too old and too black for punk?
By Sound Check
June 16, 2010
Or will their legacy live on solely through their majority white dedicated underground fans?
Old School Fishbone
New School Fishbone
Another black alternative band, Bad Brains, who have been playing together for more than 30 years and are known for being one of the pioneers of hardcore punk music, has also seen little commercial success. Their self-titled debut album was released on Neil Cooper’s ROIR Records on “cassette only” in January 1982, followed in 1983 by Rock for Light, produced by Ric Ocasek of The Cars. These two albums, containing hardcore punk and mellow reggae, were staples in the punk circuit, influencing an entire generation of musicians, including Beastie Boys, Rage Against The Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, 311, Living Colour, Sublime, Deftones and more.
Yet with all of their influences to major alternative bands, little is known on the black mainstream music circuit about this punk/reggae band. This summer, Bad Brains will be a featured band at the 2010 Afro-punk festival at Brooklyn’s Commodore Park, the largest outlet for black people who enjoy alternative music, but outside of the Afro-punk arena, it is unlikely to find an all black music venue who will book, promote or headline their act.
Old school Bad Brains
New School Bad Brains
Old school black punk band, Living Colour, have been together for the last 27 years and won a Grammy back in 1989 for their highest charting single, “Type,” but have still yet to gain any chart topping success or recognition in the black entertainment media. Founder of Living Colour, Vernon Reid, also started The Black Rock Coalition 25 years ago to unite black rock artists and highlight older black rock bands, yet, even that organization has struggled to build membership popularity and financial stability.
Old school Living Colour
New School Living Colour
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