Sunday, December 13, 2009


To say that this recording is entertaining is putting it quite lightly. Simply put, what begins as as a meeting of the minds quickly turns into a discourse of vitriolic proportions. And it's also the most notoriously known half hour in the history of WNYU radio. On one side, Steve Martin (founder of In Effect Records and formerly of Agnostic Front), Lou and Pete Koller of Sick Of It All, and Sam of Evacuate Records represent the alleged commercially motivated hardcore contingent of the late 1980s New York hardcore scene. The other side, representing the populist, do-it-yourself faction involved in New York hardcore is Sam McPheeters and Adam Nathanson of Born Against/Vermiform Records and Charles Maggio of Rorschach/Gern Blandsten Records.

What begins as an on air radio debate about the principles of censorship, the hardcore economy, and the role of artist in the underground turns into an in-studio brawl. There's certainly some interesting points along the way. McPheeters, Nathanson, and Maggio are populist purists rooted in the tradition of do-it-yourself hardcore and are blatantly calling bullshit on In Effect Records and Sick Of It All because they feel they are selling out.

I find this document to be really captivating. In the archetypal days of hardcore, there were no online message boards for a legion of people to speak with digital courage. Disputes were settled by the primal act of street justice. Considering the zeitgeist of New York hardcore in the late 80s, this debate truly shows the convergence of two separate hardcore scenes with vastly different ideals concerning scene politics. The regional experience of New York hardcore has always been entrenched in working class, tough, and unsophisticated ideals. In my opinion, it's always served as a reaction to the cosmopolitan culture of Manhattan. The second wave of New York hardcore (of which In Effect Records and Sick Of It All were key players) was defined by right-wing philosophies and violence. Born Against, Rorschach, and the other bands that comprised the ABC No Rio scene in the late 1980s served an alternative to this culture. This recording captures this cultural wrangle in real time.

The quality of this tape is satisfactory considering it was recorded in the WNYU studios. This version suffers from the slightest bit of tape hiss that I have yet not tried to correct digitally.

If anyone has the date this was recorded, I would really appreciate it if you could pass this information along to me.



  1. This is the best Monday present ever.

  2. lookin forward to this, thanks

  3. Hey guys, I was there that night! Anyway, I transcribed this for my is the link for the download:

    Dave K.

  4. Love this. Thanks a million for unearthing it!

  5. FYI - Steve Martin wasn't the founder of In-Effect. He was a huge part of what went on there, but he was brought on after the label was started.

    Also, to say that "the second wave of NYHC was defined by right-wing philosophies and violence" is pretty fucked up. Did both exist within the scene at that time? Sure. But defined by either or both??? C'mon now.

    Ultimately, all involved in the debate had more in common than they realized and I feel that the PC faction was just trying to make a point at all costs, despite their blatant ignorance and disrespect for a band that they admit influenced them greatly.

  6. I would like to say thanks for letting me post here,your topic is very interesting I want to find out more about it