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bad brains and homophobia...

Discussion in 'Music, punk scene & subcultures' started by disfuck, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. disfuck

    disfuckExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Sep 11, 2009
     
    i have been hearing that bad brains were homophobic , and loving theyre music i did not beleive this so i had to look into finding the truth ,


    Homophobia

    In a 1982 interview with fanzine Flipside, in issue #31, H.R. made a few homophobic remarks near the start of the interview. He said San Francisco (where they had just played some shows) had "...too many faggots" and said that "...most of them (homosexuals) act so crazy even out in public, it disturbs me, makes me want to go and shoot one of them."[11]

    During a 1982 tour, Bad Brains played in Austin, TX with local band Big Boys, whose singer Randy Turner was homosexual. They also incurred a debt to Turner, with some sources indicating the debt was from loaning Bad Brains' money[12][13], others indicating the debt was from Turner buying the band marijuana.[14] When H.R. learned that Turner was homosexual, an argument erupted, with a particularly heated exchange between H.R. and MDC singer Dave Dictor, leading to Bad Brains leaving Austin without repaying their debt to Turner and instead leaving a note that allegedly read "burn in hell, bloodclot faggot"[12][14][15] and vandalizing Turner's house[14]. Big Boys seemed to gloss over the incident; in an interview after the incident in Suburban Punk #7 they refuse to discuss the issue and refer to Bad Brains as "...one of the best live bands I've ever seen"[16]. MDC on the other hand referred to the incident often in interviews and even wrote a song about it called "Pay To Come Along."[14][15][17]

    In a 1982 interview with Forced Exposure Fanzine, in issue #2, there was a discussion with H.R. about changes in the band (becoming a reggae band and abandoning Punk Rock, moving out from the city to "the land", becoming "survivalists"). When asked about what led to the final decision to make these changes, H.R. responded "I guess the final decision was made about a couple months ago, halfway through the tour when we went out to California and we saw all the faggots and we went to Texas and seen all the punk rock bands. Out there the in thing was being gay and all the hardcore bands were gay. That was the last straw, I couldn't take no more. I had to say somebody got to go out there and show the youth the truth, man."[18]

    On the 1989 Quickness album, a song titled "Don't Blow Bubbles" had lyrics that were generally interpreted as being homophobic and suggesting that AIDS was God's cure for homosexuality. When asked about the song, guitarist Dr. Know said that "We wrote that song as kind of an angry warning to homosexuals. We didn't really mean to insult them, but a lot of people we knew seemed to be living with their eyes closed."[19]. In a 2007 interview where bassist Darryl Jennifer called their previous homophobic views "ignorant" he was asked about the song and the furor over the lyrics and replied "They don’t understand that we’ve grown. Just like anyone, I’m not ashamed to say, 'Maybe I could have been...' Damn right, I was a homophobe! I shouldn’t have to explain that to the world because everyone will do that. That’s wisdom. You have to grow to be wise."[20]

    Bassist Darryl Jennifer further stated in the 2007 interview, "In Rastafari and even in Christianity, they disagree with homosexuality. That’s a known fact."[20]. In the same interview, he also distanced himself from his earlier homophobic statements, saying:

    So the point being here, when we first were discovering Rastafari – like any young men or any young women getting into anything – you’re overzealous. Back in 1988, I might have been saying, “Fire burn…” I’m 25 years old! You’ve got to understand that I’m a young man growing, getting into something. Now I’m 46 years old and I’ve learned that that’s ignorant. I’ve learned through the years that we’re all God’s children, regardless of your race, creed, color, sexuality, any of that.[20]


    t
     

  2. Wonder138

    Wonder138Experienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Dec 2, 2009
     
    ya my friend told me about that and thay say that got that P.M.A
    i love bad brains music but basically thay wear just posers that lasted for a long time
    or sum thing like that
     
  3. Anxiety69

    Anxiety69Experienced Member Uploader Experienced member Forum Member


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    Oct 18, 2009
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    when i was younger, and went to church and stuff, i was very homophobic. Then i bought Propagandhi's Less Talk More Rock Cd, discovered they were gay, and then kind of figured out being gay is not that big a deal. I still let the word faggot slip out from time to time, but usually catch it and apologize if it does.

