There?s a great moment near the end of ?American Hardcore? ? the classic documentary charting the rise and demise of the ?80s punk scene ? when one of the surviving musicians takes a shot at what passes for punk today: ?They?re driving their tour bus on the highway we paved.?
Look at the money Green Day rakes in compared to what Black Flag made back in the day. Or the Dead Kennedys. Or Minor Threat. (Not that Green Day doesn?t deserve every penny.)
Herein lies the point: It was never really about the money.
Ask any survivor of the early ?80s scene, that blistering musical maelstrom defined by sweat, spit, speed and stage-dives, and they will tell that any Top 5 list would have to include Bad Brains. The on-again, off-again Washington, D.C., band that careens from furious, lightning-speed riffs to a lazy reggae stupor at the drop of a high hat, is back on again. This weekend, they resurrect classics like ?Banned in D.C.? and ?Big Takeover? on the Eco-Cup stage at the Harmony Festival in Santa Rosa.
A huge influence on everyone from the Beastie Boys to Living Colour, Bad Brains definitely paved the highway.
We caught up with dreadlocked frontman Paul ?HR? Hudson. At least we think we did. At least the dude on the other end of the phone answered to that name. And, without disclosing what city he was in, HR took a moment to chat (and cackle) about ? well, we?re not really sure:
<b>Q: Where are you today?
</b>A: We?re on the planet Earth.
<b>Q: Ah. What city are you in?