As I start to approach a new incredible life project which I will make public in a few months, I feel the need to start re-tuning Monkeyrockworld on the “rock” side of things… Asian style. I am republishing – and for the first time in English, and integral – a great interview I had with David O’Dell aka Texas Dave, one of the laowai forefathers of the first seminal Beijing punk scene, back in the early 90s. The piece was originally published in Italian by China Files. You can read more by purchasing Dave’s incredible written history of early Beijing’s punk, “Inseparable, the memoirs of an American and the story of Chinese punk rock “, click here to order a copy.
How did you start making punk shows in Beijing? Was it your interest and need, or was there a thriving scene back then in the mid 90s already?
There was no punk scene when I arrived in 1995, it was just grunge and alt-rock. It was definitely my interest, I was very much a young punk looking for other punks to talk to and do music with. There was only one truly punk band at time and it was Underbaby, started by Gao Wei and his brother Gao Yang in 1994. I met Gao Wei in 1996 and we connected instantly. We became roommates soon after we met and then I joined his band in 1997. When we started doing the earliest punk rock shows, our mission was to play for the chinese high school and college youth. Gao Wei and I had no desire to play for foreigners or journalists. we had a vision of awakening the youth of Beijing, becoming “individuals” 自己的人 as Gao Wei put it, so we sought out clubs that were close to the colleges and schools on purpose. (more…)