LIES collected and written by George Barker, Lesli Baker and Jon Bleyer
Paul Suhor- Sector 4
Like in NYC, every new fashion on 5th ave, Broadway shows (and) punk genre' starts in the big cities first. Small towns get on the scene after the vibe starts in bigger places. Tallahassee is an interesting small town full of political hypocrisy & ripe for the revolutionary music punk affords it. Our town was built on the broken hearts of Native Americans who's sacred underground waterfall cavern- as popular as mecca, was decimated with toxic waste only 2 blocks from the state Capitol and pumped full of hazardous waste- too hazardous to walk on until just a few recent years.. We share the broken hearts of the Native peoples who were pushed east, who's drums pounded in protest, then we opened another bigger dump next to a pure water aquifer and pushed them out of existence. A broken heart is in Tallahassee, so close to where Ca Chapel and the art community is. It's as if the spirit of protest and decimation was our inheritance. We protested when Presidents came to town and we protested the Injustice from the hanging chads of Shithead G.W. Bush. We protested with tee pees on the Capitol building- for legalization. We protested (and got rid of) the figure-head of the Tallahassee springtime parade- (the genocidal maniac) Andrew Jackson (who made horse reins out of Indigenous human skin & Adolf Hitler literally studied his genocidal techniques). In the early 80's, The Rock Against Reagan tour came through town and asked Sector 4 to come on tour with them. President Ronald Reagan had a lot to do with punk bands starting/ forming, as that's when the full steam murder machine of the White House gave fuel to punks in every town and village across america.
My longest lasting punk band was Sector 4. Punk drummers were pretty scarce, so I was welcome to crash on band member's couches- long as I kept drumming. At first, Sector 4 carried out (our) earlier childhood dreams- of being Jedi Knights defeating the evil empire while screaming about justice for earth. Many people were band-hopping in '81. Somewhere around that time I met the Sector 4 boys, who were 2 years older than me- and rode it out 'til '85- singing songs first about Jedi punks and finally moving on to Melodic screams to an Anti-Orwellian "1984" Genre'. We were in place just before 1984- riding the wave of anti-Reagan, anti-Orwellian music into '84. we were fully present in that date-stamp with time and reason. We grinded our political/musical axe while stunt crashing bicycles with wild abandon all over town. Riding on our own energy and risk was the life. We worked low pay jobs and often lived in the ghettos- being right at home building a $5 lid of pot in the back of black folks pool hall bars. I was only 15 or so, living half on my own & losing interest quick in high-school and anything that wasn't directed to a meaningful end. All i knew is that the earth had meaning, our music had meaning & that gave purpose. Finding spontaneously awakening, like minded people-we awoke: Radical earth lovers who didn't care for society norms- who saw all of civilization as a blatant lie aimed at destruction of the earth. Those in the scene for the right reason expressed voices as one brother/sisterhood. Venues were often something that formed through friends- and many friendships were formed through those venues- the scene grew this way. Music community as a proxy for hope, creativity, activism and friendship (love).
At CA chapel I would always look up at the sign. long before we were there, It used to say "Calvary" chapel, but all letters were gone off except for Ca Chapel. How that happened, maybe George knows? Seriously and often gazing often at the sign, I would sing some Bob Marley song (or the positive like). I had a genuine feeling that the oppressed people of African descent had worshiped there in all seriousness. It wasn't a white man's church, so that's why (I think) it felt great there to us punks. I always looked up to and honored the sign of "Ca" chapel and dwelled on it's meaning. I would think: "Ca", also meant "shit", such as "ca ca"- And we are punks, the "shit" of society- and here we are expressing total original, artistic, musical expression- right from the gut. It very much felt like we were family- even those with forked tongues, of envy, needing healing, and those who we just met at any given show. Ecstatic, lasting friendships were formed overnight under the mosquito thrashed street lights and old cracked sidewalks. and the music was organic, ever-fresh, pounding expression we put our souls into a music that we owned.
The outside forces was still "the man". Sons of the south would drive by in a parade of 4x4's, full of pissed off white teen men. We'd look up and both sides would jeer- but mostly our side smiled. I was around the corner coming back from my car when a parade of trucks had just turned on the side street. Dark, it was tense as the sausage fest of rednecks jumped out of their trucks and started coming towards me. In their unchecked stupidity, they surrounded and pushed me to the ground. I stayed half up and down as they kicked and punched- i scrapped back. Somehow there was a little kid at the show- probably 9 years or so. He walked around the corner at that time- and for some reason it scared the daylights out of the dipshit crew and they started to leave me alone and group up. When I saw their cowardice- i ran straight back into the crowd and started wailing on the biggest guy i could find- just to get slightly even.. anyway- they high-tailed it. the end.
