Thursday, April 10, 2008

MDC (Millions of Dead Cops)

I kept seeing MDC spraypainted or written as graffiti with other punk bands like Black Flag and DOA in the mid-'80s when I was just starting to buy punk records. I had picked up a few Black Flag cassette tapes, along with the Ramones and the Surf Punks at the Mall. Ha ha ha! So when I finally started buying punk vinyl LPs around 1985, one of the first I picked up was MDC's "Millions of Dead Cops" LP on R Radical Records. The LP had been released a few years earlier in 1982 and MDC had been around since 1979 and were part of the unholy Austin, Texas punk triangle of the Big Boys, the Dicks and MDC. That first LP was insane for me as a kid. On their classic song "John Wayne Was a Nazi" they completely made fun of and insulted America's favorite movie star hero. On "America's So Straight" singer Dave Dictor sang openly about being gay, right after the song transitioned in from singing about dead cops. This was a fucking revolution jumping off my turntable and it pretty much both amazed and frightened me. The fearlessness, brutality and power of early MDC just blew me away and really helped push me towards more underground and political punk bands. Over the years the band has had a zillion name and personnel changes and at some point I lost track of what they were doing. But back when I caught them live for the first time around 1992 at the Crocodile Cafe when this photo was taken, they were still brilliant in my eyes.

On a side note, while I can barely handle listening to the singing on the first Crucifucks album, the banter on it between the singer and a cop over a flyer for a punk show featuring Millions of Dead Cops is hilarious. It's one of the best samples added in to a punk record ever (a runner-up would be Pete the Sticker Guy talking to a venue owner who shut a punk show down on the first Zoinks! LP).

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