Here in lies the story of Sven Anarki and Dave Skank, two run-away Punk Rockers from Maine in 1984. They head out on their cross-country trip armed with $242, 40 saftey pins, a can of Aqua Net, and two razor blades. Along the way they discover the raw underbelly of America, the meaning of Punk, and ultimately, themselves.
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Dave Skank and Sven Anarki are two straight edge, suicidal teenage punk rockers from an isolated small town in Maine. One day in December they decide to quit school, and just start driving south...with no destination whatsoever. Over the next six months the boys find various ways to feed themselves with no jobs, meet the various Do It Yourself punk rock locals, and try to remain as inconspicuos as possible, while dressed in ripped clothing, chains, eyeliner smeared eyes, and hair sticking a foot straight up. The boys sleep in cars, laundromats and squater's flats. They are confronted by the police, drug dealers, transvestites, violent rednecks and child molesters. The boys make brief stops in Portland, Maine, Boston, Rhode Island, New York City, Virginia Beach and Savannah, Georgia before finally heading out west. They have enough money from sporadic menial jobs to get as far as Phoenix, Arizona, where they find themselves submerged in a world of drugs, slam dancing and street-wise hustlers.
Neither one of the boys had yet been in the pit. The front of the stage was three deep, and probably forty deep on each side of it. Unlike the East Coast, there were no people off to the side pushing. The circle ran in a counter clock-wise fashion, and seemed pretty non-violent. Most everyone was giving everyone else room enough to skank; right arms held above their heads, going around in a miniature version of the pit itself.
They waited for FEAR to get on stage. While everyone else in the band got their instruments ready, the singer, Lee Ving, dressed more like he was an extra in the movie Rumblefish than someone at a punk show, entertained the crowd.
“You all look like a bunch of fucking homos,” he told the audience.
The crowd cheered.
“C’mon, be truthful, who here is a faggot?”
Everybody’s hand shot up.
The guitarist, Philo Cramer, leaned over to get at mic level. “Y’know, my grandmother…”
Lee Ving interrupted him. In the time it takes to say ‘applesauce’, he said “One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four!” and the band slammed into “We destroy the Family.”
Dave and Sven ran into the pit. They were instantly separated. Dave was slamming his shoulders into others; Sven was grabbing the jackets ahead and to the side of him, and shaking them. There was one person, a guy who looked to be about twenty, whose natural red hair was in dinosaur spikes all over his head, some ten inches high, who was going the wrong way. He didn’t hit anybody on purpose, he just moved through the crowd in the opposite direction. He received more punishment that way than if he’d been slam dancing in its most violent form. Dave and Sven caught up to each other the second time they passed him.
They put their arms around each other’s shoulders, and Dave’s free right arm, and Sven’s free left swung around in exaggerated circles. They plowed into, and picked up, everyone in front of them as they went around.
They kept this up for forty-five minutes. Dave was breathless and Sven was seeing stars, neither of them having done anything that physical for that long in a very long time. FEAR was about to play their last song.
“We’ve got your money, and this is our last song. I want all you mother fuckers up on stage…” Lee said, and two hundred people scrambled up to comply. Sven was too far off to the right to jump Lee, but managed to get up on stage, and stood directly next to Derf Scratch, the bassist. The pig pile buried Lee Ving, and you could hear people on the bottom of the pile screaming, telling everyone to get off. Dozens more were jumping on. Derf turned to Sven, still playing, and shook his head. Sven wanted to tell Derf that he’d loved FEAR ever since the first time he’d heard them, that he couldn’t believe that he, a kid from a small town in Maine, was standing next to someone he’d grown up listening to on records. Someone he’d modeled his actions and attitudes on.
The moment passed, and Sven was glad that Derf’s amp was too loud, and he didn’t get the chance to act star struck. It was definitely cooler just to stand next to him as an equal.
After the song, Lee was extricated from the mob, and everybody streamed outside, looking for cooler air. Sven found Dave near the entrance, looking pissed.
“I lost my fucking wallet.”
“In the pit, I think.”
They headed back inside to look around on the floor. Dave kept saying it was hopeless, but didn’t stop looking.
“Maybe Michele found it, did you see her leave?”
“No, I think she’s in line for the bathroom.”
Sven left Dave and went into the Ladies room to see if Michele was in there. The line was eight long. The bathroom had been graffitied so many times; the stalls were now black, not white. Everybody was smoking. The girls didn’t seem to mind that Sven was in here. There was a couple having sex in the far stall, and another making out on the sink. The girls in line didn’t even take notice of him, just like the couple making out didn’t notice that the sink was three-quarters filled with vomit.
“Michele!” Sven yelled. Two girls in line looked at him, wondering how he knew their names.
“I’m looking for Michele Dumont! She’s got big cow eyes and flabby…”
“Sven, what the fuck do you want?” a voice came from one of the stalls.
“Have you seen Dave’s wallet?”
“Why the fuck would I have seen…”
Sven was already out the door.
Ten minutes later Michele came outside with Kyle, Jim and Banshee.
“Did you find your wallet?” Michele asked.
“You lost your wallet? Oh, man, that fucker’s gone!” Jim said.
“Did you try the lost and found?”
No one really believed that Kyle’s suggestion would pan out, but Dave tried it anyway. He came out fifteen minutes later with his wallet. All of his cash and IDs were still inside.