Two summers ago, whilst I was sequestered in the unrelentingly arid environs of Houston, TX for the month of August, I penned a windy little post about my reminisces of growing up as a nascent punk rock fan on the stuffy Upper East Side of Manhattan. Therein, I waxed rhapsodic about an individual I had befriended at a Third Avenue Crazy Eddie’s. That individual was Brian “Damage” Keats. Read that full saga here.
Brian was one of the first proper punk rockers I’d ever met, although I had already met Wendell Blow — then of fledgling D.C. hardcore band S.O.A. — incongruously at a dude ranch in Montana where our families were both vacationing about a summer or two earlier, but that’s a story for another day.
Back on that earlier post you may remember this passage:
If memory serves, Brian was also immortalized on a postcard. Some photographer had shot a series of portraits of NYC punks (and not cartoonish models pretending to be cliché-ridden punks, but actual, bona fide punks), and Brian was one of them. I recall his leather jacket sporting a KISS belt-buckle, which was a rather bold move at the time and a small bit of punk heresy (although being an unrepentant KISS fan myself, I saluted it).
When I originally posted that entry, a reader named Andrew Wendler — hardcore heads might recognize his name as the original guitarist for the Necros — reached out to me, saying he, too, knew Brian, and actually had a copy of that postcard. Today — two years later — he posted the image on Instagram.
Here’s to Brian Damage, 1963-2010
And while not his finest hour, here's Brian's (and Glenn Danzig's) final performance with the Misfits...