by Peter Aaron
Formed in Washington, DC, in 1977, the Bad Brains were, as most who saw them perform at the height of hardcore punk in the 1980s will agree, the greatest live band of that era. Mixing lightning-speed rock ’n’ roll with deep-dub reggae, they remain one America’s most influential bands, and as a fan and fresh-faced music editor in 2006 it meant a lot to me to cover them during their reunion shows at CBGB during the New York club's closing week.
Here they are at the legendary venue in 1982, delivering a typically earthshattering performance of the classic “The Big Takeover”:
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