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The Teen Idles

Debuting toward the end of 1979, the Teen Idles' brief existence built off the hardcore sounds that Bad Brains innovated just months earlier. The Teen Idles claimed a space for a new, younger group of participants in the DC punk subculture and were the impetus for Dischord Records, which bassist Ian MacKaye and drummer Jeff Nelson co-founded in December 1980. The band’s sole EP, Minor Disturbance, was the first release on Dischord, and featured Susie Josephson’s now-iconic cover photograph of Untouchables vocalist (and Ian’s brother) Alec MacKaye’s hands covered in large black “X”s. The “X”s were drawn in black marker and represented a rejection of alcohol and a defiant celebration of the band’s status as teenage interlopers in a punk scene that often looked down on them for their age. Following the band’s breakup in November 1980, vocalist Nathan Strejcek formed Youth Brigade, while Nelson and MacKaye launched Minor Threat.

Drawn from the Sharon Cheslow Punk Flyers collection, the D.C. Punk collection, and the D.C. Punk and Indie Fanzine collection at Special Collections in Performing Arts at the University of Maryland.

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