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The early years of Norfolk's alternative scene was inspired by the likes of TALKING HEADS & BLONDIE. WNOR's evil grip on the taste of a inbred populous was a match made in hell. Only southern rock & other hickoid forms of noise populated the ears of this area. I think Alice Cooper was about the most alternative act to hit Tidewater in the early 70s & he supposedly hung out at the King's Head Inn one nite. Iggy supposedly played Va Beach with i think Humble Pie. One of the early Norfolk punks I know, Kirk Marchand was in attendance. Richard Hell's mom supposedly taught at ODU in the 70s & 80s too. None of this really made for fuck all of a scene. According to Kirk Marchand, "The Daily Planet" was the first punk band in Norfolk arriving on the scene in 1978 but it wasn't til "With Intent" which later became FRONTLINE that there was a "one set all original band". Around 1980, Friar Tucks started booking local alternative bands like the X-Raves who were also playing joints like TAJ MAHAL. Bands like The Slickee Boys and Bad Brains plus NY & GA bands were making their way thru Norfolk and even Va Beach in the early 80s which paved the way for the PUNK ROCK scene which wasn't even old enough to drink.

A couple of unknown friends of mine at the time had made stickers in 1984 that said HARDCORE NORFOLK. That was right b4 I began college in Norfolk in 1985. Some of the bands i'd missed included Judicial Fear (with Pork Chop later BRIEFLY seen in Starving Artists), Hoit, Stinky & Schmyzer (w/Patrick later seen in Lazarus, She-Males & Buzzard -HellHound Records band-). So, a scene began to form around Connection Hall (actually a back room in a beauty parlor) & The Corner, both on Hampton Blvd in Norfolk VA as a result of the Skate Scene at MT Trashmore which meant California Punk Rock was in style with touring bands like Agent Orange & The Faction hitting Norfolk & Va. Beach playing to a wide assortment of minors with fake IDs, Sailors, Hangovers from the late 70s/early 80s New Wave scene & whoever the fuck else happened to stumble into the Corner on a night or Connection Hall & Junction Hall on a Sunday matinee. All kinds of fucking bands were playing Norfolk from out of town from 1983 to 1989. Things were completely rocking! Red Scare (CA), MIA (CA), The Primates (GA), The Asexuals (Canada), COC (NC), Disorderly Conduct (NY), Resistance (Richmond -ex Absence of Malice-), Pledge Allegiance (Richmond), Unseen Force(Richmond feat. Greta of Debbie Harry Band & Moby fame circa 1984) & more were all playing alongside local bands like DEAD AIM, F.O.E., Crux, Skid Row (w/Danny Lloyd, a self proclaimed king of local punk), Radical Left (fed into Treefort who fed into Candy Snatchers), Dissonance & many more. Speedmetal was limited to the likes of OTT, Menace & most successfully getting signed & touring...At War. Tidewater had a scene that rivalled any other & there was enuff activity to distract from the suicide inspiring enviroment. Towards the tail end of punk, Kill Bon Jovi, Social Disturbance, Macabre (a Misfits cover band), Squinty Vincent, Black Aura, EFH (who fed into 24/7 Spyz, Egypt & Grillmaster), Age of Uncertainty & a few others were picking up the pieces where other bands tailed off. The Corner was fizzling but Kings Head Inn was still going strong & a rehearsal complex owned by one LINDA POOLE was doing shows with the likes of SCAB CADILLAC (from Philly) & others. Also, in Norfolk, The Elbow Room was doing shows from time to time with acts like GUTWRENCH coming down from Washington DC playing shows with bands like the Funk Junkies (ex-EFH, Thin Lads, Face First). Not far away, the Beach Theater opened around late 1988 right on the water front of VA Beach & great acts like New Rose (NJ), The Undead (NJ), The FIENDZ (NJ), Gwar (Richmond) & others were playing this large complex. Nonetheless, by about 1991, Norfolk punk was beginning a slow descent, which only recently it appears to be coming out of. The Riverview Theater & some place in Hampton were booking shows in the early & mid 90s but our focus here is the 80s. Also not to be ignored, POST PUNK.
Not much came out on vinyl from the Norfolk punk scene. God's Will & Grog (who fed into False Sacrament who moved out to California) are the only 2 80s Norfolk harder punk styled bands i can think of off the top of my head who released 7"ers. Plenty of bands recorded demos tho like EFH, Backwash, Dead Aim***, FOE & the list goes on. Privately i've collected other studio stuff from the likes of Rotten Crotches (who became Smash who fed into Otz Chiim), Squinty Vincent & more. Greg Webb who was doing shows at Connection Hall issued a compilation tape of all the LIVE shit he had recorded including out of town acts like Fire Party, Porn Orchard & Kingface. Also worthwhile hunting for is the TB Vultures demo which was a 1984 era band composed of some Northern Virginia-ers and their ODU attending economist drummer Hal Jenkins who was a good friend & briefly bandmate of mine. Read on....

