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alt.punk.straight-edge sXe FAQ
Section - 1-2. Where does the name straight-edge come from?

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    According to legend, the drummer for Minor Threat [Jeff Nelson], one of 
    the first bands to preach the "stay punk, stay clean" ethos, ...was 
    drawing a poster for a show using a wood ruler. He commented to his 
    bandmates that the ruler's straight edge was a metaphor for their 
    lifestyle. [1]

        Straight Edge
        by Minor Threat, 1981 [3]

        I'm a person just like you
        But I've got better things to do
        Than sit around and fuck my head
        Hang out with the living dead
        Snort white shit up my nose
        Pass out at the shows
        I don't even think about speed
        That's something I just don't need

        I've got the straight edge

        I'm a person just like you
        But I've got better things to do
        Than sit around and smoke dope
        'Cause I know I can cope
        Laugh at the thought of eating ludes
        Laugh at the thought of sniffing glue
        Always gonna keep in touch
        Never want to use a crutch

        I've got the straight edge

    On 30 Aug 1997 erik mohr <emandrew@mindspring!com> wote:
    "my understanding of the origin was that ian mc.. wanted to call minor
    threat "straight edge" and the rest of the guys wouldn't go for it. so 
    he wrote a song cause he liked the name."

    On 09 Aug 1998 Larry Phillips <bigphil@solutions!mb!ca> wrote:
    "Ian Macaye didn't want to call the band "Straight Edge", he wanted to
    call it "Straight".  here is the exact quote from the interview with 
    him in the sXe book on Revelation "I wanted just to name the band
    "Straight," because we were going to push this thing even more. We
    didn't end up using it for the name of the band, but I ended up writing
    a song about it, and it was basically a song which was, in my mind,
    championing the individual.""

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