One of the biggest influences in my life was this wild hardcore kid that was around 6 years older than me and played in the band America’s Hardcore. I remember the first day I approached Drew Bernstein and asked him if he would silkscreen a t-shirt for me. His answer was: “FUCK YOU! Come over to my house and I’ll teach you how to make your own shirt!” So I did. That was the start of a 30-year friendship that grew into him becoming a Father Figure, Mentor, and Best Friend to me.
One day many years ago, Drew said he was going to take me over to Brian and Nikki Tucker’s place, the creators of the rad underground SoCal 80’s one-sheet fanzine FER YOUZ that was given out at shows, and a huge inspiration to what we do here at CVLT Nation. He told me that he would not be the person he was if it was not for these two awesome humans. When I walked into the house and they started to pull out old photos from back in the day, I got chills. Looking back on it, Drew introducing me to Brian and Nikki was another thing that he did that gave me a different worldview. Over the years since, I have grown to love both of them and always wanted to figure out a way to share their special historic photo archives with the world. So I am so happy that at 2016 Printed Matter’s Los Angeles Art Book Fair, the Tucker’s joined forces with my friend Arthur Fournier to put together a HUGE exhibit of over 8,000 images. Below are some never before seen FER YOUZ photos, plus read what Dazed Digital had to say about this historic show!
Although the names Brian and Nikki Tucker may be largely unfamiliar to those not intertwined with the 80s Los Angeles’ punk and hardcore scene, the same should not be said for the work they produced. Celebrating the local community through a vast photographic documentation of the subculture’s places and faces, the duo have teamed up with book dealer Arthur Fournier to open up their largely unseen archive by launching a publication and accompanying exhibition at this year’s Los Angeles Art Book Book Fair.
The founders of poster-size, black and white photo-zine FER-YOUz, which ran over three years and 16 issues, the Tuckers garnered a reputation as the most authentic, loved zine on the hardcore scene. Speaking of the duo’s reputation, Fournier says, “the whole endeavour had a net positive effect on the lives of some of the most marginal and dispossessed kids on the scene. So there was never a question of exploitation. FER YOUz really remained true to the spirit of its time and place and the Tuckers have never, ever sold that out.”
“The whole endeavour had a net positive effect on the lives of some of the most marginal and dispossessed kids on the scene. So there was never a question of exploitation”– Arthur Fournier
Despite the pair being somewhat outsiders when they first arrived on the scene, founding Black Flag vocalist Keith Morris reiterates the importance of their impact. “The truly amazing part of their situation was that they moved through all of this so freely! He and she’d infiltrated the ranks and were part of everybody’s family, gang, or crew and owned an open ended invitation to all of our punk rock fiestas.”
Living in a world in which every moment is captured through our phone screens, it seems almost impossible to imagine that the couple’s archive of punk manuscripts, artwork and an annotated slide library of over 8,000 images has spent the best party of 30 years hold up in a garage. With the original run of FER-YOUz to be showcased alongside a limited run of 150 books, FER YOUz : The Los Angeles Hardcore Archive, reestablishes the importance of a nearly-forgotten cultural gem.
Peep the event page for FER YOUz : The Los Angeles Hardcore Archive, 1980-1985