MORE THAN MUSIC!? (PART 2)

(from the exhibition More Than Music!?, originally shown at Baracke, Münster, Germany 30 April through 15 June 2002. Click here for more information.)

photos by Benni and Urte
text by Christopher Jones

fugazi

durango 95

It was going on tour with Verbal Assault that really opened my eyes (like all good traveling does), and gave me a real sense of what the hardcore scene could be about. Packed into a van, criss-crossing North America (and eventually Europe), there was no way the music couldn't be our life. When we met some kids who managed to put on our show in a rented hall in some out-of-the-way American town, or when we stayed up late into the night arguing politics with a fanzine editor in a squat in Europe, a generosity of spirit was always there (as well as some floor space to sleep on). What we were witnessing was all sorts of different people making their own subculture with their bare hands, for the simple reason that they believed in it. The quote from Orwell above comes from when he first arrived in Barcelona to aid the Socialist side in the Spanish Civil War, when he thought for the first time he was "in a town where the working class was in the saddle." Of course the stakes were never that high for us. Nevertheless, the touring that we did had a similar effect on me: I knew right there that this was "a state of affairs worth fighting for."

fast times

sunshine

After Verbal Assault split (amicably), I never got into another band, and never wanted to, really. These days, I don't go to many shows or buy much new music, and though I still keep in touch with old friends and work to keep the band's material out there, I suppose I'm one of those who has "drifted away."

But even at this point I know it was more than music, for I think I still carry with me the best of the ideals of the scene that we were a part of: a healthy distrust of all large political, cultural and economic authority; an indifference to the uglier aspects of consumer culture; and a sense that it is always better to make yourself heard than to let someone else do it for you.

What I would hope these photos-and the bands themselves, and the folks at the shows, and the people who photographed them-represent is still more than music: new blood, old ideals, and a strong vision.

-Christopher Jones/April 2002

Urte and Benni can be reached at <urteupsidedown@hotmail.com>.
A website about the exhibition is at http://www.morethanphotos.net.

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