Please note that I meant to get this posting up much earlier instead of three months after the fact. Apologies…
I was shocked in early December to find out that dedicated punk fan and collector Behjan Mirhadi had passed away on December 8th in Germany. He was only 41 years old. I have personally known other people who died at around the same age, so it always saddens me when people are gone from this world far too early. Especially when they’re someone special, someone like Behjan, whose enthusiasm, fervor and dedication to music surpassed most other people’s.
I never personally met Behjan, and we only conversed via e-mail for the 12 years that I knew him, but his enthusiasm was very clearly communicated through the written word. His e-mails would be long, detailed and just brimming over with excitement about his favorite punk discs or songs. His signature of sorts was capitalizing band names and certain phrases within an e-mail and he got his point across very clearly: this certain song or record just HAD to be heard, obsessed about and listened to over and over, and the world was a better place with this record in our earshot.
His enthusiasm spilled over in several ways from just being a “casual fan” or collector. In the earlier years of the information superhighway in the late 90’s Behjan became a serious detective and tracked down old band members from the late 70’s and let them know- most times to their surprise- that their obscure, two-song punk single from 1979 which was never distributed outside of their hometown was remembered worldwide 20 years later by fans like him. Behjan would then let his circle of friends know that he found such-and-such old band member. I was not in the fold yet when he found an old member of the Wayward Youth but I was when he found Duval Russell, who played guitar on the devious and purely awesome Men In Black S&M Bar 7″ and then Eric “Sep” Ishii who sang on the otherworldly Fuckin’ Flyin A-Heads Swiss Cheese Back 7″. I had never talked to old KBD band members at this point in my life so I was very grateful to Behjan- these guys told some funny stories from “back in the day” and were kind enough to send me some cool packages with rare flyers and ‘zines, or unreleased recordings in the case of Men In Black. These guys were especially flattered to be remembered all those years later, especially Sep who sadly died in recent years (and I just found out via his Facebook page I stumbled upon, it appears that Duval passed away in early 2010. Shit). Behjan even penned a piece about the Fuckin’ Flyin A- Heads that was printed in the 2001 issue of the still-awesome Ugly Things ‘zine and which you can find reprinted here.
Behjan’s enthusiasm also spilled over in the 90’s to having a hand in helping release some KBD-type comps and, in a few cases, some straight reissues of obscure, insanely rare discs. Most of these comps were packed with lots of then-previously uncomped/unknown gems that, years later, are now common knowledge the world over thanks to Behjan’s efforts.
Here is Behjan circa 1998- this picture used to
be on his GeoCities page at the time when I first
met him and is and his swagger in this picture is
how I’ll remember him
As I mentioned earlier, I had known Behjan for 12 years- if memory serves me correctly, he first contacted me in late 1998 after I did a guest hosting on Scott Bass’ great “Gift Wrapped Crap” show that was on Antenna Internet Radio. Behjan’s first e-mail to me was in the aforementioned style just brimming over with enthusiasm and excitement that I included Hammer Damage or other KBD bands in my radio show. This first correspondence really stuck in my mind, and I remember thinking “Wow! Who’s THIS guy?!” We fell out of touch for a few years in the early 2000’s but when we started e-mailing back and forth again around 2006 we picked right back up where we left off.
Please check out Behjan’s Facebook page which is now being maintained by his family and is now full of fun, old pictures of him (even a really old one of him playing soccer!?) and a nice memorial wall that has been signed by many folks.
PODCAST FOR BEHJAN
Behjan had some epic postings over the years in KBD Yahoo! Group that were totally him- long, full of factual details and capitalized phrases and- most importantly- gave off a sense of being very damn excited. I remembered that there were a few postings in which he detailed some of his favorite songs so I put together the below podcast accordingly. The playlist is based off of his “Top 10 list for today” from March of 2008 as well as some earlier postings from 2002 and 2000.
1. Nothing- Uniformz (NYC, 1979)
To quote Behjan: “UNIFORMZ” by the NOTHING is the greatest PUNK song
i have ever heard in my life and it will be THE song that will be played at my funeral !!!!” Man, I really hope it was ‘cuz he was totally obsessed with the Nothing single…
2. Nothing- Scream n’ Cry (NYC, 1979)
3. The Now- Into The 80’s (UK, 1979)
4. Red Rage- Total Control (UK, 1980)
5. Vains- School Jerks (Seattle, WA, 1980)
6. Revenge- Pornography (UK, 1978)
7. Hammer Damage- Laugh (Akron, OH, 1979)
8. Endtables- Process of Elimination (Louisville, KY, 1979)
9. Shirkers- Drunk and Disorderly (MD, 1978)
10. Red Squares (Canada)- Transmitter (Ottawa, 1978)
11. Opus- The Atrocity (CA, 1979)
Directly quoting Behjan again: “***once i have got this fucking record, i promise to stop collecting and i will return to Iran….***” LOL! As background, Behjan was part Turkish and part Iranian…
12. Active Ingredients- Hyper Exaggeration (NJ, 1980)
Quoting Behjan again: “***i think ” Hyper-Exaggeration ” will be played at my
13. Mark Truthe and The Liars- Prisoners of Time (Long Island, NY, 1981)
Please crank this up to an ungodly volume and raise a glass in memory of a great guy and dedicated music lover! If you knew him personally, please also think of your best memories of him whilst enjoying these classics.
* I tried to upload this as one file but, for some re
ason, my hosting provider does not like files over 50MB in size so I had to split it into two parts.