Saturday, November 19, 2011

It's in my mail, it's in my mail: Minor Threat correspondence from the '80s

By Andy

Remember pen pals? It seems like everyone had one or two back in the day, whether it was through a school project (I had one in France) or gabbing back and forth with people in punk-rock bands.

I frequently exchanged letters (and some phone calls) with folks in Minor Threat, CIA/76% Uncertain, Battalion of Saints, Zero Boys, Corrosion of Conformity/No Labels, SSD, Husker Du, Even Worse and more. Some became good friends along the way.

As for Minor Threat, here's a few bits of information, which can either fill some holes to the band's story or give you a laugh or two.

* On May 28, 1982, drummer Jeff Nelson revealed this bit of juicy gossip in a letter to me:

"I don't think we'll be staying at SST. Black Flag (except Dez) are being real jerks. It's going to be weird enough playing May 31st with them on Long Island."

* Here's a note from Nelson to me dated Sept. 13, 1982, regarding the band's switch to a five-piece, adding Steve Hansgen on bass and moving Brian Baker to second guitar:

"We are trying playing with a new bass player. Brian decided he really wants to play guitar, so now we have 2 guitars. Who knows if it'll work. Brian's a very rock 'n rolly guitarist, and if he keeps it up we're either going to go back to him on bass or just call it quits. Who knows? Maybe we'll add a brass and woodwinds section, too!"

* Here's a tidbit from guitarist Lyle Preslar in a letter to me dated May 20, 1983, following the band's nationwide tour:

"As for the two guitars, I have some interesting news. Upon our return, the 4 original members (Ian, Jeff, Brian and I) decided that Steve would have to leave the band for reasons of personal incompatibility..... Thus, we are again a 4 piece and we feel a bit more comfortable with it. "

Minor Threat's later personal issues have been well-documented, so I don't think any of this information will be hurtful. I've actually edited some stuff out that was too personal.


Edited letter from Preslar.


  1. These are rad. Handwritten correspondence is dying, and its sad. No email or FB message will compare to these.

  2. Right on. We've got plenty of these... always cool to revisit.

  3. Didn't they open for The Dead Kennedy's on that gig?

  4. They opened for the DK's at Alpine Village in Torrance on July 3, 1982. Also on the bill were the Zero Boys, MDC and the Detonators. One of the best gigs ever!