Last Gasp 1989

Last Gasp 1989

My Nihilistics swan song.

That’s me, circa 1989, visiting in Hoboken, NJ, wearing a Betty Page bondage T-shirt, apparently. This is the only picture (many remain in storage )I found of me from that pivotal year. Why pivotal? It was my last gasp with The Nihilistics.

I’d been living in New Jersey (Tenafly, not Hoboken yet) three years when someone from the band (not sure if it was Mike or Ron) cajoled me into coming back to rehearse material (new and old) for a possible record (in my memory there was also talk of playing out). It was a pain in the ass to drive back and forth to Long Island and Meat Market Melodies – the 8-track recording studio owned by Ajax Lepinski, who ended up taking over guitar in the band. Things were not good between me and the other three Nihilistics, who may have resented me moving away. Mike especially broke my balls, doing his usual getting hammered on beer and becoming abusive. The overwhelming feeling, when it was all done, was one of relief. Nothing came of the rehearsals or recordings. Years later I finally heard the record we were supposed to put out and immediately knew it was my guitar playing on many of the tracks. Problem is, the band never told me they were putting out a record, never credited me and certainly had no intention of sharing any proceeds. After I complained they made it right but NOT FUCKING COOL, MAN.

Because I can’t bring myself to throw away or delete audio, I still have the (very noisy) rehearsal cassettes. Songs include Black Leather, My Life, Just For Me, Working Class and I’m The Only One (some of these were working titles later changed). Here in all its hiss-laden glory (The Nihilistics are not a band that’s ever needed noise reduction) is a snapshot of the band circa 1989. And speaking of snapshots, I stumbled on this and had to include it: Ron during those very sessions (note the cans of Bud):

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Chris T. – founder of seminal NYHC band NIHILISTICS – takes you on the journey to publication of NIHILISTIC: How a hardcore band saved my life... then nearly killed me – "A memoir with guitar" – is a coming-of-age cautionary tale following two forlorn, friendless, dead-end suburban “Lawn Guyland” fat kids who form a band and end up on the legendary stages of the NYHC (New York Hardcore) scene. We see how each interpret the lessons of their particular moment and the way success in their milieu warps their friendship until one tries to murder the other.
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