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November 6, 2012 5:00 am

Punk Hits: The Year Punk Broke (Into the Majors)


Ian Miller

Ian interviews Scott Radinsky, whose one-of-a-kind resume includes time as a punk-rock frontman, big-league pitcher and Indians pitching coach.

In the 1980s, punk records were artifacts. They could be copied (onto cassette), but not easily: duplication required one to be present, physically and mentally. Copying seven-inch records—the form factor of choice for many punk and hardcore bands, due to their relative cheapness—was a downright PITA. You could fit five to eight minutes of music on a side, which meant lots of needle drops and lifts, tape pausing, and record-flipping. It was labor-intensive, but that’s what it took to pass the data from one person to the next, so we did it willingly. I took great pride in the quality of my dupes, making sure the levels were always right and the J-cards were annotated properly.

But having the actual record was always preferable to even the most lovingly curated cassette copy. Having the hard-copy record meant you could stare at the picture sleeve and learn whatever there was to learn about the band. All the better if the record was pressed on colored vinyl—one more thing to ogle while you listened to the songs.

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