New Federation to Direct Action

So after seeing New Federation at Harry’s DanceLand in the Summer of 1987, arguably the first punk show in the Greensburg/Latrobe area, I knew I had to get more involved (i.e. start or join a punk/hardcore band). I played guitar and had a “punk” band prior to seeing this show, but we only played two “shows” (more like parties) and it was starting to fissile out on its own. So I was amazed when I ran into Tom (the guitarist of New Federation) at Latrobe Drive-In where he told me that their bassist just left the band and he asked if I would be interested in playing bass in NF. Of course I did not own a bass and I had never actually played a bass but I agreed to join anyway. How could I pass up this opportunity to play in an actual hardcore punk band in my home town? I figured if I could play guitar I could easily play bass.

So about a week or so later I am driving in my car and I see Tom in his car so we both pull over to the side of the road and he gives my a cassette containing their entire set list, more or less. It seemed like half the songs were Ramones covers but there were also a batch of killer original songs. I ended up practicing with Derek, Tom, and Rob (in Tom’s basement) in the coming weeks using my guitar as a “bass.” I actually bought a bass the day of our first gig at the Banana House in Mt. Pleasant. The Banana House was an old rundown warehouse that use to be storage for various fruits (hence the name). The owner of the building let his son and all his friends use it as a “skatepark.” There was a mini half-pipe and a bunch of other ramps. It was a blast to skate their (especially in the winter). I convinced the son (I forget his name) if my band could play a show there on Halloween. He reluctantly agreed.

After I joined New Federation, we all agreed to change the name of the band (I can’t remember why). Looking back, I think the name “New Federation” was pretty cool and we probably shouldn’t have changed it. We briefly change our name to Outrage (we used this name one time for the Banana House show), but after reading about another band called “Outrage” (from Japan) in Pushead’s Pus Zone column in Thrasher magazine, we all agreed to change the name of the band to Direct Action.

I think Direct Action played their first gig at the White Eagle in Downtown Latrobe. We rented the space (which was perfect for punk shows!) with another band called Best Defense (More on them later) Greensburg’s first and only Oi band. I think the gig was originally going to be at Danceland because I have the flyer here:


I can’t remember why the gig was moved to the White Eagles but it really doesn’t matter. Here are some pics from that gig (all of the following photos are of Direct Action. For some reason, I do not have any photos of Best Defense from this gig so if you have any, please send them to me and I will be sure to post them).


Above: Rob Henry!



Aaron Pagdon during his skinhead phase (in the pit with red suspenders). Pagdon, was this your first show?  


Tom Jagger and Rob (getting serious on this number).




Derek looking happy


Dave K feeling the pain!




Above is a photo of several Latrobe scenesters. Of course, Dave Roman is front and center (in the red sleeves with the Half Life shirt)! Can anyone guess the others in this photo? Lisa Kozak (right of Roman)?

8 Responses to “New Federation to Direct Action”

  1. rob says:

    hey dave!!!!great site,dawg!!!my god i was so young and skinny!!!in the last pick, its matt felinski/lisa/dave roman/and all the way to the left is roman’s friend jim.hope this helps!!!
    young till i die,
    rob henry

  2. Derek says:

    hey dave… this is a great site…
    that is lisa kozak next to dave… i actually talked to her on faceboook… i will post this picture and a link on facebook for lisa (or matt felinski) or anyone else to hopefully contribute…

    when i get time, i will have to scan some pictures that we had taken at the greensburg train staion by dave (was it byers?) and send them to you… i just found them the other day when i was looking for old pictures of andrew… weird, eh?

  3. Matt Falenski says:

    Holy crap. I almost didn’t recognize myself. This brings back LOTS of great memories!

  4. DKaspare says:

    I would LOVE to see those pics again (And post them). I am thrilled you found them!

  5. Burn Unit says:

    Wow…I am amazed you have these photos……this White Eagles show was the first show that I had ever attended in Greensburg/Pittsburgh. But by this time (fall of 87) I had already been to a few CBGB’s hardcore matinees when I was visiting my Dad in New York. Jesus….remember when a lot of punks just looked like ordinary suburban kids? I remember Greg Olsen that night made fun of my suspenders by calling them “strips of bacon”.

  6. […] 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 […]

  7. rome 316 says:

    i can’t belive how skinny i was i’m like 250 now

  8. ian says:

    Is that Pojap (Jim Rodgers/Best Defense) in the blue shirt and Tom Walkinshaw (Best Defense) to Jim’s right in the black leather jacket. I believe that is me in the pic above in the Skull Skates t-shirt and Chris Lauffer behind me with the flannel around his waist and the camo pants. Jesus.

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