have more history than the SOTW format allows, and I might as well let people chip in their own recollections or similar experiences. This week’s SOTW is from a 1984 Peoria Journal Star article on skateboarding and punk rock or something to that effect. The Peoria in question is Peoria Illinois, the same Peoria that is referenced in the familiar saying “But will it play in Peoria?” The shot is of Peoria’s premier (at the time) punk (dare I say skate punk?) band Caustic Defiance, a project of collaboration with the infamous Steppe brothers and our own Dr Brad in his more defiant and skinnier youth.
Straight from the horse’s mouth, Brad had this to say:
The photo is by Steven Smedley of the Peoria Journal Star. It was taken on the deck of the Stepe’s ramp in East Peoria in the spring of 1984. Check out this photo, homemade xeroxed “stickers” abound: “Batallion of Saints”, “America’s Hardcore” and the obvious suicidal and jerks bootleg jobs. What else? Indys and Converse everywhere, t-shirt sleeves as wristbands, and Chops’s jeans read both “Straight and Alert” and “RKL” (rich kids on LSD). Left to right: Brad Krohn (vocals), Barry Stepe (guitar), Chopper Stepe (drums), Happy (bass). I was kicked out in late ’85 for wanting to sound more like the Simpletones and my sacking coincided with the much agreed upon date of the death of Hardcore as a we knew it. We were “huge in Peoria” for about a year, booked and played shows with 7 Seconds, GG Allin, Toxic Reasons, Die Kreuzen, 1096, Naked Raygun, Uptown Rulers, and our “brother band” Rights of the Accused.
Classic band name from that era. Someone needs to build a hardcore band name generator – unpleasant adjective plus a noun that vaguely references society. Check out this review of Caustic Defiance in Maximum Rock and Roll. Click to enlarge. Also of note, the same issue featured a review of central Illinois favorites and eventual godz, the Didjits.
A funny thing about the way I met Brad. His older sister was dating a guy who was one of my roommates at the college I was supposed to be going to. She borrowed his Bones skateboarding skeleton tshirt and left it in Don’s bedroom, so he started wearing it, probably because it smelled all girly and looked tough. He didn’t skate, and I thought that was a travesty, so I stole it from him. I happened to be wearing at a Didjits show in Champaign, Illinois that Brad was at because he was visiting his sister. We met outside the club, introduced ourselves and he did a double take and said “Is that my fucking shirt your wearing??!!!!” And we’ve been friends ever since.
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