I’ve been thinking about this piece for a long time. How can I find the exact words to stress just how important FUGAZI were. Important in that they lead the way for my diy generation. I was involved in putting gigs in Dublin for a number of years. I played in a band and when it cam time to play gigs felt mthere was no point in sitting around waiting for things to happen. Be your own scene, create your own journey. We did this for a couple of years and when it came time to start complaingin abuit prices of gigs and why bands weren’t travelling over to Ireland the obvious step was to try and make it happen. This I did, with some friends. We got wind of a band touring Europe called FUGAZI. It was their first tour and and all we knew was that they had been in some pretty good bands previously.
IN todays instant world of knowledge the midst of time can get lost. We wanted to hear Fugazi so we had to source some US dollars, write a letter, post it off and wait. This was our fountain for music – tapes letters and meeting our friends face to face. We heard the three tracl demo and the next step was to start making phone calls to get this band over. After many calls and avenues the band finally heard about it and went for it. For this gig I decided to call this thing Hope Promotions. I asked Paddy who did the poster to put it on ut it didn’t even make there but it was the first official Hope gig. Our world then changed.
Fugazi led the way in that they were involved in every aspect of their art. Like a sculptor creating a piece who sources their own materials to put it on display FUGAZI needed to know where their gigs were on, ensure there was no age restrictions, ensure the door price and even who else was playing on the night. I used to write a fanzine and would always ask bands about the process of playing Dublin, most answers cam back that they have no control over where they play, they are just informed. FUGAZI were different, they had control and they pulled the strings. They returned to Ireland the following year and played to 550 people. When we were counting the money after the gig I took out the expenses for the venue and the associated costs and was ready to hand the band all the remaining money (which is the way it had been done for a couple of years – with smaller amounts of course) and ian McKaye took a portion out and handed back over IR£500 and said now go make things happen. This was monumental for us in Dublin. We could then accept bands over to play, knowing we could cover their ferry fare. I can’t stress how vital this was to our scene in Dublin. Irish punk history has been kind to Hope Promotions (and Hope Collective subsequently) but this display of sleflessness from one band from Washington DC played an immense part in it all.
And then there was their music. It was a blend of RUTS, riffs, rhythm, punk, funk, hardcore. SO hard to pin down and hopefully you are already familiar with their sound. If not I sincerely ask you to get to www.dischord.com and check them out. The band played over 1000 shows and these are all listed on www.dischord.com/fugazi_live_series The band are attempting to put as many of these gigs on the site available for download for $5 each or a price you deem fair.
Can’t say fairer than that
2 thoughts on “Bands that changed a life Pt 2 – FUGAZI”
I used to have the demo of the gig they played in Leeds in ’88. It was one of the best live recordings I had. It has since vanished into the ether and is not available on the site. *sigh*
Great post Niall.