|Kory Clarke: Who, me, irrelevant?|
Ah, who can forget Kory Clarke, the subject of one of the most famous punk rock skits in history? Well, just about everybody, but let’s revisit. The Meatmen lampooned the self-important Clarke in a skit on the boundlessly irreverent We’re the Meatmen and You Suck lp in 1983. In the skit, Clarke was the owner of the fictional “Kory Clarke’s Dude Ranch,” and the bit began like this:
Effeminate male voice, speaking in a phone call to an unidentified someone: “This is Gene from the East Lansing Gay Council? Yea, hi super, we’re having an activity night at Kory Clarke’s Dude Ranch, can you come? Oh, super, super, we’ll see you there, ok? Ok, bye.”
The Metro Times in Detroit delivers a feature on Clarke, who has never quite gotten over being the butt of that little joke. From the story:
He chuckles while referring to the flag-bearers of Detroit hardcore as a “waste of space.” “I was doing heavier shit than them, long after them.”
In an interview for Tony Rettman’s book, Why Be Something That You’re Not, a chronicle of Detroit hardcore music in the early 80s, Dave Rice, a masterful musician from that time who played with Clarke in the vastly underrated L7, had this to say, according to an unpublished transcript:
Q: Why did L7 break up?
Rice: Well, the “Kory Clarke Dude Ranch” thing on that Meatmen record was the last straw for Kory, so he quit.
Back to the Metro Times piece; I understand Clarke is displeased with the piece – It’s hard for him to be a nobody, apparently, especially when no one will listen. But here he was presented with a chance to let it all fall away and instead he chose to allow the past to rule.