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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Screeching Weasel and Ben Hamper



I found this photo on the internet, but there was a logo printed over it. Luckily I was able to purchase a hard copy of this photo from an online company. I came home from Japan and on my table piled deeply within a stack of mail, was the package containing this print. I am not sure why I like this photo so much. I think because it shows us as just a bunch of guys hanging out, doing the things we chose to do, to keep busy, to fill our time on this earth, to maybe accidentally make something of ourselves. We are silly but also there is a glimmer of serious business, and perhaps a dark brewing of disagreement and fragmentation. We are both clean cut and filthy, innocent yet already full of road weary experience. We were seeking adventure yet still holding anxiety close to our suburban sheltered fears and doubts about death from accidents, skinheads who hate our band, and shows cancelled from lack of interest and shitty promoters, being stranded in small towns and big cities, at any time, on a mountain road or stuck in a winter storm. We are not famous, but we are not unknown. We are the lineup that most will view as the best the band ever had, yet to us, then, we were far from being as good as we could be. We were still learning how to play the basics of punk rock. We were equal in charisma and talent yet we were plagued with an imbalance of vanity, assholery, compassion, insecurity, and need for control. We would soon implode, but at that moment in the van we were a unit who played punk rock with a veracity that has made us legends amongst a particular group of music lovers.


Pictured from lef to right: Richard the Roadie, Dan Panic, Ben Hamper, Dan Vapid, John Jughead, Ben Weasel.

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