Focusing mainly on the events that took place between 1980 and 1986, American Hardcore: A Tribal History by Steven Blush portrays what actually happened in the hardcore punk scene. Just in that short period of time, many things happened in such profound and impactful ways.
The first half of the 80’s was the peak of American Hardcore. What started as more of a countercultural lifestyle and music scene, had developed into something more substantial. Hardcore grew into social and political movements, and for many people it is a matter of idealism. The changes and new ways it brought hardly went along with mainstream society. It had evolved like many important revolutionary arts, music, and thoughts before it.
Cover and Details of American Hardcore: A Tribal History by Steven Blush (PDF)
- Title: American Hardcore: A Tribal History
- Author: Steven Blush
- Publisher: Feral House
- Date Published: November 9th 2001
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0922915717
- ISBN-13: 9780922915712
Summary of the Book
Steven Blush’s “definitive treatment of Hardcore Punk” (Los Angeles Times) changed the way we look at Punk Rock. The Sony Picture Classics–distributed documentary American Hardcore premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. This revised and expanded second edition contains hundreds of new bands, thirty new interviews, flyers, a new chapter (“Destroy Babylon”), and a new art gallery with over 125 rare photos and images.
Reviews of American Hardcore: A Tribal History
Hardcore rock music, “an infectious blend of ultra-fast music, thought-provoking lyrics, and fuck-you attitude,” sprang from the puddle of post-New Wave punk. According to Blush, punk transformed the pop-music landscape and quickly flamed out. New Wave, a “watered-down” punk, was then “cranked out by major labels…for mainstream consumption.”
Enough interpretation. The meat of the book is an oral-history-style continuum of the comments of scads of hardcore movers and shakers, leavened by squibs from aging hardcore-scene participants. One highlight is a discussion of the merging of a branch of heavy metal with hardcore to create a hybrid called crossover.
Metallica’s James Hetfield contrasts tellingly with the Dead Kennedys’ Jello Biafra and D.O.A.’s Joey Shithead, exemplifying the difference between “old school” metal money-mongers and revolutionary punkers. Difference? Well, “an old school manager” wanted hardcorers Black Flag to tour with metal band Motorhead but tried to charge rent for the lights and P.A. “Flag said, ‘Fuck you!,'” as well they should. An extraordinary resource on one of pop music’s most overlooked influential subgenres. —Booklist
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