Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Explosive Punk Preservationists the Volatiles Preserve the Substance That Style Almost Killed

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Explosive Punk Preservationists the Volatiles Preserve the Substance That Style Almost Killed

Article excerpt

Musically, I grew up at a pretty amazing time. I was lucky enough to see many of the early American punk bands in their heyday--the Minutemen, Black Flag, Naked Raygun, the Dead Kennedys, all the early American punk rockers. The music and the message spoke to me, said many things that I'd been thinking. But I didn't realize so many others felt the same way.

As the Minutemen said in one of the great punk rock anthems, "History Lesson, part II," "Me and D. Boon played for years, but punk rock changed our lives." It truly did. Almost overnight, I changed from a kid to, in my mind, a teen-age enemy of the state.

A lot of the debt is owed to a show that aired on KWMU in the early `80s called "Pipeline." It was loud, it was chaotic, it was adventuresome, and it was programmed for people like me. It was the only place in St. Louis where you could hear the music.

On Friday nights, we'd drive around listening to "Pipeline" in much the same way that the kids in "American Graffiti" listened to Wolfman Jack.

Whenever I mention "Pipeline" to my generation who grew up in St. Louis, inevitably their eyes light up. There's an instant camaraderie. It seems as though it wasn't just us kids in Edwardsville, Ill. All over St. Louis on Friday nights, starting at 11 p.m., a certain segment of the population was tuned into "Pipe line." The program formed our musical tastes, and in turn, our musical tastes (and the great big "NO!" that was inherent in the music) informed our opinions.

In Edwardsville, we thought we were alone. As it turns out, there were little groups all over the area listening to "Pipeline." And guess what? That same punk-rock enthusiasm and art is still around. Green Day can kill the term, but it can't kill the feeling.

The Volatiles' first single, "F--- All Punk Rockers" is packed with the same "NO!" that fueled our attitude--perhaps even a bigger one, because not only are the Vola tiles fighting against all the lame music out there, they're also rallying against punk itself. …

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