I was 15 years old, and living in Long Island City, Queens with my parents, and “Punk Rock” was breaking in the US. There was a television news highlight on “punk” and I thought it was cool & scary. My friend from the neighborhood in Queens, NY, Javier, was a few years older than me and was already going out to clubs to see live music. One night, I decided to venture out and check out the city. I took the subway from Long Island City in Queens to 14th St and hung out in Union Square Park. I noticed some punk rock looking people walking down the street and followed them about 10 steps behind. They went into a club called “Max’s Kansas City.” I stepped in front of the club and and asked the door guy (who looked liked Charles Manson from the famous Life magazine cover) if this was “Punk Rock,” he looked at me with a crazy smile and said “Yeah man! Punk rock, go ahead!” And waved me in. I went upstairs and the band on stage was Suicide. At first, I was totally stunned because Suicide were a duo and there was no traditional “band” of guitars, bass, drums. It was Alan Vega who looked and acted like a futuristic Elvis Presley wearing a purple head band and a leather coat, and Martin Rev over to the side of the stage wearing large wrap around glam rock style sunglasses, and playing a Vox organ with a very basic drum machine. I was in a trance. The sound and Alan Vega’s stage presence were unlike anything I saw or could imagine, it sounded like the subway with a beat! I was interested in art and music, and Suicide were the perfect balance between the two. They were the biggest musical influence on me. From that flashpoint my life changed. I’ve seen hundreds of bands since and recorded and performed since the 80’s, but nothing has come close to that first virgin experience of seeing Suicide in 1979. I’m so grateful to see Alan Vega & Martin Rev create a magical, electrical unforgettable moment. I owe them everything I know about creating form basics. They are the definition of mystery cool.
My first official punk show was Suicide at max’s Kansas City in 1979. Then the Plasmatics just before they released their debut album around 1980.
I was in and roadied for many bands. I am mostly associated with the “Harsh Noise/Power Electronic” genre and started a “legendary” band called Final Solution who performed in New York City from 1990-1994. I also roadied for New York punk acts Kraut, Leeway and the Nihilistics in the early 1980’s
For about a year I helped with interviews and assembling pages for “The Big Takeover,” Guillotine, The Truth, and contributed art to various fanzines and critical art journals such as Semiotext(e).
In the late 1980s I helped several bands land gigs like Leeway, Ludichrist, and The Nihilistics to name a few. And helped set and promoted bands I performed in (Triggervision, The Hope Organization and Final Solution.)
I made a minor appearance in Cop Shoot Cop’s MTV video “Room 429.”
I wrote to dozens of bands and fanzines so many so that I had to keep a post office box between 1981-1994.
I’m just one of the few surviving kids from the New York Hardcore scene.
These days I live in Harbor City in the South Bay of Los Angeles with my partner Dr. Darby Southgate who is a professor of Sociology and one of the founding members of the “Temple Of Psychic Youth”(TOPY) in direct coordination with the band “Psychic TV” in the USA in 1981.
I have several Facebook groups including; “Wallmart,” (which promotes Harsh Noise, experimental music and uploads public aggression clips from retail outlet “big box” stores), “Custom Fabrications” (which collect odd and suspicious Facebook friend requests), Hypothetical Superficialities (which collect Facebook ads) and “The Whole Sick Crew” which covers “Post-Modern” narratives and how fiction and reality merge.
My latest projects Wallmart (Harsh Noise Wall) and several others are available for performances and interviews. Please contact me on Facebook, or at ddate23 @ gmail.com for more information.