"Why did it end? There was a culture of entitlement: Everybody felt like they were in on things, so you'd be trying to charge people three bucks at the door and you get, like, in this long argument, they'd be like, 'but-but-but like, I'm one of you.' So it was commercially impossible."
"There were so many older punk people in Philadelphia and they tried to put on all the early '80s hardcore stuff. But by then, it was kind of just a whole different scene, really. The crowds became a lot younger, and it just didn't really work."
"By 1981, after all this us-versus-them, I felt kind of like an outsider. There were all these factions. I suddenly felt like I didn't belong anymore. A lot of the music was getting pretentious. Bands like Killing Joke and Bauhaus. As espoused by the Ramones, you need only three chords to make good rock and roll, and you don't have to play like Yes. But then hardcore came along and said they don't have to be the right three chords, and you don't have to play like Yes. So I kinda felt like an outsider even from the underground, because everything changed so quickly."
"You had morons coming up and saying, like, 'We're a hardcore gang from Jersey.' Someone else would say, 'Oh, I'm a hardcore gang from D.C.' And they'd start a fight, and someone wearing a plaid shirt would get beat up."
"I had started promoting shows in 1984 at a place called Abe's Steaks, which was at 48th and Market. It was just a steak shop. One time Gary Heidnik went to a punk show there. I just thought he was some weirdo Penn professor or something. He was, like, the most harmless-looking guy there."
"Who knows, maybe the people sitting in front of the Khyber are exactly the same as the people 20 years ago. But I think now there's like more of a road map of what to do and what not to do. I think a lot of bands then were like we're doing exactly what they wanted to do, and refused to change. Bands had foul four-letter words in their name and they'd be like, 'I can't believe the Inquirer didn't print our clubs listing.'"
"Philadelphia has a mania for parking lots, and it seems to have particularly honed in on the old punk clubs. Where the Love Club was at on Broad and South? Parking lot. Omni's at 907 Walnut? Parking lot. Kennel Club? Parking lot. At least half of those other places are now parking lots or schools or yuppie apartments or something. They just leveled them. You know, they don't sow salt or there's no plaque or anything, but still."
"The hardcore scene I found very destructive because of the attitude. They had a pretty narrow-minded view. There were kids who were into that, the preachings in it. It stuck a wedge in the music scene. I used to get all kinds of crap from hardcore kids. I was like the establishment all of a sudden. I don't know, it was just pretty stupid. I would book the hardcore bands, and they would still give me a hard time. And I would pay them! It got to a point where I wouldn't even book hardcore bands. I didn't want to put up with the aggravation."
PW's 2015 Gift Guide
Dinner with Luke Palladino