The rise and fall of No Fucker… Co-authored with JJ…
thanks to discharge
JJ and Johnny Austin Texas, Crude Gig. Sick and loud Plagued by demons
No Fucker could not be wed to Fucking dope!
I let it back heroin back into the heart of No Fucker and my life and it quickly destroyed all that was good. I hate the chains and constant mind-fuck of the needle. Not a moment could pass without the worry of having enough dope or wondering when to do another shot. This really fucked my head up when I was preparing to depart for Spain with No Fucker. Everything was going wrong!
I was scared to death to leave the security of Utica, NY (I never thought I would say that), dope, and the dealer. Luke was going to shove 50 methadone tabs up his ass for the trip. I worried that would not be enough for the two of us to maintain for 18 days overseas? It had to be! I had shot about 15 bags this morning before the sun had come up and I still felt like puking all over the place. My stomach was a fucking mess. I couldn’t believe that I had started to shoot junk again. What did I expect?
I spent two-thirds of my life in a dysfunctional relationship with heroin. It was everything to me: my sex, my joy, love and hate, my self-expression anger and depression, my disease, insanity, and trauma. Life events are so easily recalled from the days of my insane love affair with junk. The great ones are sorrowful epics filled with trauma, ruination, devastation, and sadly sometimes death.
This is about the happiest I have ever been in my life; my time with No Fucker. It is personal and I really have had problems putting it all on paper.
It might be worth it to finally attempt to explain what No Fucker was, and it wasn’t what the nay-sayers preached. Trying to make it interesting, is difficult and I am not sure I can. No Fucker was noise, the live show, not a bunch of words that try to make sense of something which is spiritual to me. And I destroyed everything the day I tried to introduce No Fucker to my old lover, Heroin.
That was the problem heroin was spiritual long before No Fucker ever breathed a breath!
I let it back into my life and it quickly destroyed all that was good. The punk world already knew No Fucker got fucked up, but we never let the dark secret out that we were addicted to dope. We were needle junkies! The punk world stigmatizes heroin, too. Punk: a social movement where people should have no worries concerning who they are, what they like, and what they choose to believe, but in actuality, it is one of the worse places to choose to be different. If anyone knows this to be true it is No Fucker. We were different. Our individuality proved that the punk is not what it brags to be. No Fucker was laughed at, shit on and never fucking understood!
We came from nowhere in Upstate NY and we didn’t share any members with bands that the punk community had hard-ons for at the time.
Did we care? Not particularly about people liking us as people, but not liking
No Fucker before hearing No Fucker was just fucking lame!
When I got out of prison in ‘98, JJ was one of the first and best friends I made. He was listening to the political punk bands of the 90’s like Aus Rotten and Anarcho-punk classics like C.R.A.S.S. CRASS was infectious. He was obsessive in listening to more obscure bands and his tastes were getting harder, rawer and faster.
I was running a tattoo shop and cranking raw brutal punk. JJ started digging bands whose names were less pronounceable. And then it happened, we heard Disclose! One group was at the root of everything for us, our new gods Discharge.
Discharge is the sonic experience of a war on stage. It sounds as if the world is breaking apart. To listen to their 1981 record Why is to know the extent of the d-beat raw punk style. Some people have called it the most punk record of all time, others the most metal record of all time. Various people called it the most psychedelic record of all time. Strip away the labels, fuck all labels, it’s just the best record.
And fuck you if you don’t like it.
I ran every morning with my old beat up Walkman and 90 minutes of Discharge blaring in my ears. Note: long before Apple iPod…sigh. I still run with Discharge running through my phone, but I am not as obsessive. Jesus and the Gospelfvckers, Disaster, and many others share the run with me.
JJ and I started a band, Deathbag. We tried very hard to be a cool crusty punk band, but we realized two things along our three-year journey:
- Deathbag would never be cool and
- and we sucked so badly.
We had to do something, change our sound or kill ourselves for the horrible musical abortion we had birthed with Deathbag. We felt lost. A Mass of Raw Sound Assault made what we needed to do extraneously loud and clear.
Disclose sounded like Discharge…only more! We needed to take this even further.
We knew exactly what we wanted to do. The only trouble was finding someone to play with. I could only play guitar, but I wasn’t very good. JJ was great at guitar, but he was the only person around that knew how to play drums. And too many d-beat raw punk bands have failed by having weak drummers, who obviously didn’t listen to good raw shit. So, JJ played drums and sang, while I played guitar.
We had a string of various bass players, most of them teenage punk kids who really didn’t understand d-beat. Soon, I started vocals because having your drummer sing does not look cool at all! And anyone who knows the first demo tape can attest that my vocals are better than JJ’s.
Since its beginning, No Fucker started to take away the negative from my life.
No fucker became my reality. I realized I didn’t need to be a time-bomb waiting to explode and run further down my dark spiral. For a brief time, this new excitement kept the demons swimming in my brain at bay. No Fucker was vital to my life, my sanity, my freedom. I forgot about the desire to shoot dope.
