Ah, the power of social media. Just the other day, I got a message on the No Echo Instragram page from a guy named "Navy" Jim Nargiso who wrote me a very sweet note about my site. I always appreciate any feedback on get for No Echo, but it was what Jim included at the end of his message that really caught my attention. He said that back in the '80s, he was friends with all of the original Youth Crew guys and even roadied for such bands as Youth of Today, Beyond, Judge, and Project X. With that in mind, I sent him a few questions about his days in the hardcore scene.
*Jim wasn't sure about the photo credits, so if you know who took the uncredited pics below, please let me know and I'll update everything.
First off, where were you born and raised, and how did you come to discover hardcore?
I grew up in Butler, NJ, about 35 minutes from NYC. Sometime later in 1984, my friend's older brother and his friends started listening to punk, so we naturaly started to do the same. After that, we started skating. Probably in like late 1985, we met skaters from other towns and became good friends with a crew from Montville, NJ that were all friends with Mike Judge, who at the time was drumming for Youth of Today. We all became friends and started hanging out and going to hardcore shows from there.
What were some of the first bands you fell in love with, and what were some of your early show experiences?
Early on, I first heard Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, MDC, AOD, Agent Orange, Suicidal and just loved the sound of punk. I remember hearing 7 Seconds for the first time and Walk Together, Rock Together was the first record I bought from that genre. My first show was Cro-Mags at L'Amour in Brooklyn in late 1985. I remember being blown away. I still have the shirt I bought at that show. Then we started going to CB's every Sunday and every other show we could in NYC, NJ, and CT.
How did you come to be a roadie? Did you have any kind of experience before doing it?
We just started hanging out with Youth of Today and helping them out at the shows. Then we started doing it for other bands. We are all friends back then. I used to pick Luke [Abbey] up at his house in Brooklyn and throw his drums in the back of my Bronco when he was in Warzone and Gorilla Biscuits.
When/where was the first show you roadied and what sticks out in your memory about the night?
I honestly don't remember the first one, but it's probably safe to say it was with Youth of Today.
When did it go from doing local shows to hitting the road for a proper tour?
After we met the guys from Beyond, and then Project X formed, we all piled into a van and a Bronco, left the Anthrax in Connecticut, and headed for Buffalo, NY.
Of all the guys you’ve toured with, who was the funniest?
Luke was definitely a funny guy, and there was also Jason Anarchy. We always had a lot of laughs with the whole crew.
What was the best/favorite show you ever roadied back then?
One that really sticks out was when the Ramones were playing City Gardens in Jersey and Warzone were on the bill. We all met up and headed down and I remember carrying some of Luke's gear onto to the stage, turning around and looking out at a massive sea of people. That was pretty cool.
What was the last tour or roadie gig you did, and why did you stop doing it?
I went into the Navy after high school and that's were the "Navy Jim" nickname came from. It was Porcell who gave that to me. I think it was at an Anthrax show, possibly Judge.
Have you kept up with your friends from the bands throughout the years? How about hardcore in general? Do you still listen to it and hit shows?
Yes, I still see and talk to the crew every once in a while at shows and stuff. I still like going to see bands when I can. I do listen to punk and hardcore and never stopped.
What are you doing for a living these days?
I'm a union sheet metal worker in North Jersey for the last 21 years. I'm married with two daughters, two stepdaughters, and a dog (female too).
Follow Jim on Instagram.