New Maryland — On July 24, 1998, one of the most legendary evenings in New Brunswick punk rock history took place when Washington, DC’s post-hardcore pioneers Fugazi took to the stage of the New Maryland Recreation Centre for an unpublicized performance that included blistering songs from such seminal albums as Repeater, In On the Kill Taker and Steady Diet of Nothing.
Just as seminal, albeit in a different way, was the rest of the evening following the show, as all 4 members of the band — long known for its ethical approach to creating, marketing, performing and distributing music, as well as its respectful treatment of its fans — engaged in numerous acts of unprotected sexual intercourse with female members of its fan base.
“It’s been a lot to handle my whole life,” said Benjamin Fisher, 17, “knowing that my dad rocked those insane time signatures on the 1989 Margin Walker EP and not being able to tell my friends. I mean, not that they’d know who Brendan Canty is; most of them aren’t into punk. Sometimes I just wish my mom could have gotten knocked up by a touring bassist for CCR — at least then I could brag to people.”
But now, Fisher and the other illegitimate “Fugazi Kids” have formed a support group that meets at the same rec centre where they were conceived in various back rooms and supply closets nearly two decades earlier. “I put up an ad on Kijiji,” said Britt Greaves, 17, “and it just read ‘Are you the living proof of a moral error made by one of rock music’s most staunchly ethical groups? Do you want to get together to share home-baked cookies in a rec centre and hug out your feelings?'”
“It was a magical night,” said Charlotte Greaves, 37, Britt’s mother and a real estate lawyer in Fredericton. “After it was all over, I asked Ian [MacKaye] why he was OK with this — he was basically acting like Gene Simmons that night, and he just, he said, ‘I basically single-handedly codified the anti-corporate do-it-yourself aesthetic in punk rock, I run my own record label, I sing in one of most politically relevant bands in a decade and spearheaded the anti-drugs-and-alcohol straight-edge movement… if my bandmates and I want to raw-dog it with some groupies in some backwoods town for one night, we’ve earned it.'”
Greaves then blushed, adding, “and then he showed me the real reason they named their first album Repeater.”
For the other members of the support group, Clarence Whittaker and Jennifer Moss, both 17, they dream of one day meeting their fathers, should Fugazi ever reunite. “We don’t want to go track them down or anything like that,” said Whittaker, “but if they come back here, I’d like a chance to ask Guy Picciotto, ‘Hey, Dad, do you like me?'”
The important thing now seems to be that the support group members have one another. “Their record label headquarters in D.C. might be called Dischord House,” said Moss, “but I like to think of this rec centre as our Dischord Home.”