I went to high school from 1982 to 1985 in San Jose, CA, right in the thick of hardcore punk USA’s flowering and implosion. San Jose, like just about everywhere else, had a “scene” of much-loved local thrashers like The Faction, Ribzy, Grim Reality, Executioner, The Drab (who were once condescendingly featured in the San Jose Mercury News, our daily paper…!) and my own high school’s MISTAKEN IDENTITY. I played little league baseball with the band’s Mike Luhring and Ricky Nakashoji, and to watch their gradual transformation from young preteen baseball dorks to rad high school hardcore punks was pretty funny at the time.
Luhring and I used to “talk punk records” when neither of us really had any idea what we were talking about, around 1981-82. He had just discovered The Sex Pistols and Dead Kennedys, but wasn’t really sure what was cool yet, i.e what was “punk” and what was “new wave”. The English comedy dress-up band “Tenpole Tudor” was one he liked because of their association at one point w/ The Pistols.
I remember being pretty bemused (and proud) when they actually got on a record, the San Jose hardcore 7” comp, “FROM THE VALLEY WITHIN”. Guys from my school, Gunderson High, on a record! Their muffled thrash-by-numbers didn’t translate any better on vinyl than it apparently did live, but I guess I wouldn’t know, because I never saw them. It was hard to see hardcore punk in my town in those days for 2 reasons – one, I was a little too much of a 16-year-old new waver, and was initially intimidated a bit by the flannel/chains/mohawk/slamming crowd; second, there just weren’t that many venues for this stuff. Usually VFW halls and that sort of thing, but because I didn’t party with Luhring and his pals, I only heard about these shows after the fact.
MISTAKEN IDENTITY followed the HC trend of forcing an acronym out of their name; a la MDC, JFA, TSOL, DRI and other popular punks of the time. They were “MID” (!). I’m proud of ‘em, and maybe still a little jealous that they were “actively contributing” while I was still making lists and avoiding human contact in my room.
So here’s a scan of the one and only record they appeared on. In looking for the image online today, I found that someone built a memorial Facebook page for the short-lived band as well, which you can take a look at here.