IMO, Sector 4 had one main purpose- to expose the twisted untruths in the world and awaken the truth in people. We had any songs about the anti-Orwellian state- Our songs included protests on endless war in the middle east, the human toll on war, corruption in the white house and government, songs about the founding fathers, the Indigenous peoples of this land, Anti Reagan, Anti Nuclear war, cosmic order, time, space travel, as well as gentle subjects like no revenge and being as true as a Jedi and wise as Yoda.
In the hippy era, there was lots of nonsense songs, same with punk era- but both genres were original, filled with protest and awakening. As the "quickening" in the world became more squelched in, the sound in music's urgency to awaken also vibrated faster. After punk era, it seems the closest thing to music, revolution and awakening is the constant drone of dance beats and electronic music- which was extremely underground and born out within the womb of earliest of punk/new wave scenes. Europe and all western countries are part of this musical revolution- but only a small percentage of this art/acivism music aimed for higher ideals, activism & awakening- while the rest was brought down by the drunk fun going on (as in the music). That "fun" with all types of lyrical themes is our punk family celebration. Here we are- a community with a heart, a family. And each show was a family reunion. For the most part we got along. To know your true allies took communication. Shows and dancing was a blast of nature to explode clear doubts and for me it helped expand my bubble of peace, trust and growing- For those who lived the audaciously cheap life for arts-sake survival- we dove into each others' lives. The bad apples didn't last in the scene, often moving out of town after leaving sociopath waste behind. In the fight against everything from Darth Vaders to Nazi Feministas- to jam as creative activists- positive vibes always win. Punks not only spit, they spit at shit, and spit out the shit we're fed.
Feb '85, we were interviewed by our dear friend Linda Hall for a Flambeu article. In that interview I sad: "we are striving for a positive peace nation. People in the US are so far gone, we have to sound negative to point out what's wrong. Society as whole doesn't act on love, they act on money". Sad that it's true today.
Sector 4 had split up in summer of '85. '86 came around and for me and the climax of punk was dead- partially stolen by Metal and Pop-ish sellout-ness. Many bands in the Tallahassee punk scene kept authentic, but I didn't feel the revolution as much. The stepping stone spoke was saying time to move higher with the traction gained- and seek into the fog of future for a more sublime voice- closer to the cause and effect i came seeking in this life. Around this time, my g/f of 2 years tried to get back at me for cheating on her by spreading a horrific lie/rumor about me. I've tolerated all these years ignorant skinheads and nazis talking shit and stalking me, so especially when I felt our generation of punk had died- that was the icing on the cake.
Once at the end of my time in the punk scene, I held a drum workshop at CA chapel. One person attended it, and years later he did say he learned something he used his whole life (as a drummer).
Sector 4's music led me to positive original music on guitar, with much of my message dedicated to the plight of Mother Earth, the Moon, and the higher vibes as inspired by brothers Bob Marley and Peter Tosh's lyrics.
To end, Instead of sharing a Sector 4 lyric, I'd like share one that i feel represents a prophetic ability (about world affairs) coming from this first generation of punk. The lyrics below are from the band "Lords of the New Church" and the song is "open your eyes".
Video games train the kids for war
Army chic in high-fashion stores
Law and order's done their job
Prisons filled while the rich still rob
Violence rules within' our nation's midst
Well ignorance is their power tool
You'll only know what they want you to know
The television cannot lie
Controlling media with smokescreen eyes
Nuclear politicians picture show
The acting's lousy but the blind don't know
Open your eyes
See the lies right in front of ya
Open your eyes
They scare us all with threats of war
So we forget just how bad things are
You taste the fear when you're all alone
They gonna git'cha when you're on your own
The silence of conspiracy
Slaughtered on the altar of apathy
You gotta wake up from your sleep
'Cause meek inherits earth six feet deep
Open your eyes see the lies right in front of ya
Open your eyes
12/27/2020 06:54:12 pm
Man this is heavy duty stuff. Good job getting this down for the history books.
8/25/2021 10:32:50 pm
I'm happy you are doing so well. I love you PAUL, but ill always love Cobain a pinch more. Love you Mr Suhor
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