In this week's paper, there's a long story about punk and hardcore in the Ozarks, titled "Anarchy in the Ozarks." Below find an excerpt from Ben Westhoff's piece that didn't quite make it into the final draft. Check out more information and music at Gabe Harper's blog, Ozark Punk Rock.
Former Initial Detonation guitarist Roger Hannifan hasn't played in years, burned out not so much from band life as from running a sound company. After it closed he opened the Blackthorn Pizza & Pub in downtown Joplin about a year ago, and tonight the smoky bar/ restaurant is draped in fake cobwebs and tiny hanging skeletons for Halloween. The Pogues are blasting overhead, a college football game plays out on a faded screen, and the sign on the front door reads, "God created alcohol to keep the Irish from ruling the world."
Hannifan, by Jennifer Silverberg
Though Hannifan rarely picks up his axe anymore, he says punker ethics nonetheless influenced his financing of this bar. "I started it the old punk rock way -- if you can't pay for it, you don't get it," he notes proudly, adding that he used the proceeds from his sound business to buy the furniture, décor, and the booze outright.
Drinking from a bottle of Smithwick's and smoking a doobie-sized hand-rolled cigarette, he discusses the unusual life trajectory that landed him so far away from his Orange County, California, Catholic school upbringing. He dropped out of high school before playing drums in the original incarnation of Total Chaos, the Pomona Valley hardcore act that later signed with Epitaph records. After quitting the band he eventually came to Missouri with his girlfriend Jeanene Maddox, whose parents were living in the small community of Thayer, just north of the Arkansas border.
The pair were excited about the low cost of living and even thought they could start a commune with their "squatter punk" friends. They briefly tried farming pigs and chickens. "But when you're dealing with people who are used to squatting and not working, that doesn't work out so well," Maddox says, in a phone interview.
Eventually the couple moved to Joplin, Maddox got a job as a punch-press operator in a barbecue grill factory, and Hannifan started a new band called Encrusted. The name was a play on the band's "crust punk" affiliation, a hardcore offshoot featuring metal-style riffs, grungy fashion and an anarchist sensibility.
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