Senior Superlatives: DC Hardcore Edition

minor threat

Photo by Jim Saah, Director of Photography for Salad Days

Here’s something definitely worth leaving your apartment for: the brand new documentary titled Salad Days: The Birth of Punk Rock in the Nation’s Capital is now screening in select cities across the United States. Chronicling the formative years of Washington DC’s prolific punk scene, the film features interviews with DC all-stars such as Dave Grohl, Henry Rollins and Ian MacKaye, as well as archival footage of said all-stars at their most bratty and baby-faced. (And, spoiler alert: in tie-dye shirts. It was the late 80s, okay?!?!)

In my recent interview with writer/director Scott Crawford, he seemed hesitant to dwell on the nostalgia factor, instead hoping to offer a complex take on an often hyper-romanticized era. “The best days don’t have to be behind you,” he says, “You gotta always think ahead.”

But for comedy’s sake, I egged him onto taking a U-turn down memory lane. If Salad Days was like a DC punk yearbook, I asked, what superlatives would you bestow upon some of the scene’s key players? These were his answers:

~*~Presenting Senior Superlatives: DC Hardcore Class of 1980-1990~*~

Best Dressed: “In my humble opinion, this title goes to John Stabb from Government Issue. He was the guy wearing paisley shirts and polyester pants at shows. So many patterns that wouldn’t even match. Although I think Ian Svenonious (Nation of Ulysses, Chain & The Gang) deserves an honorable mention for those suits.”

Class Clown: “Minor Threat/Dag Nasty’s Brian Baker, who first coined the term “emo.” He gets high comedic marks for that alone.”

Most Athletic: “Well, I was quite good at doing backflips! But I wouldn’t vote for myself, so. This guy Tom Berard (local superfan) was always going crazy at every show. Backflips, slam dancing… You name it. He had the moves. All of them.”

Best Dancer: See above. (**Author’s Note: Guy Picciotto was ROBBED**)

Best Hair: Ian MacKaye during his brief dreads phase in 1987. There aren’t too many photos from that time though… Probably for a good reason, who knows. Also um, Bobby Sullivan from Soul Side. He had some great dreads too. In fact he still has them.”

Life of the Party: “Pshhh. What party? We didn’t have parties in DC! Just kidding. There were so many people [who] were funny, intelligent, charming. I vote all of them.”

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One thought on “Senior Superlatives: DC Hardcore Edition

  1. Heard your story on NPR! Glad you made it out, sorry to hear what you went through, i do not mean that tritely. Love your illustrations! Are you on behance by chance?

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