Punkest 8th graders on the block

Caustic Defiance

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.

Caustic Defiance

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.

Caustic Defiance in MRR

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.

Caustic Defiance

16 Comments

  1. These type of posts make me want to do crazy things. It is enjoyable to read the history.

  2. Sea-Log on October 8, 2007 - Reply

    Chicago hardcore bands including the Stepe’s Negative Element (Shags meet Black Flag) will reform to play one night only Novembrer 24th, 2007 after the evening’s release of the film “You Weren’t There- A Documnetary of Chicago Punk” at the portage Theatre in Chicago…

  3. Once we opened for GG Allin at a VFW hall. GG had been eating Ex-Lax all day to prep for the gig and his soundcheck involved him walking around the hall with the mic in is pants broadcasting his farts. Everyone else was cracking up watching GG’s antics but I was tripping out that I had to use that mic later for our set. In desperation I found an old gardening glove behind the VFW and tried to sing with the it over the mic, it didn’t work and the guys were getting pissed. I finally said “fuck it”, barebacked the mic, and somehow didn’t die of VD.

  4. houseofneil on October 9, 2007 - Reply

    nice Brad. You look like Randy’s little brother in that pic.

    I’m gonna dig out some old pics of my english crew circa 1984.

  5. That is hilarious, Brad. A+

  6. Love this pic. Looks like me and my friends, but we were 10 years later!

    Do kids even make their own stickers, tees, etc. anymore?

  7. One more for Paige…Another time we formed the imaginary Peoria Chapter of the BYO (Better Youth Organization) for the sole purpose of securing a gig with 7 Seconds. They were on tour with their debut album “The Crew” which we all loved. To our amazement they actually showed up one summer night and played a packed show with us at our local hockey rink. This was pre-Walk Together/Rock Together and I remember Kevin Seconds arguing all night long with his drummer (who looked like Nikki Sixx)for dragging the beat during the bands fastest songs. After the show we pressured the band heavily into spending the night with us at one of our parents houses. Kevin Seconds sat patiently through a 2 a.m. viewing of The Bones Brigade Vieo Show and made occasional comments on we had “kidnapped him”. He literally stayed up all night answering our questions about hardcore. There were 2 big surprises that he revealed. One, he was kind of little and thin. He thought it was really funny how we had built him up to be a big burly guy with a thick neck, hooded sweatshirt, and football eye make-up. Two, although his “Skeeno H.C.” tattoo was still fresh and inflammed, his Crimson Ghost tattoo symbolized his true passions. He professed that he was a total gore-hound and rather than answer questions about unity, straight edge, etc. he preferred to doodle into the wee hours in a notebook full of gross-out dismemberment cartoons with severed penises and the like.

  8. Well, he’s not little and thin anymore.

  9. One more for Paige…Another time we formed the imaginary Peoria Chapter of the BYO (Better Youth Organization) for the sole purpose of securing a gig with 7 Seconds. They were on tour with their debut album “The Crew” which we all loved. To our amazement they actually showed up one summer night and played a packed show with us at our local hockey rink. This was pre-Walk Together/Rock Together and I remember Kevin Seconds arguing all night long with his drummer (who looked like Nikki Sixx)for dragging the beat during the bands fastest songs. After the show we pressured the band heavily into spending the night with us at one of our parents houses. Kevin Seconds sat patiently through a 2 a.m. viewing of The Bones Brigade Vieo Show and made occasional comments on we had “kidnapped him”. He literally stayed up all night answering our questions about hardcore. There were 2 big surprises that he revealed. One, he was kind of little and thin. He thought it was really funny how we had built him up to be a big burly guy with a thick neck, hooded sweatshirt, and football eye make-up. Two, although his “Skeeno H.C.” tattoo was still fresh and inflammed, his Crimson Ghost tattoo symbolized his true passions. He professed that he was a total gore-hound and rather than answer questions about unity, straight edge, etc. he preferred to doodle into the wee hours in a notebook full of gross-out dismemberment cartoons with severed penises and the like.

  10. Is there an inherent dichotomy between a Misfits sticker and a tail dome on the same board? I’m evil, yet economical.

  11. Inherent Dichotomy were a great band- just kidding. All I can say is that is was a really big deal for me to order a skateboard all the way from California back then, I thought the tail dome was part of it!

  12. houseofneil on October 9, 2007 - Reply

    yup, I think big and bloated would about sum him up these days.

    Like all of us I guess. . . .

  13. CausticDChick on November 27, 2007 - Reply

    Funny-
    I haven’t seen these guys for years, but remember it was like it was yesterday. My friends, Amy, Stacey, and Janelle, a.k.a. the Caustic D Chicks funded a demo tape. I remember Brad, also known at that time as Buck Naked. Glad to see you’re still kicking and well, Brad!
    Tracey

  14. Nice. Are yo still into good muse-sick?

  15. The gals funded yer demo? That’s just like Janes Addiction…

  16. I’m in ur fan base, funding ur demo

Leave a Reply

Want an avatar? Upload a Globally Recognized Avatar for free at gravatar.com Note: Avatars are tied to a single email address, including comments left before the system was activated.

  SOTW  
 eBay Watch 
   GVK   
  Kid  

Shot of the Week
December 2nd

American GI

May - June 2015 - 68 items

eBay Action

Grover's Video Korner #100
Burnside Halloween 2015

Grover's Video Korner

Annoying Kid of the Month
Generic Segway at the skatepark

Annoying Kid of the Month

Categories and Archives





Tag Cloud

Search and Annoy

Search Skate and Annoy - Daily


Search in Features, Ebay Watch, GVK...


Search in Galleries


Search in Reviews

This is none of your business