If you at any time in your life have been into hardcore, oi, punkrock or even metal my guess is that you have heard or heard about this band before. Many argue what bands where the first in the American skinhead scene and i wouldnt tough that topic with a ten foot pole but i can easily say that this band was one of the first.
They started down on the lower east side of Manhattan, New york in 1982 after being part of the scene for some time. They moved around in the same area and where good friends with Roger Mirret and Vinnie Stigma.
In the beginning they where called Skinhead youth and had their first big show on CBGB's in 1984 together with Agnostic front and Death before dishonor. Later they changed their name to Warzone and released a couple of demo's untill 1987 when they released their first proper record.
Probably more known and legendary then the band itself is their frontman Raymond "Raybeez" Barbieri. He was the founding member of the band and also the obly one that was in the band until the end, with way to many members joining and leaving that i wont mention here (bandmembers over the years have also been in Gorilla bisquits, Agnostic front and even Tim Glomb from the tvshow Viva la Bam was a member at one time).
Raymond served in the navy in his younger years and it was here that he caught an inflamation in his lounges called pneumonia that would lead to his death in 1997. In the early years of the band he was known for jumping into the crowd to break up or participate in any fights that broke up in the audience and since this was in the early "violent" years of hardcore it sometimes ended up so that Raymond would stay in the audience singing the whole set through.
His connection to the kid's in the audience and his constant call for unity among the many different political groups and crews that attended his shows gave him cultstatus quickly.
He was one of the most influential characters in the NY scene and sadly enough he didnt really get the respect he deserved until after his death in '97.
When people talk about Warzone they often speak of the band as a pure hardcoreband wich is completly wrong. They constantly borrowed influences from Oi! and even had a not so good flirt with the metal genre.
Being a Swede never growing up with the band and never really been into hardcore i still dont think a site about American punk and the skinhead scene is complete without a feature of this band.
ICKY JOEY - POOH LP 91
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