This post has been updated with the song’s lyrics.
Back in the toddler years of D.C.’s hardcore scene, Georgetown venue the Bayou was both loved and loathed.
On one hand, the Bayou was one of precious few D.C. clubs that would host punk bands like The Damned and Bad Brains, who played a now-legendary show at the venue in 1979. But punk kids in particular complained about the Bayou’s security staff, who had a reputation for being less than hospitable.
One of the groups coming up in that era was Youth Brigade, who both formed and broke up in 1981. As young punk kids who felt unwelcome at the Bayou — which closed in 1998 — they had opinions about the club’s bouncers. (As did Ian MacKaye, who called them “a**holes” in 2013 documentary The Bayou: D.C.’s Killer Joint.) So Youth Brigade decided to put those opinions on tape.
Called “Bouncer,” Youth Brigade’s 72-second Bayou diss track was recorded at Inner Ear Studios in Arlington. The song appears on Youth Brigade’s first demo, which MacKaye’s Dischord Records will release for the first time on Nov. 23.
Here’s what Youth Brigade’s Danny Ingram tells Brooklyn Vegan about “Bouncer”:
It’s about our experiences at the Bayou, a D.C. club that often employed locally stationed marines as bouncers/doormen, many of whom had a less than cordial relationship with the punks who attended the shows. The song was written right after the Bad Brains played there. I managed to get into the show, but Nathan’s fake ID was easily spotted and he was given the bum’s rush. Once I was in, I found the staff was their usual belligerent selves — hassling kids who were dancing and jumping about, all the while castigating those who didn’t drink. In those days, righteous indignation often wound up as a song at the very next rehearsal. Such is youth and such was the case with this song.
Listen to “Bouncer” below. Want to bark along? Here are the lyrics:
Bunch of ugly thugs
Await you at the door
Trying to take your drugs
Trying to make a score
You wanna see your favorite act
But you made a mistake
and you can’t come back
If they don’t like your looks,
you don’t get to see the show
Bayou bouncers, f*****g clowns,
really got to go
Got your friend
By his shirt
Trying to make him stand still
All your gear
And give you s**t
For not buying beer
Don’t be fooled: if you get inside
If you’re a punk, you better hide