Back in 1984 I was a metalhead in North Dakota, a musical wasteland in many ways where we were tasked with finding alternatives on our own if we wanted to stray from the clutches of Casey Kasem’s Top 40 or Country. Mother’s Records was a refuge for that, and I think it was there I found a few punk rock cassettes, like the Dead Kennedy’s “Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables” and maybe a Clash tape or two.
But it was sometime in 1984 that the movie “Another State of Mind ” came to the South Forks Plaza (since then renamed Grand Cities Mall, but popularly known as The Zombie Mall for the many elderly mall walkers and the numerous closed stores there) movie theater. Why this obscure flick made its way to Grand Forks is a mystery to me, but there it was on screen, the Social Distortion and Youth Brigade kids winding their way across the US in a decrepit school bus, playing shows, meeting folks, and slowly unraveling. After seeing this I formed a punk movement in my town (me) and a band, Culture Shock (me). When my dad retired and we moved to Chapel Hill, NC, in 1985 a truly huge punk scene welcomed me. I met kindred spirits (like writer Poppy Z. Brite, now Billy Martin), learned the thrill of the mosh pit, and saw some amazing music at a scattering of spaces from the DIY Turning Point in Chapel Hell to Raleigh’s famous Brewery. I still love a good pit, and living at a recording studio has allowed me to meet many many bands here. Punk is far from dead, we all still need a good pit…
I was in the metal band Ungodly for a little while, industrial metal. I played bass and banged on a piece of metal shelving and a VW hood and shot sparks into the audience with a grinder
I met Klaus Flouride one time in my kitchen. He was recording there and spilled a bunch of pickles and I helped him pick them up then he signed my DK “Fresh Fruit” cassette. I also got stitches from getting hit in the face by someone stage diving at an Exploited and Gang Green show at Bogart’s in Cincinnati. I woke up the next morning with Chicken Pox
These days I work as a blacksmith/sculptor in Oakland, CA. No kids or wife, totally forgot to do that.
You can find out more about John at https://.johnko.biz