Music

afropunk exclusive: legendary eugene robinson speaks out: how to turn a “whipping boy” into an “oxbow”

July 12, 2013

What up AfroPunk!!? I’d like to enlighten you, in hopes that your minds and hearts are open to new and exciting things. In this case it’s nothing new. Eugene Robinson has been making music for well over 2 decades and in my eyes a Punk Rock God 

By: Uriel j. Winfree III

This story begins 

In 1982 Stanford University students Eugene Robinson, Steve Ballinger, (original members) from Palo Alto, California assembled an American hardcore punk band called “Whipping Boy”.

Lead by Eugene Robinson’s Incongruous and violent bellows with power melodies, and heavy rhythms that would make the average hardcore punk band today look like a teenage boy band. 

Their song “America Must Die”  has a clear anti government statement which makes me feel like choking someone out on the G train. Dealing with the strong hold of the government trying to draft young men during that time and money being drained from students you can clearly understand the feelings portrayed in this song.  I could only imagine hanging out with Eugene Robinson and these goonies in their adolescence. See for yourself 

Eugene’s stage presence itself could send your mom to church wishing she’d never been subjected to such an violent air strip show.

The live performance I  stumbled upon online from ‘Time, Gentlemen, Time’ Live at Paradiso, Amsterdam of front man, Eugene Robinson’s current band “Oxbow”. A four member; avant-garde , nose rock, bluesy band that uses arch forms and musical palindromes that made me want more. I questioned everything I thought was “fair game” in performance sense; melodies, vocal tones, and stage presence. EVERYTHING!

Have you ever seen or had to deal with a pesky fan that always seem to try heckle or make the show about them instead of letting the band or artist perform. That shit wont fly on Eugene’s watch. He’ll gladly make you apart of the show instead of ignoring you… You’d have to really reconsider your life decisions if you want to go toe to toe with this MMA practitioner. I think from the conversation we had he’ll be much obliged to set you straight.

Being punk isn’t only the music you listen to, its a life style and how you view things and your outlook on life. I asked Eugene how he felt being a minority in a scene that was predominately white. He went on to tell me “I never had a problem being an outliner, and never was a joiner. Wasn’t a big deal to me being different.”

This to me is a true punk statement. WHO CARES, and if you have a problem with it, shut your mouth!!!

Eugene born a New Yorker has that realistic mentality. At first glance you’d assume he’d most likely be a bouncer at your local dive bar, where they play nothing but death metal and only serve Whisky. Your assumption would be WRONG!

Robinson is a published author/writer, competitive mixed martial arts/wrestler with rare film and television appearances making him in my eyes a renaissance man of many talents, and he’ll fuck you up if you ask kindly enough. In his 50’s he stated ” I feel more Punk Rock now than I ever have in my life.

Being a singer in a band like Oxbow, you wouldn’t imagine seeing Eugene at a “regular” guy job interview or walking down the isle of any company in Silicon Valley . So when he told me a list his past jobs and that he had a hard time finding a normal job for a while it was kind of surprising to me. ” Google fucked it up for me..” he said. 

Sometimes we forget that artist are people too, and go through the same adversities as we all go through. Tattooed with markings that portray good and evil with a hint of cave man make for a good conversation but please divert your eyes and reframe from starring. I know this from personal experience that if you look too long and hard you might be confronted because of your mixed signals. You might want to read one of Eugene’s books titled ” Fight: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Ass-Kicking but Were Afraid You’d Get Your Ass Kicked for Asking” is a no holds bar intimate look into the world of fighting and why people like him love to brawl. 

He finds fighting on part philosophical and the other for the love of chaos. I don’t doubt in my mind that he is usually misunderstood or judged by people on the daily. I feel these people who do that are the problem and the reason we have so many issues in society today. Don’t fret though, he’s really an awesome person that a lot of us can learn from. 

This my friends was just a quick glance into the world that is Eugene S. Robinson. A true AfroPunk God in my eyes. 

Keep a look out for more in-depth updates on this living legend.  

Until then….PUNK OFF

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