    I hope bad brains have realized the errors of their ways (in the early 80's homophobia was the norm and much more expected and accepted then now.) But since that interview was not with HR, i have my doubts.
     
  4. dwtcos

    dwtcosExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Oct 22, 2009
     
    Whenever I hear about this I want to rip the Bad Brains patch off my messanger bag. But I'm hopeful that they've changed there homophobic ways because there music fucking rules.
     
  5. ungovernable

    ungovernableAutonome Staff Member Uploader Admin Team Experienced member


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    yep they were homophobic during the time, but recently they have apparently changed their minds and realized they were stupid
     
  6. ASA

    ASAExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Nov 2, 2009
     
    gays call me faggot, wat do i do? mucasa sucasa, it'd b nice 2 think so, one day
     
  7. punkmar77

    punkmar77Experienced Member Uploader Experienced member


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    The stories are true, and unfortunately HR has not recanted his beliefs which are adapted into Rastafari from Christianity. In 1992 I Recorded a song with a band called 'Nailgun' called 'Cut em Down' for an Anti Racist Action Compilation Album, my friend Stinky Panch was recording with his band 'Firefighters for Christ' during the same sessions at Vinyl Communications Studio's and their song was called 'How Low Can The Bad Brains Get?!!' and spoke on their Homophobia. Panch is a legend on the west coast and counts many of the people mentioned above in the original thread as friends and close aquaintences, the song reflects the anger and frustration felt by many of us about the Brains faliure to recant their fascist tendencies at the time...on the West Coast as in much of Punk , homosexuality in the scene was a fact of life, it seemed to many of us that a prevalence t'wards homophobia was coming from many East Coast (Boston, N.Y., D.C.) Hardcore Bands. I'm happy to at least see one of the members has changed his rhetoric.
     
  8. Rabbit

    RabbitExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Oct 26, 2009
     
    Oi Polloi - "When Two Men Kiss"

    "From Nazi Boneheads
    To Bad Brains
    All attitudes
    That we must change"

    That's what first made me look into the Bad Brains/homophobia stuff. It's tough to forgive, especially given how pro-gay rights others at the time were, especially Oi Polloi and MDC. I do think there was more homophobia in the past, but I'm glad to see that it's become a big deal for a band like the Bad Brains to have such a checkered past.

    On a side note, there is a significant homophobic streak within Rastafarian culture. Buju Banton (who recorded with Rancid) said in 2009: "This is a fight, and as I said in one of my songs, 'there is no end to the war between me and faggot' and it's clear." There's a lot of work still to be done.
     
  9. theoldpunk

    theoldpunkExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Sep 19, 2009
     
    Re: Propagandhi -

    Religion and homophobia are comfortable bedfellows, so I was never that surprised by the BB expressions of it. Not every Rasta / Muslim / Jew etc is a homophobe, but you'll find many who are. Good to hear that at least some of the BB have managed to challenge and overcome their prejudices. Now all they need to do is drop the rest of the Rasta nonsense and they'll be just about perfect :D Maybe I should tell 'em you don't need a god to enjoy weed :ecouteurs:

    They made a great noise though :rock:
     
  10. Ring Of Truth

    Ring Of TruthExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Dec 28, 2009
     
    It is sad about the Bad Brains... I guess it will always be a love-hate relationship to me. I love and respect them for being one of the first all-black punk bands in a predominately white music, I mean that was fucking awesome. Unfortunately they like many other 80's punk bands were ignorant and not open to homosexuality. I know a part of it was the time period, and another part of it was the religious aspect... but there is no excuse to have be close minded as they were.
     
  11. LucidStrike

    LucidStrikeExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Nov 1, 2009
     
    *Removes Bad Brains from hard drive* I JUST downloaded them yesterday. I've only ever heard a few seconds of them, and shuffle hadn't even graced them yet. Shame.

