Friday, October 7, 2011

Making a Scene; New York Hardcore Revisited

"Originally released in 1989 with a scant 79 photos and under 100 pages; this expanded edition brings over 200 photographs as well as reflections from key characters documenting a special time period in one of the most notorious hardcore music scene in the country.
Making a Scene - New York Hardcore in Photos, Lyrics and Commentary Revisited 1985-1988 captures the energy of the New York hardcore music scene in photographs, lyrics, and comments from those involved in their music, their attitudes, and their lifestyle.

Hardcore is a way of life for thousands of band members and fans all over the world. Here, New York City's hardcore movement is represented in all of its outspoken, opinionated, and often contradictory variety. Participants are shown with friends, spouses, even children, performing, dancing, and hanging out. They also explain in their own words and lyrics to songs what they think hardcore is all about.
From moments of quiet intimacy to the controlled mayhem of live shows, Making a Scene documents in a unique way this flourishing and often misunderstood underground style." 

Having picked up the original version at New York City's fanzine mecca See Hear back in 1989. (Only to sell it on Ebay along with most of my cherished fanzine collection ten years later.)  
I was fully aware of "Making A Scene" and its status among fanzines of its time. The original was a 
must-have document of our own scenes history. A time capsule of sorts. It loomed pretty large over a lot of the NYHC fanzines being published at the time with it's slick look and content.

Fast forward more than twenty years since its original release in 1989 and an expanded edition returns  with over two hundred images. (More than double the original seventy-nine featured.) 
The updated commentary helps to expand on its original ideas,  giving the book a sense of perspective. 
I found some of the  original insights from Gavin Van Vlack, (NY Hoods, Absolution) to be quite moving. I also found Brendan Rafferty's (SFA) 2011 assessment of "Who were Hardcore kids?" 
to be dead on. "We were homeless street kids. Affluent suburban kids. Left Wing, Right Wing, Illiterate, Intellectual, drug users, straight edge and so on." "There were countless different personalities and beliefs, but we all had one thing in common." "For whatever reason, we didn't fit in the normal world, so we created our own."
There's a somewhat surprising foreword by Freddy Cricien who was only ten years old when "Making A Scene" began its course. However his story and contribution to both the book and Hardcore in general is priceless.
Though "Making A Scene" doesn't cover a wide array of the opinions, viewpoints, characters and bands.  
It does do an excellent job with those it chooses.
If you had a copy or lost yours somewhere down the road, failed to pick one up when it originally hit the streets or want to get somewhat of an understanding of what it was like, I very highly recommend picking up a copy. James Damion

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