DFL aka Dead Fucking Last, the iconic ‘90s hardcore band that featured first wave punker Monty Messex, Adam Horovitz aka Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys, and skater “Crazy Tom” Davis, will reissue their influential debut album, ‘My Crazy Life’. Originally released on the Beastie Boys’ own Grand Royal Records in 1994, the record turned heads as it was fueled by the savage power of first wave hardcore during a time when punk rock was heading in a poppier, radio-friendly direction. The reissue is the first time the album has ever been on 12-inch vinyl and is also the first printing of the album in 29 years.
The band brought in original producer Mario Caldato Jr. (Beastie Boys, Moby, Freddie Gibbs) to remaster the entire release. Further, the reissue contains expanded art, unreleased pictures, as well as a 10,000 word oral history of the band, as taken from interviews with the band members themselves, Grand Royal Records executives, and other contributors from the scene. As an additional bonus, the first run of the reissue will come with a complete, previously unreleased, live show titled ‘Live at G-Son Studios’. The live album was professionally recorded by Caldato at the Beastie Boys’ G-Son Studio during a party the day after DFL recorded the tracks from ‘My Crazy Life’ and features eleven, savage live recordings.
‘My Crazy Life’ will be released via Trust Records on August 11, 2023 in stores and across all digital retailers. Trust is an archival record label whose mission is to preserve and present classic punk records as an iconic and important part of America’s cultural history, much in the same way as jazz, folk, and the blues have been celebrated. In order to pay tribute to the iconic records that it releases, each Trust pressing is presented as a deluxe release with premium vinyl, expanded and heavy-duty liner notes and jacket, as well other bonuses. Trust Records previously released deluxe reissues of Circle Jerks’ ‘Group Sex’ and 7 Seconds’ ‘The Crew,’ both which received massive critical acclaim.
– Includes a 20-page full-color oral history, a massive full color zine featuring unreleased pictures by Sofia Coppola, flyers, and other archival images made by Bryan Ray Turcotte.
– Remastered audio by Mario Caldato Jr (Mario C) / the Beastie Boys producer who initially mixed the 7” w/ Ad-Rock at the Beastie Boys’ G-Son Studios in Atwater Village in 1993
– An entire, unreleased, live show recorded at a party at G-Son studios.
‘My Crazy Life’ Deluxe Reissue track listing
Side A – Original Album (Remastered by Mario C)
2. The Mosher
3. U Don’t Understand
4. Pizza Man (Official Music Video)
6. Monks Honor
7. Knucklehead Nation
8. America’s Most Hardcore
9. Get the Fuck Out
10. Think About the Pit
13. Don’t Be a Kook
14. Creamcheese N’ Handgrenades
15. My Crazy Life
Side B – Live at G-Son Studios (Previously Unreleased)
3. The Mosher
4. U Don’t Understand
5. Pizza Man
7. Monks Honor
8. Knucklehead Nation
9. America’s Most Hardcore
10. Get the Fuck Out
11. Think About the Pit
More about DFL
Originally arriving in 1994, ‘My Crazy Life’ faced a somewhat “polished” punk rock landscape. Due to the massive surge in popularity of bands like Green Day or The Offspring, punk had become poppier, more accessible, and more melodic. Meanwhile, each of DFL’s original members came from the earliest, most crazed days of first wave hardcore: Messex formed hardcore punk band the Atoms, which included Izzy Stradlin (pre-Guns n Roses) in 1981; Horovitz started in the early NYC hardcore scene with the Young and the Useless before joining the Beastie Boys during their initial run as a hardcore band; Crazy Tom was a seasoned skateboarder hailing from the Marina Del Rey skatepark.
Messex recalls, “In 1993, I was obsessively listening to Bad Religion’s ‘How Could Hell Be Any Worse’. I had this beat up cassette that I’d listen to over and over and over and over again on my Walkman. That record brought me back to the early 80s hardcore scene I grew up on- that included Circle Jerks, the Germs, The Adolescents. I wanted to make a record that called back to the initial rush I got from the early hardcore scene.”
Without much planning, Messex linked up with Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys, who, at the time, were recording the seminal Check Your Head album. Messex threw the idea of starting a hardcore punk band past Horovitz and DFL was born. Messex says, “I literally remember the moment when we started DFL. Adam dropped by my place in Echo Park and kinda half jokingly asked him if he wanted to start a hardcore band. To my surprise he was like, ‘uh… yeah!’ I had a few songs and we went over to G-Son. I played them for Adam and the band was born right there and then.”
Shortly thereafter, Messex and Horovitz drafted “Crazy” Tom Davis into the group. Hailing the SoCal skate scene, Davis was added as much for his explosive singing style and unpredictability. Along with drummer Tony Converse, the band recorded the volatile ‘My Crazy Life’ album in the time it takes to listen to it: 20 minutes. Unlike the more polished records of the day, ‘My Crazy Life’ was 15 tracks of raw and ragged hardcore punk that, while fueled by the same energy as first wave of California hardcore, was pushed into the present, addressing issues like mental health, ‘90s Hollywood, and the fact that pizza is tasty.
The record not only stood as a landmark release because it featured one of the Beastie Boys playing back-to-basics hardcore punk, but also because the record was composed of sub 60 second songs built off Messex’s smashing riffs and Davis’ deranged howl. While most records were getting bigger and more polished, DFL was one of the few that made their music shorter, faster, and rawer. Since the album’s release, ‘My Crazy Life’ has remained a cult record, prized by the hardcore scene due to its ferocious sound and askew lyrics… and also because it is really, really, really good.
“The ‘My Crazy Life’ era was a real moment in time for me and I feel like the record captures that,” Messex tells. “There was so much shit going on. The Beasties and Grand Royal were blowing up. There were all these crazy parties with celebs and skaters and all sorts of people hanging out. It’s almost 30 years later, but that moment has never left me.”
Ahead of its release, DFL has shared a preview of Pizza Man and America’s Most Hardcore remastered studio versions; check them out below.