I’m never going to claim to be someone with a grand history of punk rock cred, pretty much my only punk cred is that once upon a time, as a 14 year old (ahhh, summer of 1993), The Queers Love Songs for the Retarded was the soundtrack to very seminal events in my life. (ask me in person, I’ll tell you that whole story.)
But that album really stood in isolation for me, I didn’t go from that to falling head over heels for the genre. I came to punk through the harder edge of alt country.
Which is to say that no one is more surprised than me that I’ve found Durham’s punk scene to be one of the most comfortable spaces in town. But I have.
I’ve never been a part of any group that was more simply accepting of what people bring to the table. I love this scene because it isn’t about what is trendy or hip or popular. It is quite simply about music and people who love the heck out of music: making music, enjoying music, singing along, arms flung over shoulders, belting it out.
This isn’t Hopscotch or anything like it, it isn’t trying to be. This is a group of friends, celebrating the very fact that we are all here and having a blast.
Scotty deserves a world of credit for pulling this one together and for laying the groundwork of music that allowed everyone to have a great time. And on a personal level, I’m extraordinarily grateful to him for helping me find my way into this scene and for him inviting and welcoming me to be there. Outside a Red Collar show 2ish years ago, he pitched one of the upcoming shows he was promoting to me with a pitch that went something like this “I don’t know how many of the bands you’ll like, but everyone playing are good people, it’ll be really fun to shoot, we’ll start on time at 8:30, show will be done at 10, see you there” the pitch worked. I went and found a community that was in fact fun to shoot, where all the shows ran on time, and where I really adore alot of the music. But most importantly, I found a really awesome community of friends. And really that’s what it is all about.
DTFH Fest ended with Red Collar acoustic & unplugged on the Motorco Showroom floor, surrounded by the crowd, leading a sing along of “Welcome Home”
How long has it been since I’ve seen that smile and heard you sing?
One year? Two years? Who cares, you’re here now.
It’s like it was just yesterday, tell me how have you been?
My brother, my hero, my shadow, my friend.
Of course that is how it ended, of course.