Archive for the ‘Best Defense’ Category

Best Defense gem

Saturday, July 4th, 2009


Before I do some more Danceland stuff, I wanted to post this gem of an artifact from back in the day (beaten, torn, and frayed). Mike Mance sent this to me and I think it was the very first Best Defense Flyer (created by Greg Olson and inspired by the Clash’s London Calling, of course). I think this is the first flyer because he lists Don Maloney as the bass player. I think Don was in the band for a microsecond before Shawn Moyer took over permanently on bass duties for BD. This show is actually for the White Eagles show that I posted earlier. I think it was originally going to be at Danceland but that fell through somehow and we rented the White Eagles space instead.

Does anyone have the flyer that Greg made for the Greensburg Garden Civic Center show? I think it had a drawing of a punk and skin (in “unity”) to symbolize our bands playing together I guess.

Great story about that flyer. I remember that there was this ‘mid-level’ bully guy that was a year ahead of me in High School (he would have been a junior at the time) that would give us a hard time for being “different.” You know, the typical stupid “hey punker” stuff. One day we were posting flyers for the Greensburg Garden Civic center show in the cafeteria and a bunch of us were siting at a table near one of the recently posted flyers. Greg Olson was siting with us that day. So this bully guy spots the flyer we just posted and he goes over to it (which is right next to our table but he did not see us all sitting there), laughs at it and totally rips it off the wall and  just started to yell to his “friends” about it at a near by table when Greg O yelled at the guy. The look on this guy’s face when he realized that it was Greg, this super tough skinhead, who hung the flyer he just ripped down, was absolutely priceless. Greg proceeded to very publicly (in the middle of a very crowed cafeteria during lunch period) mock and threaten the guy. The guy was completely humiliated and just fell apart. I noticed that in addition to all us punk and skater guys laughing at this from our table, all the bully’s (now a former bully) “friends” at the other table were also laughing at him so I guess he was not very welcomed at that table after all. It reminded me of a scene straight from a Freaks and Geeks episode or a John Hughes film. Good Times.

Best Defense (and the Greensburg Garden Civic Center gig)

Friday, May 29th, 2009


Above: Best Defense 1987

In an attempt to make this blog more inclusive, and not just a Direct Action (and related bands) website, I thought I would do a post on another band that was playing back in the day, Best Defense. Forgive me if up to this point I have only posted items related to the bands I was in, but these are the items I have immediate access to so I hope you all understand. I would love to do future posts on Deep Six, Rug-Burn, Potholder, The Murr, The Fuse, etc. so if you are reading this and you have items for me to post on the blog, PLEASE send them to me!

Okay, so I mentioned in a previous post that the White Eagle show was Direct Action’s first show, but I really can’t remember if that was our first show or if our show with Best Defense at the Greensburg Garden Civic Center in Greensburg PA was the first. I do know that both shows were close together time-wise. Probably in the same year of 1987. Anyway, both of these shows had Direct Action and Best Defense on the bill.

Best Defense was a band that started around the same time as DA. Greg Olson, the singer of BD, was Tom Jagger’s next door neighbor and they both got into punk at the same time. Greg and I had many art classes together at Hempfield High school. He was a grade ahead of me and it was very cool for a wimpy skate-rat kid like me to be friends with a former football player who could crush someone’s skull with this one tattooed arm (Greg was the very first guy that I knew who had a tattoo in high school. I think it was an Eagle with the words “American Skin”). We would both talk about music in class and he mentioned that he and our friend Dave Baier (who player guitar) wanted to start a band but they needed a bass player and drummer. I think I was the one who mentioned that he should call Tom Wakinsha and Jim “Pojab” Rogers because I knew that they played guitar and drums (In fact, I jammed with them once in my parent’s basement prior to joining Direct Action). So Greg called Tom and they started writing songs. They then ask Shawn Moyer to play bass and Best Defense was born.

Shawn was a guy that lived in my neighborhood and I got a lot of my first tapes of great punk rock from him. I also went to my first show with Shawn and Greg. It was Government Issue, Half Life (Under the Knife line-up…My favorite era of the band) and the first incarnation of the Heretics at City Limits (which was an old roller rink in a strip mall. We went on to see many other shows there including the infamous Slayer, Motorhead show!).

Both the White Eagles and Garden Civic Center shows were completely organized by us. We rented the halls, got the pa, made flyers, collected the money at the door, etc. This blows my mind now because I can not believe that these two halls (The Greensburg Garden Civic Center was an especially “fancy” place) would allow a bunch of high school aged punks and skins to rent a hall and invite all their friends to hear loud punk rock music (The powers that be eventually caught on and would not allow us to book any more shows at either hall).

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Best Defense was Greensburg’s one and only (at least to my knowledge) Oi band. And even though I never agreed with their politics, I thought they were rockin’. Greg’s vocals were especially good and took a less “screamy” approch. He had more of a Glen Danzig style of singing.

BD went on to do a four track demo and then a studio album call Six Gun Justice. You can download the album from several websites doing a simple Google search.

Here are two of my favorite songs from BD. I have not spoken to the guys in BD in years but I don’t think they will mind if I post them. So if any of the guys in BD are reading this and don’t want me to post these songs, please drop me a line and I will remove them.

  1. We’ll Smash You
  2. American Skin

Below are some photos of Best Defense from the Greensburg Garden Civic Center show with Direct Action in 1987:






So I think Greg O created a flyer for this show but I do not have a copy of it. If anyone has one please e-mail me a scan or digital pic of it so I can post it.

Here are a ton of Direct Action photos from the same gig:


To the right, Mr. John Doran


Rob in his Jesus and Marychain pose


Rocky Speno to the left







Kind of how we did the backup vocals on the first DV demo



Right to Left: Dave Roman, Joe, and Tom W.



I think Rob blew out his knee here




The pit!









Dave Baier of Best Defense to the left