The "Everybody's Scene" book release party on Friday night at Cafe Nine was packed, so much so that when I showed up I was told that the club was already at capacity and that I couldn't get in-- and I got there at 9:00, which is about an hour earlier than I normally show up for a Cafe Nine event. I eventually found my way into the club through the back side door, thanks to a girl who recognized me from the Everbody's Scene video trailer and said, "Aren't you the guy who goes to shows at Whitney House, too? Because before we saw you in that trailer, we thought you were just some old guy from the neighborhood who wandered into shows by accident," as she ran interference while I hustled into the side door, right on her heels. Yeah, okay, pretty funny, ha ha.
Four bands played, including Crippled Youth, who went on second and played the "Join The Fight" EP from 1986 as their whole set. Amazingly, they sounded really really good. I'm not one for reunions-- to borrow a thought from Jim Testa, there's a line between creation and re-creation that needs to stay where it is -- but Crippled Youth blew right past that line, and made songs that they'd written when they were 15 years old sound relevant again. I think my hang-up about reunions is that a band's music can be re-invented, but the words stay frozen in that time and place when you were first hearing them. That's not a problem I had while watching Crippled Youth's set, which is probably a credit to the way Matt was singing.
Two more bands, Lost Generation and C.I.A., played after Crippled Youth, but I was getting tired of having nowhere to stand so I left. I did get to talk to Matt Warnke outside for about 20 minutes, which is probably the longest he and I have ever talked, so that was cool. I saw a bunch of other cool people there, too, like Bruce Wingate, Angela (from the band Atlas, I posted an old interview with them back in September), Joe Snow, Pete Morcey, Al Ouimet, Darryl Ohrt (No Milk on Tuesday), John Sex Bomb (who did the introductions in-between bands), even Stefan and Mark from Estrogen Highs. There was a free vegan buffet, but it had already been decimated before I got through the door-- don't any of you punks have cupboards at home??
As for the book itself (which you can order at anthraxclubbook.com), it's really fantastic; I give tons of credit to Chris Daily, who took on what must've turned out to be an incredible amount of work with this project, and got the book finished long before I would've guessed it was going to be all done. I went to shows at the Anthrax for 4-1/2 years, from '85 through '89, and I never knew about at least half of the stuff that gets brought up in the book (like, I never knew that there was more than one original Stamford location). The photos and stories are all great, but the gig list, for being one of the smallest sections (12 pages), is one of the more useful parts of the book. I can remember most of the bands I saw at the Stamford Anthrax-- Youth of Today and Crippled Youth multiple times, Albany Style, Contraband, Seizure, Ed Gein's Car, Fit for Abuse, Bobby Steele and The Undead, True Blue (pre-Underdog), Psycho, Cancerous Growth-- but the gig list finally helps fill in all the gaps in my memory, like the '87 Urge Overkill show at the Norwalk Anthrax which I thought was with the Didjits, but was actually with Pussy Galore... plus, apparently I saw Verbal Assault and Pleased Youth at the Stamford Anthrax, but I don't remember it. A lot of the pictures are amazing, especially the older ones-- there's a picture of Moby in a band called Caleigh Soul which is so new-wave it's painful. If you were around at all back then, this book is an unbelievable thing to read.
Oh, and in the last three minutes before I squeezed my way back out the door, I took some pictures...