With hardcore punk a largely West Coast phenomenon in the ’80s, Bad Brains represented for the rare exception for the East Coast, establishing themselves as pioneers in the genre. More than 35 years and nine albums later, Bad Brains have proven themselves as one of the most important bands in the punk and reggae world but how much do your really know about them? To help educate you, we’ve compiled a list of 10 things you probably didn’t know about this iconic band below.
1. The band was originally known as Mind Power.
2. Bad Brains are named after a Ramones song called “Bad Brain”.
3. Frontman H.R. and drummer Earl Hudson are brothers.
4. The Bad Brains were close friends with the Beastie Boys, especially the late Adam “MCA” Yauch, who produced their 2007 album “Build a Nation”. The band dedicated their 2012 follow-up “Into the Future” to him.
5. In 1979, Bad Brains found themselves the subject of an unofficial ban among many Washington D.C. area clubs and performance venues (later addressed in their song, “Banned in D.C.”). The band subsequently relocated to New York City.
6. Despite being both credited and pictured on the cover, Earl did not actually play on the Bad Brains’ 1989 album “Quickness”. The drum position was held by Mackie Jayson of The Cro-Mags, who would also play drums on the band’s 1993 follow-up “Rise”.
7. Bad Brains were called Soul Brains from 1998 to 2001.
8. Despite never recording any material with the band, former Faith No More singer Chuck Mosley was briefly the lead singer of Bad Brains when H.R. left the band in 1990.
9. H.R.’s real name is Paul Hudson. His nickname stands for “Human Rights”.
10. Bad Brains’ 1982 self-titled debut album was originally released only on cassette. It was reissued by ROIR on both CD and vinyl in 1997.
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