It’s the eternal debate, meat or no meat, the latest salvo has been fired in this blunt book written by a hardcore singer from New York City…
The Cro-Mags made their name with their ‘Age Of Quarrel’ album. It fused hardcore with metal opening up ÃÂ whole new space. The band’s music was brutal and their shows were wild. But there was also a fascinating contradiction at their heart.
Frontman John Joseph, who came from a tough background and was very much from the school of hard knocks, was also a Hare Krishna. His spirituality sparked by hanging out with the incredible Bad Brains whose rasta take on hardcore made them more intense and exciting.
At that time Joseph was abroken kid from a broken home who lived rough on the streets of New York and was in an out of foster homes and detention centres. It’s fair to say punk rock saved his life although there were still bouts of hard drugs and craziness whilst he lived in the Lower East Side squats before making an underground name for himself in the Cro-Mags. This is all detailed in his excellent autobiography, ‘The Evolution Of A Cro-Magnon’ – a weighty tome that is a vivid account of the mean streets of New York City in the eighties.
It seems incredible that such a tough fuck up like Joseph could have connected with the Krishnas but he did and took on their whole ethic before moving on to his own philosophy which incorporates his genuine street tough credentials with veganism, yoga and intense gym work.
The normal take on non meat eaters being pasty faced, sandal wearing wimps is turned on its head by the author and ÃÂ credit to Joseph he’s taken the normally airy fairy middle class ideas of veganism and made them hardcore. This book is powerful, abrasive and deliberately provocative and a great read.