HR - BAD BRAINS
PHOTO © 1982 James Mahoney
This Interview was published in MANIAC! Magazine in July 1982 by M.A.N.I.A.C.
M.A.N.I.A.C.! - MAD ANARCHIST NEW INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE OF CHAOS!
"BETTER DREAD THEN BALD HEAD"
- JOSEPH I a.k.a. HR
The above photo is the last official "punk pose" by
ex-Bad Brains punk HR - now known as Joseph I.
Ras Joseph I and Ras Alfriba Selassie have united with other ex-Bad Brains to start a reggae band called ZION TRAIN.
MANIAC: What point in time did you see the punk style not so appealing?
JOSEPH I: For me it was two years ago. April 1st.
MANIAC: Was it [Reggae] already there but just not happening?
JOSEPH I: Well, it was me ya’ know. It was me, cause my life before was a ball of
confusion and I was desperately searching for revolution and truth and freedom. I thought I could find it in punk rock. It took me about three years to discover that I was just beating my head against a wall. Through the revelation of Selessie I. that’s when I began looking in new directions for the same goal which is revolution, truth, and freedom.
MANIAC: Why did you change your name?
JOSEPH I: I found myself.
MANIAC: Should we change our names?
JOSEPH I: If you want to...!
MANIAC: Would you like to comment the overthrow article that accused the Bad Brains of being the bad vibes …(at the New York R.A.R.).
JOSEPH I: Yea! Well, what happened was – me and Dana Beale got into an argument over some misinformation that gave the audience. He told the audience that I would be returning with the equipment, and four hours previous we had discussed how our equipment got stolen the day before in D.C., and that we had no equipment. And that I was informing him now so that he would have at least a couple of hours notice to try to scrape up some equipment for us. He said, ‘fine, no problem, I will get the equipment for you.’ Then when I get there four hours later to Washington Square Park I hear Dana Beale telling the audience, ‘H.R. will be here soon with the equipment.’
Now the second thing was this – after we had decided to go ahead and play, - because after hearing him say that, at first we weren’t going to play – but we made a commitment and we were going to fulfill our part of the bargain…After asking a band if we could use their equipment, they said ‘No’ – we couldn’t use their equipment. I really wasn’t even mad. I was just more or less disappointed in the organization. The main reason is because they were using ‘herb’ as a pretense. Here they are supposed to be a big Smoke-In/Rock Against Racism, alright. Here they have big pictures of herb, they’re giving out marijuana, but they’re not telling the people the truth about herb. If they’re really into herb, then why are they taking acid and heroin and Quaaludes and all those other things? Why don’t they tell people how bad those drugs are, and how good herb is? Why do they just exploit herb?
INTERVIEW © 1982 Mahoney, Lanyi, Barse et Noland
PHOTO © 1982 James Mahoney
MANIAC: Who are you talking about?
JOSEPH I: The Yippies.
MANIAC: Do the Yippies take heroin?
JOSEPH I: Well, I don’t know if they take heroin but I know that a lot of people I’ve met in the organization do more than just smoke herb. Why don’t they have those kinds of in’s? Why don’t they have heroin-in’s? Why don’t they have speed-in’s? Why don’t they have a Quaalude-in’s? Why do they only have smoke-in! Why do they exploit herb?
MANIAC: How did high-energy H.R. punk rocker become Joseph the reggae-rocker?
JOSEPH I: First of all, Joseph is a Rasta man and a profit of Selassie. And secondly, the manifestation came about through the power of love.
MANIAC: Are all of the members of Zion Train Rasta’s?
JOSEPH I: They must be.
MANIAC: What does marijuana have to do with Rasta? Just for the sake of those who don’t know.
ALFRIBA: Marijuana is given to every man on this earth as for the healing of his mind, of his mentality, and to rise his spiritual consciousness and bring him closer to reality and harmony with the Lord...The Bible says that God has given man every herb bearing seed. So right now they [The Government] outlaw it ‘cause they know the purpose of it’ they know that it would enlighten and upraise peoples’ consciousness – more so than alcohol. Alcohol does exactly the opposite. That’s why you cannot put them in the same category. I’ve never seen anyone smoke marijuana and stagger. I’ve never seen anyone smoke marijuana and not remember what they said or did yesterday. I’ve seen plenty of people drink and stagger, fall down, vomit…
ALFRIBA: Fight, get violent. They don’t even remember what they did yesterday.
MANIAC: …attack women?
ALFRIBA: I’ve never seen anyone smoke marijuana and be in that state if mind.
MANIAC: Does rasta believe in Jesus?
ALFRIBA: I am, I follow Jesus
MANIAC: So is Haile Selassie and Jesus the same?
ALFRIBA: They are the same. Haile Selassie is the holy trinity. That is the meaning if his name.
MANIAC: Did Haile Selassie smoke marijuana?
