“On April 18, 1918, a meeting was held at the home of Joseph Urban of Earleigh Heights for the purpose of establishing a Volunteer Fire Department.”
– Earleigh Heights Volunteer Fire Company Website
Sure, I wasn’t there in April of 1918, but I was here in September of 1993!
You know… for a show. At a VFC hall. Which was typical at that time.
To be back in January of 2023 for a show is not typical. The most recent big event here was “Breakfast with Santa.” Tonight? The Hated reunite. Their discography is now available online. A reissue campaign is underway.
Why have a show here?
Because places like this and this sort of event is where it all started and ended for these folks. The Hated’s last show before tonight was nearby, at Crofton Fire Hall (still rockin’ as of 1997). Oh, boy… the “good old days”, huh?
Before you stop reading and after you stop rolling your eyes, let me state my case.
Sure, sometimes a reissue campaign of an old group or artist’s music is based around ignoble motivations.
But, as the poet once put it, “time is a weapon of time / the wise can show that long ago is now.”
When I arrived fresh on the scene in the early 1990s, the most exciting action was in and around Washington DC. I went to high school with people from Anne Arundel County. I was not from there, but I soon was caught up on the local punk rock lore passed from show to show, band practice to band practice, zine to zine.
There were these bands, man… Annapolis had this scene in the 1980s, man…
(PLEASE NOTE: People said “man” a lot back then. Things are different today, bro.)
One band, Moss Icon, was being made available at that time. The Hated? Nope. It was get a mixtape from someone in the know or… no dice. Keep scouring those records bins at Annapolis Record Exchange, man!
I did find one record, but that was it, and the gang I was running with told me it was mastered at the “wrong speed”. The picture of that record above comes from my archive, from a writing project I was working on about local label Vermin Scum Records around the turn of the century. I sensed a history yet to be brought to light and felt attention was merited. The article didn’t happen, a planned Hated reissue campaign didn’t happen quite yet, and time remained the enemy of us all.
This leads me to the difference of today, a world of little mystery and reams of data to be consumed, a world of blinding bright digital light. What was hard to find then is now often easy to find, available after a few keystrokes. Is it better that a band be shrouded in mystery, talked about more than heard? I can’t help but reflect on the struggle, antagonism, and isolation these folks underwent to bring the 1980s punk movement and energy from “Revolution Summer”-era DC to their neck of the woods… I often encounter many young people terrified of making such radical statements of subcultural allegiance, the fear of being “cringe” starkly inhibitive. They weren’t named The Hated for nothing.
In any case, I am as much a beneficiary of their efforts as you are. I am writing this column because they inspired others who inspired me, gave me a way of being. You are reading my column now which you may find interesting, enlightening, annoying, or nostalgic. Your call.
And me? I have another show to get to, whatever year this is. Maybe I will see you there.