With all the neo-nazi stuff happening in the news lately, we’re concerned that younger people might not be aware that America used to be OBSESSED with nazi skinheads. Nazi skins were constantly on talk shows, being hyped in the news, and then in 1998, American History X came out, capping off the whole phenomenon.

I’m talking about the late 80s and early 90s, especially 1988, a symbolically nazi obsessed year. Before that, skinheads were basically an urban, anti-racist subculture. (Before it was mainstream though, there were nazi skins in the punk scene. The Dead Kennedys had written “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” as early as 1981.) But that subculture soon escaped Agnostic Front and New York Hardcore when its visual aesthetic reached rural America. That’s when ‘working class’ and ‘skinhead’ cannibalized each other, and neo-nazi skinheads started commuting to the city to get in fights with their predecessors.

Anyway, here’s a creepy documentary from 1993 documenting a chapter of nazi skinheads during the height of America’s obsession, Skinheads USA: Soldiers of the Race War. Hopefully it will shed some light on the neo-nazi subculture and music scene which played a large part in Wade Michael Page’s massacre on a Sikh temple recently.

The mainstream media didn’t hesitate to sensationalize the neo-nazi skinheads and their 14-word agenda, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” Below, Geraldo Rivera gets his nose broken in his investigation into the racist skinhead phenomenon.

UPDATE 8/11/2012 – Jello Biafra, Dead Kennedys frontman and author of Nazi Punks Fuck Off, has released a statement on the recent nazi punk instances via the LA Times:

I wrote that song in 1981, and at the time, it was aimed at people who were really violent on the dance floor; they didn’t call it mosh pits yet. It began to attract people showing up just to see if they could get in fights in the pit or jump off stage and punch people in the back of the head and run away. I noticed some of the really bad thugs were clearly not teenagers, they looked quite a bit older, which makes me wonder if they were really undercover cops.

People started asking me, “Are you down with this? Thing are changing, the audience is younger, hard core is coming up and it’s a more extreme form of punk,” and I liked that kind of music, but I thought if we’re gonna play this music, we need to distance ourselves from that side of the scene. The initial premise of the song was “You violent people at shows are acting like a bunch of Nazis,” and that was as far as it went. Then the real ideological Nazis began coming out of the closet.

They attacked Dead Kennedys shows after that. One time, a more hard-core version of (Britain’s) National Front showed up in tandem with the road crew of a band, and that connection always creeped me out. Punk is such an extreme form of music, the most extreme form of rock and roll ever invented, and it’s always attracted different kinds of extremes. So “Nazi Punks…” evolved in people’s minds into an anti-fascist, anti-Nazi anthem. I’ve noticed that the more that my current band, Jello Biafra & the Guantanamo School of Medicine, plays in countries where people have tangible memories of suffering under dictators — South America, the Balkans, Eastern Europe — the more people want to hear that song because it means something deeper to them than telling people not to start fights at punk shows.

The founder of Maximumrocknroll, who had the guts to take this stuff head-on early, pointed out that there were always idiots in the scene, and now they have an ideology. The punk music sound is one kind of music white supremacists are attracted to, but to blame the murder of a bunch of innocent people in the Milwaukee area on music itself is like blaming Ozzy Osbourne for some troubled kid killing themselves, or blaming the Bible for when a Christian supremacist kills someone.

There were shows and individuals who had been attacked by Nazi skinheads and that still goes on here and there, but the ideological ones haven’t shown up at any event of mine in years. The subculture may to some degree be organzied, but it’s much further underground than some of the people crying wolf at the Southern Poverty Law Center might want people to believe. I support all their work to counter white supremacists, but the biggest danger from white supremacists is in police departments now, racist officers looking for excuses to shoot people of color. That is the worst form of Nazism or organized racism going on in this country today.

