In 1991, I turned 18 and I began living in Allston, Massachusetts. I had spent the prior three years incarcerated for reasons proven illegitimate in 2013.
One day, I met a guy at the train station passing out stickers for some band called Toxic Narcotic.
I first saw Toxic Narcotic play live when they opened for The Exploited, Biohazard and Type O Negative in October of 1990.
At some point I mail-orded a copy of their demo tape ‘Wunt Dunt Dunt’
In the winter of 1991, I rented a room in a house with their drummer.
I never lived in a punk house or had roommates.
If you have read the other blogs I have here on IDIOTEQ then you know I did not go to high school or grow up in any sort of normal or typical way.
I had no idea how to have friends or socially interact.
Thankfully, I was part of the Toxic Crew (or at least I thought I was).
Over the years, I was not emotionally healthy and everyone who knew me back then was aware of that. But no one actually knew what was going on with me; nor did I.
The truth is: I was very sick. I was sick because I was taking six or ten pills per day for a diagnosis of Schizophrenia. Unfortunately, for me, and unfortunately for everyone who knew me; those pills made me unstable. I was made unstable for 28 years. By May of 2015, all psychiatric diagnoses were removed from my medical file and I took the last of 80,000 pills. This is when my second life began.
If you are from Boston in the 90’s; you know that mistakes were made.
I made mistakes. I made mistakes that I could not have been aware of.
I was not an alcoholic. I did not have a drug addiction.
I was made sick by the pills I was being given by a doctor.
I was intentionally made sick by a doctor.
I did not know.
I am sorry.
TOXIC NARCOTIC are legends from Boston. Their music was unique and original. They were remarkable in so many ways.
One of the first punk rock t-shirts I purchased was of Toxic Narcotic.
The first show I was ever part of organizing was in collaboration with Toxic Narcotic.
One of the first fanzines I had ever contributed to was “Eat a Bag o’ Shit” working with Toxic Narcotic.
One of the first times I nearly had the shit kicked out of me was by Toxic Narcotic.
In 2007, I organized a show with the French band La Fraction and I was sent a message from a fellow organizer stating that the new band of some of the guys from Toxic Narcotic was interested in playing the show but when they found out that I was the organizer, knew that they would not be on the bill.
As sick as I was all those years, I was more interested in supporting the punk scene and throwing good shows than I was interested in perpetuating scene dividing bullshit so I sent their singer a message.
The message said that if your new band Mouth Sewn Shut wanted to play the show, then I welcome them to do so. I said let’s call a truce from the moment you arrive until the end of the show; and if we need to continue to fight then we can continue to fight the next day. The show was successful and hands were shaken.
That was the beginning of the end of an almost 15 year unnecessary and unhelpful scene dividing feud that I unfortunately, was a major part of.
I swallowed the last toxic pill on May 1st, 2015 and all the fraudulent psychiatric diagnoses were removed from my file.
My life would have been so much better if I was an alcoholic, or a junkie, because when I got clean, I would have been applauded.
“Hi my name is Crusty Craig and I was made chronically mentally sick due to 28 years of heavy drugging because I was given a fake diagnosis of Schizophrenia to protect my childhood abusers from accountability”.
Please hold your enthusiastic applause. Listen to this CRASS song “You Can Be Who?” and respect honor infused with individuality:
Toxic Narcotic are legends. They put Boston on the map in a way that almost no other band from Boston in the 1990’s did. They made music that was original and from their heart.
I am sorry for being a “shit talker” back in Boston. One of my saving graces is that, as you read above, I was not in full control of my thinking and that means that despite the problems I caused or participated in; my intentions were good. If you don’t know that my intentions were good, having not swallowed a single mind-altering poison pill in eight years has given me the clarity to look at my life and ask myself questions about my thoughts and actions.
For a survivor like me, I am free and empowered to make my value judgment based on my first and last interaction with Toxic Narcotic; handshakes, sincerity, smiles, gratitude and peace.
However, until we treat all members of society fairly, with decency, dignity, non-possessive love and respect; one of Toxic Narcotic’s most famous songs will continue to reign true.
To quote one of Toxic Narcotic’s best songs, from their 1991 Wunt Dunt Dunt demo:
“FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK YOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUU”
Crusty Craig “Gregorio” Lewis is a longtime contributor to IDIOTEQ. Gregorio is a punk rocker from the United States, living in México, and after traveling to forty countries around the world giving talks and workshops on how he has Survived the Impossible, both professionally and for the Punx, he has been living in his mountain pueblo for nearly four years. Contact Gregorio directly at [email protected] and check out his numerous published books, at Sanity is a Full-Time Job.