I spotted the above photo via a link on J.Yuenger's rocktastic blog. From the entirely excellent book, "Murder in the Front Row," a photographic homage to the East Bay Area thrash community of the 80's (this is a book I MUST OWN), the above pic finds various members from Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, Exodus and Possessed engaging in some very metal bonhomie. Dorks like myself will find solace in the face that amidst this horde of none-more-metal dudes, Slayer drummer extraordinaire Dave Lombardo is pictured wearing a Johnny Rotten shirt, whilst the gent at the very top of of the hirsute pyramid (metalheads -- who here can name him?) is wearing A FUCKING DEVO SHIRT! That guy is my goddamn hero.
I posted that Buzzfeed link to the pics from this book on my Facebook page, and my friend John Darnielle (of the Mountain Goats -- Christ, I'm such a shameless namedropper!) shared it, making the very astute comment...
Keep meaning to pick up that book. Thrash-and-extreme metal pics from the 80s are somehow the most evocative 80s pictures for me, they look so much like people carving out their own space.
Amen, brother. I vividly remember buying a copy of Metallica's Ride the Lightning ENTIRELY UNHEARD but purchased solely for the fact that on the back cover, guitarist Kirk Hammett was pictured wearing a Discharge t-shirt (the same one he's wearing the photo below).
I rightly figured that if these gents were into Discharge and similar bands, they had to be doing something right. These bands were DESTROYING PARAMETERS left and right. Having been torn between my love of punk, hardcore, metal and new wave, I'd long been dreaming of a world where extreme metalheads were enlightened enough to listen to Devo and the like and vice versa.
Of course, decades later, as I approach the regrettable age of 45, I don't give an angry rat's ass about narrow genre snobbery. I like and listen to what I want, regardless of alleged incongruity. What? I'm not allowed to like both the Cocteau Twins AND Celtic Frost? I can't appreciate both Digital Underground AND Cat Stevens? Whatever -- fuck you. Get over it.
And speaking of rock t-shirts, my colleague Drew forwarded this onto me today, and I wholly endorse it. Fly the colors!