I’ve seen people on TV saying, “Oh no, this is terrible music, it’s just noise,” but that’s just playing into their hands. Those are exactly the kind of people who deserve to be annoyed by punk, like Tipper Gore trying to get me thrown in jail, or playing the race card to attack NWA and Public Enemy. It’s not the music’s fault. One of the early success stories in white supremacist music was Skrewdriver, and when their first album came out in ’77, it was not overtly white supremacist at all. They disappeared for a while and then came back with an all new lineup except for the singer, Ian Stuart, and then they were a white power band. The danger with Stuart was that he was charismatic, he was organized, he was a true believer. But in a lot of songs he was trying to be taken seriously as a singer-songwriter, and he might have been listening to a lot of Springsteen. He was trying for middle-of-the-road anthem rock, only with a really ugly message.

People say, “How do we take this music out of circulation?” I’m glad the 1st Amendment says you can’t. The best way to fight hate speech is with more and better speech and better education. The only way you can identify people succeptible to this message is if the message can be freely expressed. I’ve argued repeatedly with people in Germany that banning the swastika or banning people saying the Holocaust never happened is doing nothing to deter neo-Nazis. They just go further underground where you can’t figure out who they are until they’ve killed an innocent Turkish immigrant. If David Duke hadn’t been allowed to publish his racist literature, he’d have been elected governor of Louisiana. He was a very slick animal, he would say, “Oh, you have nothing to fear from me, I’m not what people say I am, I just don’t like welfare cheats.” Duke denied being a racist or anti-Semite before his opponent came out and said, “Look what you wrote in this book,” and Duke was finally and deservedly crushed in the runoff. Duke was stopped because he was allowed to express his opinions publicly.

People have been (combatting hate speech) for years in the punk underground, and that’s spread to other genres — like Bruce springsteen taking “Born in the USA” back from right-wing nationalists from Reagan’s campaign. It started in ’76 when Eric Clapton, of all people, came out in support of Enoch Powell. People were so appalled at this that they started an organization called Rock Against Racism, and people like Elvis Costello and the Clash were on their compilation. They came out in force saying, “We do not stand with Eric Clapton coming out in support of a racist like Powell and neither should anyone else,” and pointing out that the problem was much, much wider.

GOOSEBUMPS “SCARED TO SEE A DOCTOR” RECORD RELEASE SHOW AT 538 JOHNSON (FULL SETS FROM GOOSEBUMPS, AJAX, MERCENARY, LIBYANS, AND LA MISMA)

Like an episode of Jerry Springer, but with more fireworks.

FIGHT CLUB: THE BEST OF FRIDAY NIGHT THROWDOWN

Following the news of Throwdown’s return at SXSW this year with a Texas vs. NYC event, it seems only appropriate to take a look back at the history of Friday Night Throwdown, and the coverage we’ve had of it here on Superchief over the years. For the uninitiated; Friday Night Throwdown wasn’t just NYC’s best underground boxing event, it was NYC’s best underground party.

TEXAS VS. NYC: THROWDOWN RETURNS AT SXSW THIS YEAR

The organization that brought Ford models, Marines and Bloods together for New York’s best underground party is bringing their business to Austin, and bringing with them a Texas vs. NYC event…and Superchief will be covering the whole thing, from start to finish.

THIS APRIL: SUPERCHIEF GALLERY NYC PRESENTS JOHN FELIX ARNOLD III’S “EXCORRIGIA | THE SCOURGE”

From the world of UNSTOPPABLE TOMORROW, Superchief Gallery NYC returns this spring with John Felix Arnold III’s EXCORRIGIA | THE SCOURGE, an exhibition of new works in painting, drawing, mixed media, installation, and sound. The exhibition will run from April 3 through April 13, and there will be an opening reception on Thursday, April 3 from 6-10pm at CultureFix on 9 Clinton Street.

