Marginal Man

Marginal Man was a DC hardcore band formed from the ashes of Artificial Peace. Beginning with a straightforward hardcore approach, they eventually moved to a slower and more melodic rock-oriented sound. They released three records and toured the US several times between 1982 and 1988.


IDENTITY EP (Dischord, 1982)

DOUBLE IMAGE LP (Gastanka/Enigma, 1985)

MARGINAL MAN LP (Giant, 1988)


ALIVE & KICKING 7" (WGNS/Metrozine, 1985), "Marginal Man"

STATE OF THE UNION LP (Dischord, 1989) "Stones of a Wall"

GOING NOWHERE SLOW LP (Double A, 1990) "Friend"

20 YEARS OF DISCHORD 3CD box set (Dischord, 2002) "Missing Rungs", "Manipulator"


Marginal Man Website
Their official website, run (I think) by guitar player Kenny Inouye. It could be good, if they ever get around to setting it up. Buy their re-released second album enhanced CD with extra video footage from this site.

Interview from End Times #1
An early interview; the band had recently formed and had just started playing shows.

Interview from Truly Needy vol. 2 #2
Another early interview from 1983, from the DC zine Truly Needy.

Marginal Man Section on Dementlieu Punk Archive
One more interview on this page.
The following was written by Kenny Inouye, and I got it from the Fucked Up and Photocopied book.

We left DC in June and headed south to North Carolina to headline a bill w/ Corrosion of Conformity. Continued south to Florida, formed a clockwise loop of the US through Texas, up through California, then east through the heartland. 30 shows in 35 days, slept on a lot of floors (that's not sleeping).
On the way to Atlantic City, our van died. We needed a new engine, so we rented a U-Haul truck, and decided to go home to DC for a day or so. We'd pick up our van on our way back to Boston. In a U-Haul only 2 or 3 people can fit up front. We were a 5 piece band, so, two of us had to stay "in the box" (back with the equipment). Our bass player Andre and I were the lucky souls stuck back with the gear - four to five hours of total darkness. (See the movie Papillon and check out the scene on solitary confinement for an idea of how our trip went.) The truck was by no means waterproof. During a thunderstorm the truck leaked like a sieve and we scrambled around in the dark with flashlights, trying to keep the gear dry, while bouncing around at 60 mph. It was a riot.
When we got home the next day, I slept all day. When I woke up we loaded up Steve's mom's station wagon to make the trip back up to Boston to headline a matinee at The Channel w/ Raw Power (from Italy) and Psycho. As you can imagine (maybe you can't), we had no room in the station wagon with the gear of five band members. I slept for the first shift of the drive, on top of the guitar cases in back, four inches from the roof.
We were on time, everything was cool. I ran into Ray Cappo of Youth of Today outside the club. (We'd been trying to work out a deal to play in Providence.) I proceeded to help him and his friends sneak in with my backstage pass. I'd sneak them in, have a band member bring the pass back out to me, and tell them to inform anyone who asked that they were roadies. Between Ray and his friends and a few other folks I knew, I snuck 20 people into the club. I'm sure the bouncers were suspicious of the size of our road crew that day.
The Channel was a big rock club type of place, thankfully unobsessed with haircut metal that was so prevalent at the time. The only punk bands that got to play were more well-known, like Black Flag or Dead Kennedys. There was a good sized stage, good sound and PA, and clean bathrooms. That was all fine and dandy, but the fact that we got fed was huge. (I'd already lost 15 pounds on this tour.) Getting this treatment from kids putting on shows was one thing, but clubs never did stuff like this. I was told the club thought the show was going to sell real well. I had been looking forward to this show. Boston crowds were always, let's say, "exuberant." But it looked like today was not going to be one of those days. The club had gotten moody about slamdancing and stage diving, so they weren't going to allow any of that kind of crowd activity. (It was well-known that the Channel was owned by the Mob, so we wanted to avoid any trouble if we could.) There wasn't any trouble with the two opening bands. Almost immediately after starting our set, we notived the bouncers strong-arming the kids, telling them not to MOVE, let alone dance.
Six songs in, the club told us that unless we stopped "causing a riot," they would stop the show. I couldn't believe the club was freaking out about this crowd - they were far from causing a riot. Even looking back twelve years later, that audience was pretty tame. About halfway through our next song, "Missing Rungs," the club pulled the plug and called the police. They couldn't have picked a better song to pull the plug on - by the time the power had died in the amps and the PA, we were in a sing-along part of the song where the phrase "rat race" is chanted through to the end. Club management was visibly nervous, and my emotions were a mix of being pissed about the show being shut down and amusement that the club owners and bouncers were beginning to sweat. Everyone in the band realized that while the crowd originally was far from causing trouble, now that the plug was pulled there was a very real possiblity that there'd be a riot. All it would have taken from us was one wrong word and things would have gotten very ugly. The cops had shown up, primed and ready for the shit to hit the fan, and that only made matters worse. Using well chosen words and an assurance that we'd come back soon and play got the kids to leave without tearing the place apart. The bouncers gave us attitude the whole time. It was almost as if these assholes wanted us to start something so they could pound our faces in, with the help of the cops. These bouncers were the epitome of the big chicken-shit jock who can't feel safe taunting some guy half his size unless his friends and the police are there to back them up. As I loaded some guitars into the station wagon, one of the bouncers jeered, "you'll never work in this town again." At that point I had to stop and laugh uncontrollably. I felt like we were living out some bad late night movie. As we pulled out of town, Andre turned to me and said, "Hey Kenny. Happy birthday." In all the insanity, it had completely slipped my mind. I turned 21 that day.

Marginal Man