10 things you probably didn’t know about Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi, etc.)

Almost everybody in the punk scene knows who Ian MacKaye is. At the very least you know him as the lead singer of Minor Threat and Fugazi, and maybe even as the co-founder of Dischord Records.  But there’s so much more you don’t know!  To help educate you we’ve put together a list of 10 things you probably didn’t know about Ian.  Expand your knowledge below.

1. Ian was childhood friends with Henry Rollins.

2. His brother Alec is the guy on the cover of Minor Threat’s 1981 self-titled EP and their 1989 compilation album “Complete Discography”.

3. MacKaye is credited with coining the phrase “straight edge” after writing the Minor Threat classic of the same name, which was about his personal ideology to abstain from alcohol and drugs.  He never intended for it to become a movement.

4. Throughout his career he he has refused to do interviews with Rolling Stone, or any other large music publisher, stating he would only do so if they agreed to not advertise alcohol or tobacco.

5. While in Fugazi Ian turned down an offer to headline the Lollapalooza festival because he believed the organizers were charging too much for tickets.

6. He produced many albums including, but not limited to, releases from 7 Seconds, Dag Nasty, Henry Rollins Band and Bikini Kill.

7. During Presidential elections MacKaye votes solely for the candidate least likely to engage in war.

8. Ian has contributed to several books, including “The Idealist” and “Silent Pictures”, and was interviewed in “American Heretics: Rebel Voices In Music”.

9. MacKaye was strongly against violence at his shows, often times stopping mid song to rebuke overly rowdy patrons or crowd surfers.

10. Ian grew up listening to popular bands like Ted Nugent and Queen but discovered his love for punk rock in 1979 after seeing The Cramps perform at Georgetown University.


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47 Comments

  1. 123_repeater
    123_repeater6/23/2014 1:20 PM | Permalink

    probably most people knew all those? Here’s one: he comes off as a pretentious dick in the music media but if you meet him he’s really nice and accommodating or if you send him an email he actually responds.

  2. osmium
    osmium6/26/2014 7:36 PM | Permalink

    Ian MacKaye is one of the godfathers of American Hardcore, period. Go listen to Good Charlotte or some shit if you can’t grasp that fact.

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