Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Hardcore Office

I think it's entirely possible that I work in one of the most hardcore offices in the world, without my office being located at a record label or record store. It probably has everything to do with the fact that I work for an animal rights advocacy group in Washington DC. Since a lot of hardcore kids gravitate towards vegetarian diet and animal rights, I guess it's not surprising.

We have 43 employees in our DC office, 5 of which come from hardcore origins, as well as a couple of others that have come and gone recently:

Kim, one of our nutritionists, played in several unheralded midwestern bands, and played bass in the Nerve Agents for a few shows, though she never recorded with the band. Sadly, she just quit the other week.

Mark, one of our lawyers, is the creator of the Misfits Central website. His current project is Band to Band.

Ben Read, one of our former interns, was one of the guitar players for Earth Crisis. Yes, the guy who wrote "Body Bag" chatting it up with the guy who wrote the riffs to "Fire Storm." That was funny.

Rich, our office manager, was in a Baltimore band called the Fearless Vampire Killers. His new band is called Forced Forward. Rich leads a dual life. Outside of the office, he's Mr. Hardcore. Inside the office, he sits around the mailroom all day listening to really bad R&B.

Nick, one of our system administrators, hasn't been involved in any bands or zines or anything like that, but you can have a good conversation with him, especially about Dischord stuff.

There's me of course, HNIC at the BBHC, and I sang for Rain on the Parade as well.

And lastly, Nick, our floating temp is an a DC area band called Bail Out.

Come to think of it, I've had three employers in the five years I've been in the District, and I've run into all kinds of hardcore dudes on the job. The first place I worked in DC was an interactive media company called Magnet Interactive. There were four hardcore/punk rock types there:

The concierge, Ryan, used to work at Dischord. He would sit there and just tell me story after story that made my head explode. He currently plays drums in a band called Beauty Pill.

One of the content writers, Dana, wasn't into the scene anymore by the time I met her, but as an eight year old, her parents had taken her to several Sex Pistols shows in the UK. She left the company after she won the British equivalent of an Academy Award for a documentary she did in her spare time. I can't remember what it was called.

There were a couple of other guys there who played in a DC band called The Goons, but unfortunately, I can only remember their faces, and not their names.

In the time I was at PBS, I didn't meet a single person with a hardcore pedigree. You'd think I would bump into someone at a organization that had over 500 people in it's corporate office, but alas, no one. However, I did have one strange encounter with a guy who worked in the department where they deal with rights to music used in PBS programs.

The guy's name Steve. He was a funny little dude, probably in his early 40's, who always walked around Braddock Place (where PBS's corporate offices were located) with a cane. He was always humming to himself, and occasionally he'd be walking around the place playing a harmonica. It was funny, and I liked the guy a lot.

Anyway, the first week I'm in my new job at PBS, I step into the elevator to find Steve already in there. As we're taking the ride up, Steve turns and says "sooo...Ronny Little?"

"Yeah, that's right" I say.

"Rain on the Parade? Body Bag. Longhairs? All that nonsense?"

My jaw must have hit the floor of the elevator, because he laughed.

"How did you know that?!"

Steve just smiled without saying a word and walked out of the elevator. In the nearly two years I was at PBS, he never told me.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home