Feature Exhibits

About Hardcore Norfolk

Connection Hall, where it all started. Summer 1985

Connection Hall, where it all started. Summer 1985

Background story by Ed Guy, an original member of Hardcore Norfolk

So, in the summer of 1984, Dominic’s in Norfolk and The Wave in VA Beach, both had almost all of the hardcore/punk rock shows in the area. Dominic’s were mostly Friday and Saturday shows, and The Wave had Sunday afternoon all-age shows. I remember seeing bands like The Vandals, Agent Orange and Scream (Dave Grohl on the drums, still one of the best live music shows I have ever seen).

As the shows slowly petered out at those venues, Mike Anarchy, who wasn’t attending Old Dominion University like the rest of us, but was living just off campus, came up with the idea for an all-ages venue that was big enough to attract national big name punk bands and have the local bands warm up for them. Connection Hall was where they had gospel revivals in the back and they had a religious store in the front that sold Bibles, candles, and other trinkets. Mike Anarchy organized the shows and was responsible for the concept. He booked the bands, ran the door, got the PA—it was his idea and his baby.

Not sure where he is now but he ran out of town sort of suddenly, think his real last name was Andersen. I befriended him after the first show and as we became friends, I helped him build the stage, put up flyers, doing whatever I could to help out. Bad Brains, Agnostic Front, and other bands of that caliber played at what became known as Hardcore Norfolk—a total DIY operation.