To celebrate the arrival of Papa to these shores I bring you one of Cincinnati’s original punks…. SS-20 with Pope On Tour. I am glad to know they are still alive and well. I came of age at some of these shows in the eighties and the reunions of the early nineties.
The photos above are from the legendary Jockey Club in Newport, KY (right across the river from the ‘Nati, where they sell until 2 am) in 1985 and were taken by Elizabeth Stevens.
If you notice nobody looks of age. I think they used one of those amusement park height guides for roller coasters to let kids in. There was a party store near where I went to school called Dee’s, if you could see over the counter you could get served. Seriously, you used to be able to get in the JC with an adult library card.
The singer Jughead, who taught “socialist studies” at public schools, was always throwing out left-wing challenges to the crowd. This brought SS-20 into a rather direct confrontation with some of those more disposed to the Racial Holy War within the punk scene. I’ve seen Jughead, albeit in his younger days and juiced up on well drinks, kick Nazis in the face from the stage. And Pedro on guitar!
The ISO was the left group in town and at that time most of them were young and in the scene in Cincinnati. I probably still have a couple of old Socialist Workers I bought outside of shows on Short Vine in the 80’s. Those were my first introduction to Marxism.
Thanks to Jay out in the Bay for sending this to me. He and I, both now exiles from our hometown, saw a lot of shows together. We used to shout out at SS-20 for the song “Right Wing Death Squad” mainly because it rocked but also because the politics were good. I think Jughead thought we were fascists for a while and didn’t know that the song was against the death squads then running wild in Latin America.
I can still feel the square punches to my face; Jay do you still have a hangover?