Starting in 1981 via Minor Threat’s revolutionary call to arms, the clean and positive straight edge hardcore punk movement took hold and prospered during the 1980s, earning a position as one of the most durable yet chronically misunderstood music subcultures. Straight edge created its own sound and visual style, went on to embrace vegetarianism, and later saw the rise of a militant fringe. As the "don’t drink, don’t smoke" message spread from Washington, D.C., to Boston, California, New York City, and, eventually, the world, adherents struggled to define the fundamental ideals and limits of what may be the ultimate youth movement.
Tony Rettman traces the story of straight edge from adolescent origins to enduring counterculture via fresh first-hand accounts from the clear and alert members of Minor Threat, SS Decontrol, Youth of Today, DYS, Slapshot, Uniform Choice, 7 Seconds, Stalag 13, Justice League, Chain of Strength, No for an Answer, Insted, Gorilla Biscuits, Judge, Bold, Project X, Lärm, Brotherhood, Shelter, H2O, Half Off, Resurrection, Raid, Strife, Earth Crisis, Vegan Reich, Mindset, Stop and Think, Mouthpiece, Floorpunch, Ten Yard Fight, Mental, Fucked Up, Trial, Have Heart, Praise, Clear, the Geeks, and many others.
A great book! Tony Rettman did it once again. –Mike Ferraro, Judge
I’m honored to be a part of a book which accurately recalls a counter culture within a counter culture. Straight edge gave us some stable footing and handrails in a confusing time, and changed the course of so many people’s lives including my own. This book will serve as a crucial and authoritative glance into that world, shining light for fans around the globe on a time that we will never forget. –Ray Cappo, Youth of Today
With Straight Edge, not only does Tony Rettman continue to faithfully recount the voluminous history of hardcore punk and DIY culture, but he also shows how it had the potential to be much more than just another night out. From its early days in Dischord D.C., to the revelation that was Youth of Today, to the impact on veganism and animal rights, straight edge was the sound and ideal of music in motion. Through a richly illustrated, fast-moving oral history, Rettman nails the X, and proves that each straight-minded generation is still having its say. –Mike Gitter, xXx
From the Inside Flap
Straight edge isnt something I take lightlythats why Im thirty years into it. I still dont need a drink to get loose or wild. I dont need drugs to feel comfortable, or to fit in. Straight edge gives me strength to deal with things head on, with no buffers, crutches, or masks. I have no clouded judgments or excuses to hide behind; just brutal clear-headed reality. I guess that might be why I come off like an asshole sometimes, with little patience for bullshit…but Im not perfect.Anthony CIV Civorelli