Monday, December 21, 2009

The Joys of Punk and Deindustrialization

Flint's economy my have been in the death spiral in the eighties, but the punk scene in its various guises was exploding if you knew where to look. I've written before about Take No Prisoners, the all-encompassing Flint musical archive created by Aaron Stengel. But now he's adding amazing photos like these with the help of Joel Rash, Ty Shick, Blair Jones and the members of the Guilty Bystanders. Of course, Tom Wirt (Jar With Most) also helped out. Was there anything Tom wasn't taking a photo of in the eighties?

As you can see, deindustrialization and almost no curbs on underage drinking can be a lot of fun.

This is just a small sampling of shots Aaron has at Take No Prisoners. He's encouraging everyone to visit the site and comment on the photos. Just go here and click the "Photos" tab.


  1. Some great photos! It's like going back in time. :)

  2. It's amazing how we've come full circle with fashion. These photos, more or less, could be of kids today.

  3. Sable, I thought the same thing. There are kids in the Mission in San Francisco who would kill to get these clothes, especially Scott H's blue jacket in the 7th photo down. Even if you were listening to songs like Maneater in the eighties, you have to appreciate the clothes and hair in these shots.

  4. I was one of those Flint Punks and New Wavers. This brings back some great memories of my youth in Flint. I still have a scar from slam dancing!
    PS I had a date with the guy in the fourth photo...great kisser!

  5. I was looking for my brother. Think I saw a friend of my sister's. Love these pics.

    - Sarah Swart

  6. Oh how I love and miss PHILL HINES!

  7. What a great collection of photos. It is no wonder my mother didn't think we could drink reponsibly - we looked about 12 - but felt so old. Scott H.'s jacket is great and Custardacks shirt is a classic too. Was that Mr. Rich's basement in a few shots?

  8. Wow.

    People I recognize (in no particular order):

    Ivan After 5.

    Tanya Nahri.

    John 'O Cyde.

    Major Disappointment.

    Eric Scott.

    Brad McRedie.

    Eric Westerman.

    Jeff Kheen.

    David Hollingshead.

    Other faces I recognize, but can't put names to.

    I was looking for myself in the photos too, Sarah... Nope, I don't think I'm in any of them (though it wouldn't be at all unusual if I were).

    In case any of you are wondering, yes, I'm Sarah's little brother Myron. Some of you folks might remember me! Fondly, or perhaps not.

    I have many memories of Flint that I cherish, and many more that I don't... at all... I suppose that makes me your average Flintoid.

    Well, enough of that. Thanks for the blast from the past. And a Big Huge Hi to Ty!

    1. I just found this way too late. Big thank you to whomever you are it's nice to be remembered

  9. I def recognize Eric Scott in his Leather Jacket. Man the fun we used to have at those shows. Is that John Pavone with the eyeball on his shirt??

  10. I remember as a teen going to "punk" concerts in the basement of the capitol theater. It was in deplorable condition. Especially the bathrooms were so disgusting. Nothing worked, nothing flushed, no running water, it was so nasty with excrement everywhere. I also saw PIL in concert there I think it was 1988? The upstairs was not much better than the basement as I recall.

  11. To let anyone know out there...Dan Russell from the Flint punk group called The Rub passed away.
    Rest in peace...
    PS Ivan after 5= Jim Stadler ( I found my friend in FB of course!) He still is a looker! :)He is the guy in the photo with dark hair and eyes.


  12. Wow, wonder what I'm saying in that photo? Most likely "GET OFF!!!!!" Lol!


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at