Oi! American Oi! : Iron Cross

Iron Cross

Iron Cross were arguably the first American Oi! band. They were almost certainly the first American skinhead band. I challenge anyone to prove me wrong and if I am indeed so, I'll eat my hat (I've done that before and no, it didn't taste good!). The old DCS crew grafitti was still around underneath the Key Bridge near the DC Aqueducts (a popular skinhead/punk/anybastardlookingforaplacetogetawayfromthecops hangout)until just recently when they whitewashed the whole area and started to fill in the canal. One of my first memories of the 'Ducts was seeing an old IRON CROSS piece on the wall underneath the bridge.

Iron Cross formed when Dante (who was also in Gray Matter and who now owns the Black Cat in DC) met Sab Grey. Dante was previously in a band called Broken Cross with Mark Haggerty; when Sab and Dante decided to start a new band, Sab changed the name to Iron Cross. The first lineup consisted of Sab on lead vocals, Mark on guitar, Dante on drums, and John Falls on bass guitar. The band went through two more bassists before calling it a day : Wendell Blow (formerly of Rollins' first band S.O.A.) and another John. The only non-skinhead in the band was ol' Dante, who to this day still sports the spikey hair he's always had.

The band were among the first of the DC Hardcore legacy which went on to launch the (in)famous Dischord Records and inspire hundreds of kids to shave their heads, wear baggy clothes, and swear off drugs, alcohol, and sex. Thankfully, Iron Cross was not a part of the straightedge madness.

As far as I know, Iron Cross had three releases: "Skinhead Glory" EP, "Hated and Proud" EP, and a track or two on the Dischord "Flex Your Head" compilation. "Skinhead Glory" fetches quite a bundle nowadays, mostly because it is the first appearance of the skinhead anthem "Crucified", a song popularized by Agnostic Front. It's a real shame that alot of people don't know that it was Sab Grey of Iron Cross who penned that awesome tune. I'm glad when I first heard it, it was a live recording of some bonehead band whose name I can't recall right now...at least they gave credit to Iron Cross!

Iron Cross broke up in 1983 (I think!). Dante went on to form Gray Matter, Mark went on to play with Embrace, and Sab went to England. There has been rumours for over ten years about an Iron Cross reunion. Who knows, perhaps the new generation of punks and skins will be able to hear "Crucified" played by the band that started it all...
Back to Oi! American Oi!.
Go to the SunsetStrip Geopage

This page hosted by Geocities Get your free homepage.