• The Reactionaries: 1979

The Minutemen have long been one of my favorite bands of all time, let alone the 80s hardcore scene. From their earliest days they took punk rock as a license to be themselves, creating a vibrant sound that strayed from hardcore orthodoxy (sometimes they even did away with choruses) and writing elliptical and profoundly personal lyrics when the status quo favored simplistic, heavy-handed political rants (Reagan sucks!) or nihilistic screeds (life sucks!).

Bassist Mike Watt, guitarist D. Boon, and drummer George Hurley got together as the Minutemen in January 1980 in their hometown of San Pedro, California, and though the band developed rapidly and restlessly until December 1985, when Boon was killed in an auto accident, they sounded fully formed right out of the gate. But a year before starting the Minutemen, those same three musicians formed the Reactionaries with singer Martin Tamburovich.