We set out to be the rawest of the raw and on some days, we succeeded. When we hit the first note of chaos on stage, Pandora’s Box opened and a mushroom cloud of energy absorbed us in the noise-death-ritual.
Zen! Religion. Rock and Roll.
When we took the stage and hit those first distorted out-of-tune notes it was mystical. It was cryptic. I couldn’t get enough. The Bacchus smiled upon us. At least that’s how I felt about No Fucker. It took me to new highs. Highs I never reached through heroin and the constant in and out of the needle.
No Fucker was my new high, but the reality is that I didn’t need a new high. I needed to destroy the reasons why I always needed to escape life by getting high, and I didn’t destroy the demons that plague me. I just pushed them deeper inside and forgot about them.
The audience usually would be bored, because this band of weird guys wasn’t playing anything resembling a song that had a mosh part or a funny sing-along about fucking George Bush in the ass.
We weren’t a joke band and we WERE going to bum you the fuck out.
But for the diehards that loved us, the gravity swelled and shifted as we played, it was an orgasm that lasted for twenty minutes and ten songs. It was everything. No Fucker let me forget the pain that I often embraced. The social ineptness rolled off me into a puddle of sweat on the stage. It had become my heroin.
Early on we sent a four-song practice tape to Kawakami, guitarist, and singer of Disclose. He was a self-proclaimed “D-Beat Maniac” and the most enthusiastic person about raw punk music. K flipped out over the No Fucker practice tape and immediately asked us to do a split record. We had only been together for a few months at that point, there was no way we were ready to record a split with Disclose. We accepted on the condition that we would wait until we were ready.
No Fucker had the pleasure of touring with Disclose, the most important of d-beat raw punk bands after the progenitors; Discharge. D-beat, the style of music named solely for Tezz’s bouncy and relentless drumming on the first Discharge song released, “Realities of War”, has had the reputation as being only about limitation. It was a joke to many. But to Kawakami from Disclose, it was no laughing matter. He took it seriously and going from his example, we took it seriously as though it were a religion. And if the goal of religion is salvation, then playing in No Fucker was a religious experience, at least for those 20 minutes of noise.
Kawakami didn’t understand our friendship went beyond the fashion sense of the west coast and my inability to communicate drove a spike between us.
Both of our stubborn nature’s didn’t allow for us to see past this foolishness.
He didn’t know how to deal with us in person, from far away we were manageable, he was a proud parent to us. But up close we were intense and weird, unafraid to call bullshit on any reigning punk emperors. We were the overzealous students that embarrassed the wise teacher. During Disclose tour old behaviors started to return. The newness and excitement of No Fucker were near its end. We knew we were good. We knew we should have played every night on the West Coast, but we did not.
I was feeling abandoned by Kawakami. After the tour, Kawakami returned to Japan and hardly spoke to us. This was another loss. I miss him horribly and blamed myself for the failure of this friendship. When K passed, I took it so personally. For days, then weeks, I sought solace in a bottle of gin and Disclose live gig recordings. My collection some 200 gigs. (Don’t email and ask for one fucking minute of live recording!) The booze wasn’t enough but I had to prove to myself I was strong. I longed for a shot of heroin to comfort me, to protect me, but it was not an option…yet.
No Fucker continued through this period and we produced our best and most despairing work, Conquer the Innocent, with JJ on guitar, me moving to bass (it’s easy to play with one finger!) and Luke, another degenerate missing some fingers (his to a pipe bomb) on drums. It was organic. Electric and better than sex. This was the solace I sought. I was never alone. It was the closest to feeling safe, I ever felt. The stage was freedom; the noise was a cloak that shrouded me from all the demons trying to fight their way back inside.
I pounded the bass with all my anger and rage.
We planned an LP and a European tour. We considered ourselves more of a European band than a US band. Finally, the No Fucker line up manifested itself from the dreadful accident to my hand. The accident also opened doors that were shut many years ago. The pain was unbearable. Pain pills prescribed didn’t cut through the pain I felt in my hand. However, the painkillers did numb the feelings of inadequacy, abandonment, and anger that No Fucker never truly nullified.
The pain was unbearable. Pain pills prescribed didn’t cut through the pain I felt in my However, the painkillers did numb the feelings of inadequacy, abandonment, and anger that No Fucker never truly nullified.
The US Punx didn’t give a fuck about No Fucker. We knew it. And we didn’t give a fuck. It’s funny now, punx are interested in No Fucker. I consistently get emails asking for pictures and stories. Honestly, I am, having problems typing this right now. No Fucker is our memory. No Fucker was our battle. Our constant sorrow – constant pain!
The USA had the chance to embrace our distorted noise but we were not cool. We would rather make fun of you for wearing a No Fucker back patch on the leg of your pants than to talk seriously about our band.
Where the fuck were you when we were fucking up your city?
Oh yeah, you were outside in the parking lot talking about Disclose/Tragedy as if it was a split record (idiots!) with the US Burning Spirt greats. It is no fault of Tragedy that the punk world is so blindly teetering on the edge of idiocy. Ironically record collecting turns the punk world into such a materialistic capitalist adventure.
