I wrote down my personal impressions of Anthony for a remembrance zine organized by Dawn Zilla. I think my piece is included in the print version, but I'm not sure. Either way, it's after the jump. You can buy a copy of the zine here; all of the proceeds go to Anthony's family.
I once stayed at Randi and Anthony's shotgun house in Lexington, Kentucky, for an extended period of time due to a show falling through on tour. Their lives at that point revolved around putting supposedly impractical punk ideas into practice on a day-to-day basis. They lived in a house with a $300.00 monthly rent and stole new art monographs from chain bookstores to sell on Amazon.com to pay for it. Or they'd shoot foot-fetish photos to raise money via Craigslist from whom I can only imagine were the secretly perverse bankers and college professors clogging up Lexington's downtown. The time they saved from "not working" was dedicated to hosting touring bands and participating in radical activism. Their brief intimations of the latter (security culture everyone) struck me at the time as being more real, more sincere, and more effective than the half-assed attempts to do the same taken by all the "activists" I knew in Columbus, Ohio, combined.
When I came through Lexington on the next tour I was on (which no one else would have ever booked in Lexington, besides them) my tourmate played at the anarchist infoshop Randi and Anthony were running against seemingly insurmountable odds - or at least, they ran it until the police shut it down. Or whatever happened, I'm not entirely sure, because the facts in those situations are always sort of hazy. The point is, Randi and Anthony were living in a manner that short-circuited and confused capitalism, and existentially threatened those that make their living ensuring capitalism works. I came to punk due to the politics, not the music, and it was always refreshing to become acquainted with people who saw it through the same prism - instead of through beer goggles.
One of the most inspiring facets of their efforts was the truly diverse scene they cultivated in Lexington; among the small crowd at the infoshop was a woman in her forties with a child, and a young girl with braces who Randi seemed to take under her wing and act as a mentor to. My punk house in Columbus talked a good game, but it was a rare occasion to see someone there who wasn't in their twenties, or, for that matter, someone who wasn't white or college educated.
The flip side of the subsistence living Anthony and Randi engaged in was ugly, the dire effects of being impoverished in America always are. Their house was, to be honest, disgusting. It was teeming with bugs, in a not-so-subtle reminder that, yes, Kentucky is in "the South," insects like that simply don't grace its neighbor to the north. On the first night I slept there, I covered all of my body parts insofar as possible to escape feeling something crawl on me in the dark. It was summer, miserably hot, and I was sweating profusely, but every article of clothing I had with me was on me.
Along with the material effects of poverty, there were less obvious things - like having to forgo regular medical check-ups, which in any other western industrialized society would be a matter of course for any citizen - even a punk like Anthony. Those gross social inadequacies - those typically American inadequacies - are what make people like Anthony so important: people who refuse to capitulate to capitalism are so few and far between that one can forget what doing what one wants to do looks like. Anthony, at least from my vantage point, did what the fuck he wanted to do.