I think it was 1988 and I was a typical skate kid of my generation. I ate, slept and breathed skateboarding. Little did I know that this would be a trend I would follow for over 20 years. For me and my crew, skateboarding was more than riding every day. When we weren’t riding, we read every magazine, watched every video and hung at the local skate shop all day every day. During this time my musical intake was pretty much hair metal and whatever was played on the radio and Mtv. I don’t know what it was but all the sudden I started paying attention to ads in skate magazines for bands and record labels. I’m sure this is the story of a zillion of punk and hardcore kids around the world but that’s the way it happened. Noticing these ads was a profound experience in my life because the music I discovered there genuinely shaped me into the person I am today.
Of all those bands, the one that instantly became my favorite was the Descendents. I remember walking into the local record shop, which amazingly had tons of punk stuff and that was it. There were posters for the Descendents on every wall but I remember one being for Hallraker and saying….damn I need that. I bought that and Black Flag – Everything Went Black the next day. I loved both, but the Descendents records made an incredible impact on me. To this day if someone asks me my favorite band they always seem to struggle with the fact that its a punk band that sings about girls if they even know them at all.
I remember reading the liner notes of that Hallraker tape every day until I memorized the entire history of the band. Strange looking back that I was falling in love with a band that had just broken up. That fact I didn’t discover for some time later as I worked my way through their catalog.
Hallraker has a very special place in my mind to this day, so as I’m just now starting to but all their stuff on vinyl, Hallraker is the one I start with. Fantastic album that sounds perfect and has some of their best songs. Pep Talk on this record may even be my favorite Descendents song ever.