***DEAD AIM "Homeboy" Demo now on CD-R...U can order it thru us for $ 10 & all proceeds go to the band! Send $ 10 well concealed cash to Sean, PO Box 211, Dunn Loring, VA 22027, USA. Email us thru this site to confirm we can make your burn b4 sending cash.

Matt from Treefort onstage with Candy Snatchers (pic: S. Peterson)
  Post Punk in Norfolk...
Post Punk in Norfolk never really mixed with the punk because the fans of acts like Gang of Four & Joy Division were a little older than the hardcore gutter style punks & plus their taste was known to include Dead or Alive & Echo and the Bunnymen. Really just not punk enuff for a 15 year old.

Antic Hay, The Thin Lads (just as much a folk or 77punk band), The Starving Artists & Nocturnal Zoo were reigning as kings supreme around 1985 to 1988 and when i update this page, we're gonna explore each of these bands a little more indepth. Also a part of the scene at Formerly Dominic's (later The Corner) but definitely not punk were Beatles loving


who are probably the only band besides BRUCE HORNSBY & THE RANGE from Tidewater to tour Spain & DISCO INFERNO who if memory serves me correctly, didn't bring their Replacements style grunge any further north than Richmond. Also not punk but playing the Corner fairly regularly in 1988 were a duo called EAST GOES WEST (ex-Thin Lads). Across the bridge in Hampton the seeds were laid for BUTTSTEAK (who fed into Stress Magnets, Karma To Burn, Candy Snatchers, Lee Harvey Keitel Band, Dirty Sanchez, Chin Music & Ashley Stove) which featured members of the Heretics and Halcyon Days/Nocturnal Zoo refugees & around 1988 they began cutting some demos with some very clever songwriting influenced by the likes of Devo & Kraftwerk. Buttsteak grew pretty popular in Norfolk but like most of the other mentioned bands in this section, weren't particularly liked by punks as evidenced by the heckling they received when they played BEACH THEATRE. They eventually, unlike the rest of the majority of Tidewater bands, got signed to real label, actually two real labels. At War (who fed into Kung Fu Dykes), Antic Hay & Attic Black (the remaining half of Nocturnal Zoo who actually appeared on MARKED FOR DEATH soundtrack)were the only other 3 bands of noteworthy from that time period of about 85-90 to get signed.
Finally, what write up about Tidewater would be complete without a slightly more indepth mention of Formerly Dominic's which later was known as the Corner. Jason Black became proprietor of this joint around 1987 & was busy blowing toot up his nose til the wee hours of the nite whilst getting the occasional BJ right onstage after hours. Literary machines like Vic Demise (of ZOMBIE LUAU, a Cramps style band) were closing this bar out nitely 3 - 5 nites a week at the height of its success. Great out of town bands rolled thru this place from Kilkenny Kats to Soul Train to Bangah to THe Primates to LMNOP to DRI & sadly, those days are gone & so are most of those bands. This once great club that would have it's front face painted almost weekly at one point is now just a hollow building. This page isn't just a tribute to Tidewater but on a greater scale, to a lost era. THE 80s.
This page is dedicated to our fallen musical comrades from that time: Jeff Clites, Clark Edwards, Nick DiCorato (soon to be the subject of a documentary about his last band JOHNNY SKILLSAW) & even Carol Taylor. R.I.P.

CD Cover of final Buttsteak CD on GoKart
  Check out these interesting web sites:
Listen to MP3's? Check out the music of Gallow Glass, which is the singer & bassist of THE STARVING ARTISTS, guitarist of THIN LADS & drummer of X-Raves. They got a CD for 10$ you can probably mailorder from Camp Zama Record Store on Hampton Blvd., Norfolk, VA if you get motivated. I should also mention Skinnie's Records on 21st St. really rules & if u happen to be down in Norfolk, go to both.

And click here to visit Kirk's site who had played in God's Will & now teaches guitar AND school up in MD. Need guitar lessons? People like this guy wrote the book on HxC. His commentary on the Clinton/Lewinsky fiasco brought a whole new view to my face. Visit his site or perish..

And click here to surf the net for more info Norfolk VA 80s punk/alternative stuff. This is my search engine of choice & if you type in names like "Jeff Maisey" who is in Gallow Glass & was in The Thin Lads, you'll see reviews he wrote for the Virginia Pilot. If you type in "Ralph Gerth" who played in The Starving Artists, i think you'll find a site or 2 with his picture & his photography. It's good for where are they now type stuff.

The glorious Mockers in NYC abandoning Norfolk!!! (we know this pic rules)



Latest News (updated July 12th & Sept 17, 2002)...Cogans closed & Skinnies' co-owner/God's Will guitarist Jeff Clites passed away recently