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Pat Roig - "From Stapleguns to Thumbtacks: Flyer Art From The 1982-1995 New Orleans Punk And Hardcore Scene" (Book)

Pat Roig - "From Stapleguns to Thumbtacks: Flyer Art From The 1982-1995 New Orleans Punk And Hardcore Scene" Book cover image

Reviewed by on February 22, 2011

"To the people who were there and in those bands, it’s their past on paper. Their teen years are laid out in black and white, and the memories come flooding in."

I cannot talk about the old days of metal because I wasn’t there, I was to merely born in the late eighties. But I like to think about how it might have been, basing it on stories of those who were there. They talk about the venues that have since been closed, the sometimes strange personalities keeping the scene moving, and the plethora of crazy incidents that seem like could never happen today. To me “From Stapleguns to Thumbtacks…” helps create a picture of New Orleans in the eighties when amazing bands were in their infancy like EyeHateGod, Soilent Green, and Acid Bath, and how they evolved from many bands before them like The Slugs becoming Crowbar. To the people who were there and in those bands, it’s their past on paper. Their teen years are laid out in black and white, and the memories come flooding in.

When Pat Roig began the process of asking for flyers from his friends, stories about the shows came in abundance. He then decided to have some scene survivors pen down their favorite memories, like Mike IX Williams of EyeHateGod and Arson Anthem notoriety, speaking about him and many others including The Misfits getting arrested in a cemetery and Kyle Thomas explaining how Exhorder began.

The flyers are almost indescribable in terms of a pattern. Some are basic papers with the time and location. Others are works of art hand drawn by the musicians who also spent a lot of time handing them out and stapling them to telephone poles and bulletin boards located on the outer walls of buildings in the French Quarter (the background that is used for the book’s pages, thousands of staples stacked on top of each other). There are many collages for the flyers featuring everything from local lawyers to assassins and even some lingerie ads. You’ll even se Bart Simpson bearing a shirt saying “Born Again Pagan.” The collage has been used for many New Orleans punk and metal album artwork and is still in full use today. Through the collage, the artists use juxtaposition of pictures to comment on the relativity of things, or they just draw devil horns and beards on them.

I decided to have the author of the book, the storytellers, and then musicians in the bands sign my copy of “From Stapleguns…” I had them pick their favorite flyer to autograph. Jimmy Bower of EyeHateGod and Down signed the flyer for one of his first band’s Shellshock. Ben Falgoust of Goatwhore and Soilent Green signed the band logo he drew for one of his band’s Paralysis, and Paul Webb signed his tale of tripping at the Red Hot Chili Peppers show. When I handed the book to them, it took a while to get back as they couldn’t stop turning the pages and looking at the flyers from their past. Our NOLA scene is still bursting with activity, of course, and we enjoy shows from the bands that are in the book, but nothing will ever be like when metal, punk, and hardcore were young.

Highs: Tons of awesome old flyers and great stories about them.

Lows: Would love to have even more stories and history.

Bottom line: Very original concept and great collection of history.

Rated 5.0 out of 5 skulls
5.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)