April 1, 1958 - Dec. 22, 1985
“This goes out to all you mothers and fathers - Create forums in which your children can learn the beauty of the world...through the arts, so they can pass it on to their children. That’s what my parents did for me.”
- D. Boon
Born on April 1, 1958, Dennes Dale Boon was the guitarist and vocalist for the American punk rock trio, The Minutemen, an innovative and influential band that hails from the blue-collar port town of San Pedro, California. Boon, a student of art and history, speaks of family and respect with a reverence that is seldom associated with the genre. Though his father was not present, his mother created space in their home for Boon and his Minutemen to practice. When his mother was asked by a friend, how she was able to stand all of that noise in her home, her reply was…”I know where my son is at, do you?” Boon’s mom passed away during his senior year of high school. This had an immense impact on the young man who had been raised to pursue his dream, and follow his passion whether he had outside support or not.
In the early 1980’s, bands that wanted to be heard, went out to the corner community centers, or jumped in an Econo Van and drove to where people could gather and listen. The Minutemen were just such a band. The energetic stage presence of D. Boon, Mike Watt, and George Hurley helped them blaze a path through this new nationwide underground. This youth-led “DIY” scene. These excursions were not just to expose audiences to their own irreverent brand of punk rock, but a reconnaissance mission to learn about other scenes, and other movements going on in remote areas of the country. From Seattle to Florida, Maine to San Diego, this DIY community thrived on the friendships, stories, and sharing of independently made music without the support of corporate radio, or record company infrastructure.
After forming in 1980, the Minutemen recorded 11 albums in under 6 years before D. Boon died in an automobile accident in Tucson, Arizona. He was 27 years old. In his short life span, he was able to project a message that music had no rules or boundaries. That the artist is completely free to create and innovate, and that originality should be embraced as much as form and technique.
In this first installment of our CHIME 27 project, we thought it would be fitting to honor an artist who danced over social and economic boundaries. Someone that overcame personal tragedy and created something truly unique and beautiful. We will continue to be inspired by the individual stories we experience on this journey throughout the year.
This piece of jewelry, cut from a discarded drum cymbal, is inspired by D. Boon. His DIY (Do It Yourself) approach to his music as well as his personal lifestyle has influenced and united countless fans of his band, The Minutemen. Also, his signature guitar sound was said to be both "sharp and angular," which is reflected in the piece. It is my hope that the wearer of this necklace will be empowered by, what I believe, to be D Boon's legacy: To live life in your own authentic way. To embrace the unknown, and to create your own path, independent of what society tells you. Follow your heart. Take a stand. And live your life the DIY way.