SHAWNA KENNEY & RICH DOLINGER DISCUSS THEIR BOOK LIVE AT THE SAFARI CLUB WITH MIKE GITTER AND HIS BOOK XXX FANZINE
Live at the Safari Club: A People’s History of HarDCore is the uncensored oral history of a notorious underground punk venue in the nation’s capital, told by the very bands, fans, zinesters, promoters, graffiti artists, scenesters, senators’ kids and activists who made it happen.
From 1988 to 1997, the Safari Club was Washington, DC’s version of New York’s iconic CBGBs. An Ethiopian restaurant by day turned-Go-Go club-on-
Saturday nights, this windowless dive deep in the heart of the city then known as the “murder capital of the world” transformed into an all-ages venue every Sunday afternoon.
New York bands Sick of it All, Murphy’s Law, Bold, Earth Crisis and Gorilla Biscuits played their first DC shows on the Safari’s tiny mirrored stage. Southern California’s Chain of Strength, Insted, and Strife all breezed through at least once, while local legends Ignition, Kingface, Swiz, Battery, Damnation A.D. and Government Issue screamed for change.
Live at the Safari Club allows the scene to tell its own tales—the broken arms, bruised egos, back-stabbings, riots, rip-offs, fights, lifelong friendships and love stories revolving around the music.
Shawna Kenney authored the award-winning memoir I Was a Teenage Dominatrix(Last Gasp), edited the anthology Book Lovers (Seal Press) and co-wroteImposters (Mark Batty Publishers). She contributed to the book 9:30: A Time and Place as well as Spoke: Images and Stories from the 1980s Washington, DC Punk Scene (Akashic Books). Her freelance work has appeared in The New York Times, Ms., Bust, Vice, Narratively, Alternative Press, Creative Nonfiction, and more.
Rich Dolinger has played in bands and has been involved in the hardcore scene since the late 80s. He’s dabbled in photography, music journalism, graphic design and film editing. His photography and articles have appeared in Spin Magazine, AP, Highwire Daze and While You Were Sleeping. He owns the Los Angeles-based contracting company Straight Edge Tile.
Photo by Kym Ghee
For well over three decades now, Mike Gitter has been responsible for hurting your ears. When xXx¨Fanzine released its twentieth and final issue in 1988, he focused on a career in music journalism as a contributing editor to Rip and Tower Records Pulse while freelancing for the likes of Thrasher, Kerrang!, Spin and Rolling Stone (amongst others). A move to New York City in 1989 eventually found him transitioning into the A&R departments of various record labels including Atlantic, Roadrunner, Century Media and Razor & Tie. Some of his more notable signings include Jawbox and Bad Religion for Atlantic, Killswitch Engage and Megadeth for Roadrunner; HIM and Chiodos for Razor & Tie as well as The Shrine and Ignite at Century Media. He’s also worked in music merchandising and artist management. Mike currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA
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