So last time we revisited Better Than A Thousand and talked a little bit about Ray Cappo- the influential singer and a huge personality of the worldwide hardcore scene. Since his presence in hardcore in the early 80s, he's been an ambassador of straight edge, vegeterianism and spirituality in the hardcore punk community. In the 80s, he ruled the sXe hardcore scene with Youth Of Today, while in the 90s he formed Shelter who became huge and toured the world many times spreading the Krishna message.
Ray with Youth of Today in the 80s
So within the documenting of important hardcore personalities I am trying to do in this new section, Ray Cappo seemed like the first and perhaps the most interesting choice. In this first part about Ray Cappo, we'll see what he's doing nowadays, because Shelter's last album in 2006 ('Eternal') is his last output in the hardcore scene.
Cappo has always been a restless kind of guy, it seems. After Youth Of Today, he went as a monk to India and then formed Shelter. But that was an on-off thing to, as he lived in Costa Rica for a while and ran a surf camp, practiced jiu-jitsu, opened Equal Vision and Revelation records (and then sold them) etc etc. A lot of fans have blamed him for that, but I think that the people who keep it fresh, and never stop evolving and changing, are to be admired.
An upside down version of Ray Cappo!
So this hardcore icon follows a totally different track these days. He is living in New York as a family man and a yoga instructor, health nutritionist and organizes trips to India for Krishna devotees. OK, so I know this might strike people who are more familiar with the scum-bag type hardcore personality, but I think that we definitely need a positive hardcore inspiration -not just fat guys with tattoos- and even if these people are not active in hardcore anymore (who knows where you will be in 10 or 20 years?), they still have put a lot into it and should get respect.
Next time, we will review Ray's career in hardcore during the 80s and 90s with YOT and Shelter respectively, and a focus on the Krishnacore movement. Lots of interesting stories to be told there--stay tuned and keep it positive!