Punknews.org
Code of Honor

Code of Honor








Hometown: San Francisco, CA (USA)

About:

Code Of Honor formed in San Francisco in late 1981 after the sudden end of the hardcore punk band Sick Pleasure, when guitarist Mike Fox, bassist Dave Chavez, and drummer Sal Paradise were left without a singer. The following is from a band history written by Mike "During Sick Pleasure's activity, I kept producing bands and Steve and I kept releasing records, including two separate Society Dog singles. We both dug them.

Their singer, a friend of Steve's named Johnny [aka Johnithin Christ], needed a place to live, and since we had a room for rent at Guy Place, he moved in. One day he was in my room and noticed the "code of honor" poster I had drawn, said that "code of honor" would be a good song title, and I agreed. We worked out lyrics that encapsulated my code of honor, deciding to name a band that too. I called Dave to ask if he would play bass, he agreed, and Sal agreed to be the drummer. We recorded several songs right away, enough for half an album. I didn't want to ditch the Sick Pleasure recordings, so we released an LP with Code Of Honor on one side and Sick Pleasure on the other. "In 1982 we did a US tour with Fear, but after the Seattle show Fear split from the tour when Lee Ving's agent called and told him he got the part of the sleazy guy in "Flashdance." We were booked in Canada for 2 weeks at 3 venues. One venue was a good place to make some much needed bucks. Were booked for 7 days, 2 shows a night, food, crash pad and a great way to build up $ so we could play more states & towns with very small scenes. "I had some of the best times doing gigs in out_of_the way bars or halls. At one gig we did in Oklahoma, this cool guy with a giant mohawk met us as soon as we arrived. He took us to his house, and said what he had, we could use.

He looked very bizarre for 1982 Oklahoma, where everybody in town dressed in overalls or polyester suits. The gig had a square bar with rednecks filling seats. There was a pretty big dance floor, no stage. What was cool was we played on the same floor as the audience and there were only 20_30 punks, but they knew the words to songs from our first album and sang along and danced and pogoed. Even the regulars at the bar were dancing and carrying on, all 18 of them, and actually gave the punks some competition grooving, gyrating and pogoing along with everybody else. As a matter of fact everyone, especially the bartender/part_owner as well as regulars at the bar were very courteous, accepting, open minded and helpful.

We played through the USA, SF to New York, back thru Texas and New Mexico on that tour. "Bands we played with at one time or another included The Exploited, Suicidal Tendencies, Black Flag, DRI, Bad Religion, Fear, Black Humor, Jody Foster's Army, DOA, TSOL, Los Olvidados, MDC, No Alternative, The Offenders, Go Gos, Flipper, Bad Brains, Urban Assault, Tales of Terror, Free Beer, X, Fifth Column, Tanks, Weirdos, Circle Jerks, VS, The Afflicted, Agent Orange, Faction, Twisted Roots, Seizure, Middle Class, Wasted Youth, Fang, Toxic Reasons, The Lewd, Rebel Truth, Wounds, Bags, Alley Cats, Straw Dogs, Minimal Man, Crucifix, Deadly Reign, Spikes, VKTMS, Fuck Ups, Battalion of Saints, Ribsy, The Damned, Sex Gang Children, Gun Club, Subhumans, Big Boys, Legionnaire's Disease, Poison Idea, Sado Nation, Husker Du, Cramps, Ramones, Mau Maus, Misfits, and the Adolescents. "

Around '80_'83 most of the great Southern California bands were banned from playing because of riots and attacks by Nazi jocks and the cops, so we got them playing here in San Francisco to escape the fascist pigs and government in LA. At every gig we played in LA, the cops busted the show and some heads. In 1982 we played at the Olympic Auditorium in LA downtown (the place holds 3_5000 people) with GBH, the Dicks, MDC, Discharge, the Dead Kennedys, and maybe 3_5 more bands. 5 or more ambulances came to take away people. "When we started work on "Beware the Savage Jaw," we wrote and recorded most songs in my studio.

On both albums there is quite a bit of music that came out of dreams and disparate melody or riff ideas I had been writing since 1970. Writing flowing lyrics is not my forte, but Johnithin was an incredible wordsmith, putting my thoughts to words. How we worked was at the start I supplied music and chorus or direction each song needed to go, Johnithin came up with a lot of great lyrics, we worked out music & words together then recorded it then introduced it to Dave & Sal at the studio. When Dave and Sal heard what we had written, they worked to flesh out the best way to emphasize the new song. Dave is a musical genius; he can play anything, and do it after one listen. He came up with all those neat, crazy bass excursions, and showed Sal how to mesh with him. Sal constantly improved on drums, but Dave can play most instruments extremely well, and seems to have a photographic memory with songs, as well as his unique style of bass.

He plays more like a lead guitar, which worked well because he instructed Sal on when and what to do, and since I played a very rhythm style on guitar, he had freedom to spontaneously combust on bass. We were a live band first and foremost, thriving on stage, becoming one with each other and the audience. We were also always recording and rehearsing when not gigging. We seriously thought we could touch people, empower them, coax them to realize they were a product of their own choices, and could become anything they dream of being. "The Code Of Honor theme song states my own personal parameters of living my life. I have shared it with people in recording and life. It is all I need (the 11 codes) to deal with any situation, helping me with personal growth and to take responsibility for all. Also I'm still big on disbanding the Federal government. Code Of Honor lyrics suggest one man can achieve anything and be secure in choice and results." Other than a couple of compilation tracks, the band had only 3 releases during its existence: the split LP with Sick Pleasure, the "What are We Gonna Do–" 7" single, and the LP "Beware the Savage Jaw." Code Of Honor came to an end just as the final mixdown on that album was being completed.


Reviews

Code of Honor Complete Studio Recordings 1982-1984

Code of Honor

Complete Studio Recordings 1982-1984 (2006)

Subterranean

Related News

In Memoriam: Johnithin Christ of Code of Honor (1958-2009)
Johnithin Christ of Code of Honor passed away March 5th, 2009 due to complications from pneumonia. He had successfully survived a brain tumor but the chemotheraphy and steroids depleted his immune system. Our deepest condolences to his friends, family and fans.…
March 10, 2009

Exclusive Streams

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go