Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Beantown Roughneck Rockers Go Masonic

Wait- what was I just saying? Read this Boston Herald headline:

Frat boys: Masons drum up members among Hub rockers
Stodgy lodges, traditional initiations and secret handshakes would seem tobe the antithesis of punk rock.

But a diverse group of Hub rockers are embracing centuries-old fraternal ideals to become the new face of the Freemasons in Boston.

“It’s not a religion, and it’s definitely not a cult,” said J.R. Roach, drummer for Sam Black Church and bassist for The Men, who also is master of the Masons’ Cambridge Amicable Lodge. “Everything is supposed to be dignified. There’s no hazing. We’re all brothers. It’s a movement for guys trying to find a deeper meaning in their lives.”
Here's the money quote:
For Hank Peirce, a Unitarian minister and former roadie for hardcore band Slapshot, Masonry provided a safe haven when he went through a divorce.

“It’s important to have ‘men space,’ where we can talk about things going on in our lives,” he said. “The lodge is a sanctuary. When you’re here, you’re doing rituals that men have done for hundreds of years.”
Here's a sampler of the Boston hardcore punk rock scene for the uninitiated. If these guys start pouring into Masonic lodges, all bets are off.


  1. I think the Kennedy's bet them to it, by becoming the Dead Kennedys. Or something.

    "Before the end of the decade, we will put a man in a punk band."

  2. Don't really get that "Punk Rock" feeling from Masonry...

  3. Back in the old days the Hardcore scene was very much a type of Mystery cult. I'll write about why in the future..

  4. Christopher,
    Let me first say that I of course I said "men's space" I wouldn't dare be so grammatically incorrect, to say "men space." Secondly, don't be confusing those goons in the video with anything I was involved with.

    A great read is Secret Ritual and Manhood in Victorian America by Mark C. Carne

  5. Hank, I'm an OG veteran of the Hardcore scene- we're talking Gallery East/Media Workshop days, so I definitely know the distinctions- I did italicize "these" to indicate that. But by the same token I was at plenty of Hardcore shows where things got out of hand. I quit the scene after the Xmas 84 show at the Paradise- things got too violent and stupid. And I pulled the quote from the Herald website, so there's your grammar nit.

    I've been doing some bits on Hardcore here, and will soon be doing a piece on how old school Hardcore was every bit an initiatic Mystery cult.

  6. Hank (aka the old man)2:27 PM, June 12, 2008

    I stand corrected and bow to your correct knowledge of what you are talking about.

    Next to all the mindless violence by the FSU kids, is of course seeing it done in "the name" of something that was so important to you. Oops now I sound like an old man shaking my cane at somebody.

    You are right about the old scene being a Mystery cult, having to dig around to find it, searching for people wearing the right clothes or with the right hair cuts. Michael McDonald's 2nd book Easter Rising describes that really well.

  7. In recent years over these parts, 'hardcore' has come to refer to a chavmobile / crappy nightclub electronic dance sound. Not to be confused with 'hard house' or 'hardstyle' which tends to be rather good if you're into bangin' tracks, and though terrible it is not nearly as bad as its offshoot 'happy hardcore' which you should avoid being an audience of at even more costs.