Beth Lahicky - All Ages: Reflections on Straight Edge (book) (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Beth Lahicky

All Ages: Reflections on Straight Edge 📕 (1998)


Any book that starts with a preface by Ray Cappo is bound to be good. Suffice to say, he and Ian MacKaye are the brightest lights in the so-called "second wave" of hardcore. And it is no surprise that these two outspoken individuals have the best writing and ideas in the book. The book is a collection of memories, essays and 'where-are-they-now' of hardcore and straight edge bands.

Bands that warrant mention include Youth of Today, Shelter, Gorilla Biscuits, Agnostic Front and others. Also featured are label, record store and club owners who helped hardcore gain the acceptance that bands like Earth Crisis and Snapcase enjoy today.
The writing is intelligent, and unpresumptuous, and most importantly, not at all judgemental. The militiance of straight edge is not at all apparent, and you can see how these early bands didn't think of it as a religion, but simply what it was, a healthy, intelligent lifestyle.

Though it says "Straight Edge" on the cover, the book is more about American Hardcore, music, and people. It's interesting to see where some former hardcore icons have ended up.
It's packed full of great live pictures, flyers and other stuff, and by most accounts, it's a fitting summation to that which was second wave hardcore.

All in all, it's an interesting, well thought out book, and by keeping it as verbatim accounts by the original speakers, instead of distilling it, the book has the honest truth.
If you love hardcore, or straight edge, or even just punk and the community, this book is a worthy purchase. You can pick it up from Revelation Record's Online Store or from your local indie store.