ALFRIBA: (laughing) He didn’t have to.
MANIAC: Why? he was it?
ALFRIBA: Why would he have to smoke [marijuana]…a man that us king of kings.
MANIAC: Why would anyone need to smoke marijuana?
ALFRIBA: No…no one has to. You don’t have to smoke to be a rasta. There are even some rastas that don’t smoke, period.
MANIAC: Do the rasta’s have any relation with the Coptics?
JOSEPH I: Jah! Rastafari
MANIAC: Well, what’s the scene because I know that the Coptics…
JOSEPH I: No! But don’t’ get it wrong. No! No No No. Bo! Fireburn. Orthodox Coptic Church
ALFRIBA: Etheopion Orthodox Coptic Church. I know about the Coptics in Miami and all that; And the way that I see it, they praise marijuana as their god, and marijuana is not my god.
JOSEPH I: Bim!
ALFRIBA: I don’t want anybody to get that misconception. This is not my god. (holding spliff) this was created by my god. You see?
JOSEPH I: And this is part of my god.
ALFRIBA: Haile Selassie is my god. This is not my god. This is created by my god. I just see them as another cult.
JOSEPH I: (reading from the Bible) Oh clap your hands all ye people. JAH! RASTAFARI SELASSIE. Shout unto god with the voice of triumph to the lord’s most highest terrible. He is the great king over the earth. He shall give to his people under us and to the nation under our feet. He shall chose our inheritance for us. Thee excellency of Jacob who loved – Selassie…Jah!
JOSEPH I & ALDEIBA: Rastafari!
JOSEPH I: God has gone up with the shelves. The lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to god. Sing praises. Sing praises unto our king. Sing praises, for god is the king over ALL the earth. JAH!
JOSEPH I & ALDEIBA: Rastafari Haile Selassie!
JOSEPH I: Sing ye praises with understanding, Go’S GREATEST OVER THE HEAVENS. God siteth upon the throne of the holyest. Jah..
JOSEPH I & ALDEIBA: Rastafari.
JOSEPH I: Selassie. The prince of the people are gathered together – even the people of the god of Abrams for the shields of the earth belong unto god. He is the great Jah Rastafari. Haile Selassie. Give thanks to the lord Jah… (silence)
MANIAC: Is Zion Trains coming, going to keep a strong revolutionary stance?
JOSEPH I: Yes! Totally! We will be doing a lot of gigs for oppressed. Benefits, free shows, as much as we can.
MANIAC: When do you plan to start performing as a group?
JOSEPH I: So far the date is vague. But be expecting us around October.
MANIAC: What can we expect from the band in the future? Are yoi going to be playing the D.C. area and/or the N.Y. area?
INTERVIEW © 1982 Mahoney, Lanyi, Barse et Noland
JOSEPH I: Ha…ask him (pointing to Alfriba).
ALFRIBA: and I will tell you to ask Joseph.
JOSEPH I: Ah ha ha ha!
JOSEPH I: Well, Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
The band bad brains will be playing till the end of the summer.
MANIAC: They will?
JOSEPH I: Yea, we’ve extended our gigs because we need money.
JOSEPH I: Yea, we’ll probably be playing D.C. I’ll let you know for sure dates on…Well, what we’re probably going to do is have one gig that will announce as the last gig. Everyone will be going, “Sure, sure, I’ve heard that a million times.” Who don’t come, I don’t care, fire burn them.
ALFRIBA: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
MANIAC: Where is Darrell going off to?
JOSEPH I: Darrel’s going to be uniting with a band called the Musketeers with a man named Ray and another man named Al. They’re going to be playing reggae.
MANIAC: Do you have anybody in mind for new bassist?
JOSEPH I: No, only Jah know.
MANIAC: Why is Darrel not staying with Zion Train?
JOSEPH I: Well, Darrel – he’s growing up ya’ know. A lot of times when you grown up you change…
MANIAC: I was wondering when we would get around to that…
JOSEPH I: He’s experiencing new things; he wants to experience new horizons. And it’s time for him to move on ya’ know Jah Rasrafari. Selassie.
MANIAC: come on. You can tell us more than that. I know you can do better than that. Don’t give us this “horizon” shit.
ALFRIBA: HA ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ah
JOSEPH I: What the use? I – man show you the runnings I – ah.
MANIAC: There’s gotta be something more than that.
JOSEPH I: Well, that’s it. More then is what? He just wanted to move on I – ah. The man wanted to start his own band called the Musketeers.
MANIAC: And that’s all there is to it?
JOSEPH I: Yea.
Ya know any good bass players? (laughing)
MANIAC: I’ll shop around, ha ha ha
JOSEPH I: Okay, ha ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha …
MANIAC: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha …
ALFRIBA: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha …
JOSEPH I: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha …