Monday, October 9, 2006
Rev. Hank's straight-edge, hardcore roots.
A story in the Globe about the movie American Hardcore includes the following passage featuring my friend, the Rev. Hank Peirce, who has many a story to tell about his punk rock days. (There's a bonus mention of Ralph Waldo Emerson at the very end, too.)
Virtuous warriors or prodigies of hostile behavior, in the end the charged-up teenagers of the hardcore movement were simply grappling and groping for truth: A very American spiritual impulse runs through the whole thing. DC's Bad Brains became Rastafarians; New York's Cro-Mags would turn to Hare Krishna. Up here in the Northeast, Hank Peirce, roadie-in-chief for Boston straight-edgers Slapshot, became minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Medford. Interviewed in his study in Osgood House, Rev. Hank sits serenely beneath a 200-year-old oil painting of David Osgood, the church's third pastor. He sees no discontinuity between his past and his present.
"You can't be two people," says Peirce. "You've got to include who you are every step of the way. Are there things that I did when I was touring with bands that I'm embarrassed about, and wouldn't do today? Of course! But punk rock was a place where you learned to be who you were. People got into punk rock because they were smarter than everybody else in their school, or because they were dumber than everybody else in their school, or because they were gay, or weird, or had horrible lives, or were homeless and turning tricks in the Fens. And you might not have been accepted because of what you did, but you certainly weren't turned away because of what had happened to you."
("Film celebrates Hub's hardcore past," James Parker, Boston Globe 10.8.06, reg req'd)
Update 10.18.06: And here's Hank in the Weekly Dig: "Hardcore for the Lord" (Jed Gottlieb, 10.18.06). That photo up there, by the way, was staged after a very well-mannered evening of conversation about denominational matters at the 2006 General Assembly in St Louis.
Copyright © 2006 by Philocrites | Posted 9 October 2006 at 7:32 AM