Friday, June 24, 2005

GERMS burns and sharing

Since I just posted a blog giving thanks to all the great people we have met and have helped us in some way, I decided to take a moment to reflect...please bear with me. About a year ago, I met a kid at a show who had this goal; he had to get a GERMS "burn" from someone in the circle. If you don't know what a GERMS "burn" is, it was a circular cigarette burn that everyone in Darby's clique had to have to show that they were a member of the GERMS gang, or fan club, or whatever. I know several people that have these, but I also know many people that don't have these as they thought it was ridiculous. Johnny Stingray and Alice Bag both elected NOT to have one. Point is, on one hand I thought this kid was silly for wanting a "burn", but on another hand I understand that thrill of connection to something you hold high respect and honor for.

I was thinking about this as I recently met former punk photographer Dawn Wirth. Here is a cool person who was on-hand and interacting with the bands during 1976-78 before she moved to England. She gave us the honor of purchasing a rare WEIRDOS fan club (test pressing) version of the "Destroy All Music" 7" EP. She could have gotten more money than what we paid for it by putting it up on eBay, but she wanted it to go to someone that cares for the music rather than a record dealer. She passed on her heritage to us. This type of sharing is not unlike the kid wanting to get the "burn" as we wanted to get, and cherish, the rare artifact of a special time that is becoming more distant every year.

Johnny Stingray has shared many hours with us of his own time. Talking over old times and new, building our website, giving us his music to release. Johnny knows that other labels might pay him more, but he's more interested in working with a label that cares about their product.

Alice Bag shares her collection with the world via the internet. She doesn't have to do it. She makes no money off of the site, except for a small "store" section with only a few items.

It is this kind of selfless sharing that inspires us at Artifix. Money is nice and we could all get rich if only we could sell everything we own to the highest bidder, but we are only exploiting (rather than truly preserving) our memories. The SKULLS have a recent song titled "Can Punk Rock Pay The Bills?"...the answer is an unfortunate NO for most of us with artistic principles. So why do we start bands, start labels, launch websites...if we know that we will make little, if any, money? Because we care about that special time that we had we were young and the world was ours to change. We do it to share those old feelings with a younger generation that is blinded by media punks. To share the good times, the feelings, and the truth. I don't mean to sound like a soupy James Stewart movie. Punk rock wasn't made for sentimentality was it? Yet, I can't help but feel sentimental when we meet such cool people that want to share with us too. We all grew up dysfunctional in some way, yet punk has given us a common link. Something we call our own that only the special few ever understood.

Okay, 'nuff said...get out there and "Destroy All Music"!!!

Let Us Give Thanks...

Welcome to the Artifix blog. This is a message board of a type that allows us to interact a bit with viewers to our website. You can read our thoughts and feelings about things and respond. For our very first blog, we thought that the first thing we needed to do was to give THANKS to the many supporters that we have had over the last few years since Artifix Records launched in the Spring of 2002. In no particular order, here is a list of names of people that have befriended, or helped us (or both) in some unique way. We thank them with all our heart!

Extra special thanks to Johnny Stingray of the Controllers for being our biggest supporter and a great inspiration to us, and a good ear to bend! Thanks Johnny for everything!

Alice Bag, Greg Velasquez, Patricia Morrison, Dawn Wirth, David Jones, Dix Denney, John Denney, Daniel Kozman, Kerry Colonna, Philly Bessy, Claude Bessy (in spirit!), David Brown, Lee Josephs, Danny Gromfin and Warning Label Records, Kidd Spike, John Miner, Michael Vallejo, Tracey "Skull" Garcia, Tony Naranjo, Rocco Roll and the Absentees (for having the faith in us to help us get our first release out!), Dan Kessel, Brendan Mullen, Jenny Lens, Bill Bartell, Tim Kummerow, Stephen Stink, Johnny Penguin, Shaun Guerin (r.i.p.), Scott Guerin (get back in touch!), Razorcake Magazine, Jack Rabid and The Big Takeover Magazine, Daniel McGee, Jim Tennyson, Terry Hammer and Vampir Records, Damian Ramsey and, Sean Antillon, Steve Fortuna and the Skulls, Tom Chartier and the Rotters, Jaime Flores, Phranc, Robert Lopez, Loren Molinaire, Bryan Knox, Paul Greenstein, Larry Greenstein, Rick Brodey, Ronn Spencer, Louise Spencer, Richard Meltzer, Greg Turner, Richard Simpson, Gary Panter, Axxel Davis, Bob Say, Rick Wilder, Flipside Magazine (r.i.p.), Vinyl Solution Records, John and Drac at Headline Records, Bobo at Revolver, Bill and Darren at Sound of California...I know I'm probably missing a bunch more names, but this is a start. Thank you all for helping us share the music in some way! Cheers to you all!