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Straight Edge: A Clear-Headed Hardcore Punk History

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By Tony Rettman
With a foreword by CIV

Starting in 1981 with Minor Threat’s revolutionary call to arms, the clean and positive straight edge hardcore punk movement took hold and prospered during the 1980s, earning a position as one of the most durable yet chronically misunderstood music subcultures. Straight edge created its own sound and visual style, went on to embrace vegetarianism, and later saw the rise of a militant fringe. As the “don’t drink, don’t smoke” message spread from Washington, D.C., to Boston, California, New York City, and, eventually, the world, adherents struggled to define the fundamental ideals and limits of this vibrant movement.

Music historian and writer Tony Rettman traces the story of straight edge from its adolescent origins to enduring counterculture via fresh first-hand accounts from the clear and alert members of Minor Threat, SS Decontrol, Youth of Today, DYS, Slapshot, Uniform Choice, 7 Seconds, Stalag 13, Justice League, Chain of Strength, No for an Answer, Insted, Gorilla Biscuits, Judge, Bold, Project X, Lärm, Brotherhood, Shelter, H2O, Half Off, Resurrection, Raid, Strife, Earth Crisis, Vegan Reich, Mindset, Stop and Think, Mouthpiece, Floorpunch, Ten Yard Fight, Mental, Fucked Up, Trial, Have Heart, Praise, Clear, the Geeks, and many others.

“From its early days in Dischord D.C. to the revelation that was Youth of Today, to the impact on veganism and animal rights, straight edge was the sound and ideal of music in motion. Through a richly illustrated, fast-moving oral history, Rettman nails the X and proves that each straight-minded generation is still having its say.” —Mike Gitter, xXx

Published by Bazillion Points, 2014

Softcover, 400 pages, b&w with a selection of full-color images, 6.7 × 9.4 inches

ISBN: 978-1-93-595024-0