Pat At gilman ( sound, security, Store and a man seemingly quickly ammassing a monsterous 90's Punk collection..though not Pat Wright, a quiet, unassuming but-yet-as-much -fixture of GIlman at this point as much as the spray painted ceiling or well worn stage) pointed out to me last night that on April 3rd, 2008 marked the ten Year anniversary of Tim Yohannon's death
This largely went unnoticed, even in the Pages of MRR, who I guess in best fitting tribute to Tim published the magazine's 300th issue in April with a great All Northern California issue..( though the fifth anniversary was marked by a tribute from MDC!! Oh the irony that this song is seemingly also available as a Ringtone)
These days there might be fewer people involved with the magazine that knew or even met Tim than those who never did, but it's a testament to both the hard work of people who followed to carry the torch of the magazine as much as his incredibly organizational skills that, ten years and 120 issues later that the thing still comes out.
I've thought a lot about Tim In the past year or so, as people canonize and lionize him and in doing so, often Distort early 80's lore- from the thinking he was Really into early 80's hardcore by the late 90's, where his tastes had long since turned back more to raw Rock 'n'Punk like THE HUMPERS, or That he was involved with " bringing vegetarianism and hippism" into Punk. Vegetarian? I think the "new" MRR house was chosen for it's proximity to one of SF's best rib joints ( indeed one of the few times I had dinner with him fresh off the boat from 'bama before I re-went vegetarian we went here . But Hippie politics? sort of. He once told me,as was the custom he rode into San Francisco in the 60's with flowers in his hair . I actually think the link between Underground communities and Radical politics is what gave the San Francisco Punk scene it's enduring legacy in 1980's hardcore-where other scenes like New York, DC and Los Angeles had greater aesthetic and musical impact, few bridged the gap between late 70's punk and 80's hardcore as well as San Francisco, because I think, instead of abandoning the new more extreme evolution of punk rock, radicals like Jeff Bale, Jello Biafra and mostly Yohannon saw the potential to spearhead hardcore as a musical and politically progressive movement.
Tim was a person with the ability, skill, thought and vision to keep this scene organizing, progressing and moving and from that frame of reference, I've wondered a lot lately on what Tim's take on the punk scenes current large challenges that don't seem to be being met would be-from it's apparent dependence on corporate owned websites ( like this one), or Myspace for communication, how MRR would evolve and change in light of the digital revolution- MRR has largely remained frozen in amber in regard to it's online prescence, so the central communication and information of the punk scene-where MRR used to be front and center- has moved off to different mesage boards, websites and, uh, blogs that are updated quicker and in near real-time ( after recently threatening for Prank to divert it's advertising dollars to more effective click though Banner ads and web pages, I've been assured this is back on the drawing board at MRR HQ)...The buyout/collapse/diminuation of Mordam and it's transformation into a gutted Vendor for WEA... And how a largely, increasingly apolitical and nostalgia-driven, retro-obsessed punk scene would be approached. You can never guess someone's thoughts- I mean Tim was a guy who for all his serious and intense political and cultural viewpoints was the same guy who used Mrr's clout to bring the world the DIESEL QUEENS album on Vinyl!!! with hits Like " I like cheese!" and "manson family feud"... Thinking of all of that, his perspective, his humor, and drive that got all this stuff done, well, I miss him more than ever.
The enduring institutions he created do continue- MRR rolls forward, and has long since reignited it's radio show, did a great compilation (scroll down) and is about to Co-unleash this KILLER
BUM KON ultra-thrashed out reissue of the complete "drunken sex sucks" recording sessions with Smooch Records . 924 Gilman still cranks out great shows week-endly, though it's a complete mystery after the guy who invented the place smoked like a chimney and died of cancer at the young age of 52, why gilman still allows people to smoke indoors, (what's it going to take the entire staff to be on rolled in on chemo and oxygen tanks to finally raise their hands at their first and third meetings to finally go "well maybe we should think about ammending the policy.."? Increasingly. I'll stick to a bar shows where sensibly and in respect for the people who come there, work there and perform there, smokers have to take it outside and I don;t have to hack and cough all the next day) and while epicenter zone went up in flames..or well, drowned in sprinklers at the Infamous GAUZE/ ASSFORT/ HHIG show ( pictured on the 12" label of His Hero is gone's "15 counts of arson"), there's now heaps of new records stores in the bay that take inspiration from it. And I guess that's the point at the end of it, follow the example, build from it, grow and push it. Cheers, TIm, Cheers.