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Monday, February 25, 2013

Happy Birthday, Brian Baker!

Posted by on Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Last month, Brian Baker the tennis player was injured at the Australian Open. That Brian Baker was born in 1985, the same year another Brian Baker was just turning 19 year old, two years after Minor Threat had broken up. Seriously, mull that over. This other Brian Baker co-founded Minor Threat in 1980, when he was 15 years old. During a short hiatus in Minor Threat's career two years later, Baker played guitar for Government Issue & appeared on the Make an Effort 7".

Worlds Worst Minor Threat Drawing
  • Derek Erdman
  • World's Worst Minor Threat Drawing

After Minor Threat, Baker joined the "hard rock/sleaze rock" (?!?) band Junkyard. He also played and recorded with the Meatmen, Dag Nasty, Doggy Style, and Bad Religion. He was also a member of Samhain briefly. He did all of those things. That is so many things! Happy birthday, Brian Baker!


Comments (6) RSS

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Emily Nokes 1
Best drawing! Mackaye has never looked better.
Posted by Emily Nokes on February 25, 2013 at 11:32 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 2
Dag Nasty should command a more prominent place in this commentary, because "Can I Say" is the best and most influential thing he did post-Minor Threat. Coming at a time when most first-wave hardcore musicians were flailing about with attempts to sell out as either metal or college rock (to say nothing of what Bad Religion was doing at the time), Dag Nasty pointed the way for hardcore's continuation as more melodic but still fast and powerful music.* (The legacy of "Wig Out At Denko's" and "Field Day" is much poorer, especially "Field Day," but tons of proto-emo kids were digging those records [as well as "Can I Say"] in the late 80s - actually, come to think of it, I may be understating the legacy of those LP's as well.)

Baker himself is questionable. According to "Our Band Can Be Your Life," he was one of the members who wanted Minor Threat to go into a U2ish direction, one of the reasons they broke up. And despite Dag Nasty's originality, he soon showed that he wanted to be a big rock star, first by taking Dag Nasty in a more college-rock direction, then by jumping ship to Junkyard, and finally by joining Bad Religion once they became a big band. When I look at that, I don't see a versatile musician, I see one chasing trends in order to cash in.

*Well, one subgenre of hardcore anyway.
Posted by Matt from Denver on February 26, 2013 at 9:07 AM · Report this
derek_erdman 3
@2: Geez, it was his birthday! I didn't want to give him too hard of a time!
Posted by derek_erdman on February 26, 2013 at 11:01 AM · Report this
snacktruck 4
@3, yes happy birthday to someone who made some awesome music with Minor Threat. Being from SoCal and recalling the transition from Minor Threat to Junkyard was a tough one to appeared to be a money grab with the two bands being so diametrically different. For punkers to become metal heads - and for that matter, metal heads paying attention to punk (hint, Slayer and Metallica) was just a weird blurry mess even in hindsight.

Keep the olden timey punk rock news a coming!
Posted by snacktruck on February 26, 2013 at 2:16 PM · Report this
LEE. 5

I'd hate to imagine you at a funeral, sir.
Posted by LEE. on February 26, 2013 at 8:16 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 6
@ 3, notice that I commented the day after. He was fair game again!

@ 4, money grab was right. I actually saw him on Hollywood Blvd in 1990 and he looked just like Duff McKagan.
Posted by Matt from Denver on February 27, 2013 at 6:32 AM · Report this

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