Blush Documents ‘70s NC Punk Scene


Hey, some of us were
actually there!


By Fred Mills


“North Carolina’s
Punk Rock Legacy 1977-1984” is the title of an in-depth article by noted punk
authority Steven Blush, former Seconds zine
publisher and author of a number of books including the classic screed American Hardcore: A Tribal History (which later inspired the acclaimed documentary of the same name about the
national hardcore scene). It tells the tale, as the title suggests, of what was going on
during the punk era in the relatively undocumented wilds of N.C., where bands
with colorful names like the H-Bombs, Butchwax and Th’ Cigaretz helped midwife
the Tarheel alternative scene,  and where the hardcore likes of No Labels,
Corrosion of Conformity and Stillborn Christians subsequently picked up the
hi-nrg torch.


The piece is found in the premiere issue of ArtSync Magazine, based in, of all
places, the tiny burg of Supply, NC. You can find the publication’s website
HERE, and they’ve also got the entire issue available in digital form HERE (the
punk story is indexed starting at pages 54-55). Worth noting: there’s also a killer interview with underground artist Robert Williams.


So as not to make this such a shameless plug, I’ll give you
full disclosure: I’m among the folks Blush interviewed for the piece (I was
present when most of what’s covered was happening), along with the likes of
R.E.M. producer Don Dixon, the dB’s Peter Holsapple, COC’s Reid Mullin and Th’
Cigaretz’ Jerry Williams (who later worked with the Beastie Boys and the Bad
Brains). But with six pages devoted to the topic, and liberally decorated with
images of zines, posters and recordings to boot, it’s well worth your time to
check it out if you have any interest in delving into this regional report –
the NC punk scene, though based primarily in the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham,
Chapel Hill) and relatively small compared to the major markets, mirrored much
of what was bubbling under in other locales across the country. And what happened
there caused ripple effects, too.


As Jerry Williams puts it, “That explosive scene was the
orgasm – and that begot children.”



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