    As for Rastafari and religious bigotry, I love Propagandhi's 'Haillie Sellasse': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPpXY1aWKgI
     
  12. ASA

    ASAExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Nov 2, 2009
     
    Propagandhi may have got ya inta punk but thats like saying the sp's got mi inta punk, oh wait, they're gods.

    ent had sum odd ideas to, lets argue about conflict
     
  13. Anxiety69

    Anxiety69Experienced Member Uploader Experienced member Forum Member


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    Oct 18, 2009
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    reread my post and you'll see i never said propagandhi got me into punk (not that it would be bad if they had) but that they made me rethink homophobia, whether they actually are gay or not is irrelevant. (though the lyrics to the song less talk more rock makes me think at least one member may have had some gay experiences...)
     
  14. back2front

    back2frontExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Nov 26, 2009
     
    Yeah that info is pretty accurate - I asked Dave Dictor from MDC about this years ago and that's pretty much what he said about what happened in Texas. You can read about it in the "American Hradcore" book by Stephan Blush.

    When I first heard bad brains I was amazed at their musical dexterity - they played faster than everyone and set the benchmark for hardcore but could slip effortlessly into roots reggae too. The first two albums (ROIR and Rock for Light -83 mix that is) are absolute classics but bar the odd song they've done nothing to equal it since. The homophobia was awful but it's part of the culture of Rasta it seems. I find that just as disturbing that they were promoting, and still promote patriarchial religion, which is as intolerant as it is short-sighted.

    Their first big comeback was promoted by that queen of Diy hardcore and anarchist politics Madonna (shudder) - the dreadful "God of Love" album. The latest album is better but isn't especially good - HR chanting the same line over and over to a few riffs. Their reggae stuff is good though if it wasn't for the 'mostly' crap lyrics. I also read that they hoped to play for the inaugoration of Barrack Obama - how low can a punk get???

    Dave Dictor also told me that he'd spoken to a few of the Brains since those times and they've become a lot more tolerant so I think it's fair enough what Darryl Jennifer is saying about growing up and moving on. Would like to hear that from HR too though.

    Yeah they were a great band, one of the best in their time, but they've dug a very big hole for themselves
     
  15. Vegetarian Barbarian

    Vegetarian BarbarianExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Oct 19, 2009
     
    Never really got into BB so i guess that was a good thing? Its unfortunate to see that views of homophobia, especially in a band like this are still around.... what a bunch of faggots. :D
     
  16. Cocytus

    CocytusExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Oct 14, 2009
     
    I actually dont care about the bands lyrics, I only like them for the music.

    As for homophobia, I dont care for it but Im not a nazi about it because I hate everyone anyway, so I dont really care.

    Im more worried about animal rights issues than human being issues.

    Being gay is a a great cure for overpopulation though, same thing with hard drugs and AIDS.
     
  17. Cocytus

    CocytusExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Oct 14, 2009
     
    Your an idiot to not listen to them based just on a view the singer has.

    Musicaly theyll blow your head off if you download the ROIR tape and Black Dots, and the original mix of rock for light.
    Quickness was good too.

    Thats like saying you dont like norweigan black metal because of the views of certain original setters of the benchmark of the genre, who gives a fuck if varg is a nazi, the first 2 albums are amazing. Same with Absurd and some other bands.

    They at least practiced what they preached(burning down churches and kiling people), unlike most lame fucking nerdsin the scene today.

    Gotta give credit where its due.
     
  18. Cocytus

    CocytusExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Oct 14, 2009
     
    Now everyone can hate me more than they already do, like I actually care?
     
  19. Anxiety69

    Anxiety69Experienced Member Uploader Experienced member Forum Member


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    hmmm, well i guess by cocytus's statement it is ok to like early skrewdriver because they didn't sing about nazism and white power yet...


    don;t get me wrong, i like bad brains, not tons, but i do really like the I against I album, (especially the song Sacred Love, since hr was literally in jail and recorded the vocals over the phone, giving it a more haunting sound) and I'm not sure if homophobia equates nazism, but i can understand Lucidstrike's opinion, as well as cocytus's (to a less jerk-like degree).
     
  20. ASA

    ASAExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    nuthing wrong with early skrewdriver, don't tarnish with a paint brush, those who cast bla fuck that shit, i never sed U sed na na na na haha
     
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