Back in August of 1980 a band called Jethro Tull put out an album called A. When it came out I thought nothing of it, I just vaguely remember seeing the album cover in an ad in, maybe, Creem magazine of something. Well, a month or two later I was at my uncle Rick’s place, and Rick came walking into the kitchen wearing a white dress shirt with a big red anarchy symbol painted on the back. Rick had created a stencil out of cardboard and painted this thing on the back. It looked cool as heck. The only problem was — I didn’t know, at the age of fourteen, what the hell anarchy was. So, in my ignorance, I ask Rick, kind of disappointed, “Do you like Jethro Tull?” He answers, “No, it’s anarchy.” I, again, answer stupidly, I’ve never heard of them. At this point Rick sits me down, explains the theories of Crass, the meaning of the Black Flag, and how anarchy isn’t truly chaos. It’s a concept of self-governing, the concept of elected government and man’s laws being eradicated. Probably, the deepest conversation I had had at this point in my young life, next to my father’s very bizarre version of the facts of life that I received two years earlier.
Fast forward two years, 1982. I am wearing a sleeveless T-shirt that Rick had made for me. It was a huge anarchy symbol on the front of the shirt. Rick had used the stencil twice. Sprayed it with red first, let it dry, and then sprayed it with black. It was cool, the black symbol, and it looked like it had a red shadow around it. Anyway, I’m walking to lunch and this long-haired rocker dude walks by me, looks at me and scrunches his face up and says “You like Jethro Tull?” Unfortunately, I didn’t have the patience that my uncle had with me, so, I said “Hell yeah, Jethro Tull Rocks!” And longhaired kid walked away very confused.