HIGH ON HUNGER: JANE CHARDIET

“High on Hunger” is Jane Chardiet’s new zine, featuring personal essay, photography and interviews with 12 artists, including some of our favorites, about their 2013 and their artistic goals in the new year, along with photographs of each licking fire. It’s good stuff, so I asked Jane about her 2013, because turnabout’s fair play and that’s how the game works.

12 O’ CLOCK BOYS (BALTIMORE STREETBIKE REALNESS)

Whatever your city is doing, what the homies out in B-More are doing is 10x as crazy. 12 O’ Clock Boys is one of the hardest movies we’ve seen in a long time, hands down, exploring a city and a culture that just doesn’t give a fuck (and featuring Baltimore himies like Schwarz on the soundtrack) the film gets more done in it’s 75 minutes than most documentaries do in twice that.

TAPE BAG #1: I HAVEN’T GOTTEN OFF MY COUCH IN DAYS.

Talking shit on random tapes cuz I wanna. Round one: Mongrel, Skinny Puppy, Madonna, Gowanus Mutant Kommandos, Temple of the Dog and MORE.

R.I.P RICKY LUANDA OF CHAIN GANG

Ricky Luanda of the experimental NYC punk band Chain Gang, one of the coolest bands ever, passed away earlier this week from esophogeal cancer. Watch 10 minutes of the bands’ rare, legendary, batshit crazy 1980′s film “MONDO MANHATTAN” right here.

ALWAYS KEEP THE CAMERA RUNNING: MAKS SUSKI’S VIDEOS OF THE NYC MUSIC SCENE

Maks Suski has been hard at work documenting live music in NYC on video for the last 4 years; we asked him to compile a list of some of his favorite videos that he’s shot, a list that includes Japanther, Action Bronson, Death Grips, Culo, Crystal Castles, Limp Wrist, Black Pus and more.

THERE IS A TINY LEG A QUARTER OF AN INCH BELOW YOUR TENTH RIB.

“Although Tiny Leg’s sound owes much of it’s inspiration to the Oakland glucose and thumbtrack scenes of the mid-nineties, and has been called by HotFridge magazine ‘a thumbcore homage to the sound of Velvet Curtis and Taco’ and ‘a slick-stale, neo-juicy, post-hipster alchemy, somewhere in between gluke-wave and puke-base’ by PeckerwoodsToday, those sentences are too journalistic and not souague enough, if one may permit my french.”

DAWN OF HUMANS, HANK WOOD & THE HAMMERHEADS, AND PHARMAKON PLAYED PS1 SATURDAY NIGHT (FULL SETS)

PUNK NOT ART NOISE NOT MUSIC ACK ACK ACK ACK

TOD SEELIE’S “BRIGHT NIGHTS” BOOK RELEASE & PHOTO SHOW AT SUPERCHIEF GALLERY AT CULTUREFIX (VIDEO)

Tod Seelie’s book release and photo show at Superchief Gallery at CultureFix was a celebration of the last 15 years of New York’s underground, for sure; but it also kept an eye on the future.

FUCKED UP CLOSED OUT 285 KENT’S LAST SHOW (FULL SET)

285 Kent finished it’s run last Sunday night; check out full video of Fucked Up’s headlining set right here.

SUPERCHIEF GALLERY AT MIAMI ART BASEL 2013: WILL SMITH CAN SUCK IT.

Superchief Gallery’s showing at Select Fair 2013 is even bigger, better and more batshit crazy than our 2012 showing was – check out photos here, and for homies in Miami, we’ll be at the Catalina Hotel all this week!

STACY KRANITZ’S SKATOPIA (50+ Photos From a Burnout’s Paradise)

Photographer Stacy Kranitz recently journeyed to Skatopia, a famed 88 acre skate park/commune in Ohio which was founded in 1995, documented in the 2010 film of the same name, and once described by writer Kevin Duffel as “a demented mess that meets halfway between an anarchistic Mad Maxian Thunderdome and a utopian skateboard society.” Goddamn if it isn’t one of the best things we’ve ever seen.