Punk is no longer dangerous. Is it even needed? It is far from the safe-haven, diverse community, where all can feel welcome and “part of” I personally feel so detached from the scene that my sadness has turned to anger, almost hatred.
Not only did the egomaniac hipster record collecting punks not understand, but MRR shit on us, too.
We were foolish, and sent out the first Ep for review – and what a review it received. A hipster generic crusty kid picked it out of the bin of records for review.
He needed to voice his opinion and hatred of D-beat raw punk. He spent three-quarters of the review bitching about the genre. Then at the end, he says something like oh yeah this record sucks. I was not sure what we expected. I still occasionally come across that issue in the original mailing with “return to sender” scribbled across the front.
MRR expressed their concern of such a shitty review and threaten to do a real review of the record but I guess that was too much like work. I am glad that this is not in MRR. Fuck MRR. I approached Noisey for the “turning tricks clip” because Noisey didn’t seem like they had a pencil shoved up their asses. Noise wasn’t PC.
I never thought of asking MRR to even look at my work because I am sure it is too honest and uncensored for the conservative image they uphold.
Few people liked us and even less loved us. We immediately started inspiring love it-hate it reactions with almost everyone that heard us. Most of them hated it.
“Why are there no breakdowns?” asked a friend, the singer of a prominent NYC crust band.
“Fucking assholes don’t get it.” – answered some vegetarian.
At first, it shocked us, to read things that people were writing about us on the internet after they saw us live. We were awful, the worst band, assholes, trend hopping dicks.
But then, if I’m telling the truth, JJ and I grew to love and embrace it.
We came to understand that if most people hated us, it meant that our internal compass was leading us in the right direction. Nonetheless, we weren’t at the final destination yet but we were fucking on track. Our reputation was that we were a room clearer, and we loved it. It was the best thing ever.
Fuck being liked, being hated is what gets you remembered!
The accident happened and it changed my life. The question I asked myself when I sat down to write this piece was “What really happened on that Thursday morning in May of 2007?” (On that morning when the table saw ripped through the fingers of my left hand.)
My life, as I knew it, ended.
What really happened that day? The demon in the form of medication roamed and ran through my veins. It woke up every cell that had slumbered so peacefully and released its pure venom and chaos. Genuine happiness – A life free from the cold claws of heroin digging into my back (and fucking me endlessly throughout the night) had ceased. A life, a feeling, and an escape I do not regret returned.
When (many years before) I finally stopped using with the help of NYS Penal system, a void was created in me.
No Fucker filled that void.
The accident didn’t destroy No Fucker. I did.
For a brief time, this new (No Fucker) excitement kept the demons that were swimming in my brain at bay. I forgot about the desire to shoot dope, but I no longer had the desire to be sober. I would smoke snort or swallow anything before and after we gigged. My view was if I kept the needle out of my arm I would be safe.
I started eating methadone and oxy’s; Dilaudid’s and Percocet’s – Booze and coke. Work started to get harder and harder. Life started to lose shape. It was starting to become difficult to pull myself from bed. I opened my heart and let the devil in.
Unfortunately, one day, the inevitable happened. I couldn’t find any pills. I had a habit. The sickness increased. My stomach gave way and I regurgitated. I knew what I had to do and it scared the fuck out of me. Dope-sickness had found me. AND deep down inside-I didn’t care. Being dope-sick is the worse feeling in the world and My body screamed and writhed in pain. It impatiently prolonged the decision to release me from the tortures of this escapable hell.
The agony gnawed and pulled. The body knows that the slightest push of the plunger and all the agonizing nightmares are freed.
I tried to have both of my lovers, No Fucker, and heroin,
but deep inside I knew that it was not possible. Heroin would win over anything in my life.
I told myself that the accident was the reason for the downward spiral. I protected my drug use from criticism and attack. It was no one’s business but my own. My life as I had known it, ended.
Yes. My life free of heroin fucking me endlessly throughout the night was no longer a reality. A full-time heroin junkie’s life awaited me and I jumped into that old role. Fuck, I knew it so well.
A life of escape – A life of, “sedating myself slowly – no time for regret.”
The result of my reunion with heroin, No Fucker crumbled. My life crumbled.
Our long-anticipated European tour botched; Sadly, we missed the plane to Spain because of heroin.
A planned Japanese tour to coincide with a memorial show for Kawakami and a visit to his grave with his Mother, but I never even purchased the plane tickets.
Giving up was so easy and sitting in a dark room embracing the warmth of my bloody syringe was my reality.
I wanted nothing from life.
Nothing could make me feel better, but the reunion with my old lover, to feel him deep in my veins again. To feel the rush from the needle, warm my body, mind, and soul, and take me back to those memories I so often want to forget and not feel.
I found myself homeless, alone hungry and cold. Living on the streets, trying to die, but the universe isn’t allowing death to come so easy. It has plans for me. and No Fucker? Please share comments
Please share comments below. and join the list so you never miss another post HAHC: Street Junky update. Street Junky is the title of the book I have been working on for several years. The final edit is done of the first 1/3 of the book.
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