Interview: Pat ‘Nobody’ Taylor on His Escape From Infamous OC Punk Rock Scene
By Alex Murashko
Without hesitation, Pat “Nobody” Taylor will tell you that he is more than grateful to have escaped the infamous Orange County punk scene sprouted in the late 70s’ and early 80s’.
Raised as a Catholic in Fullerton, Taylor said he knew the difference between right and wrong at an early age.
Yet, at 14 years old, he found himself smack dab in the middle of a music-based movement that included promoting a lifestyle of chaos and rebellion against all structure. In front of a McDonald’s across from Fullerton High School, he met and became friends with Richard Francis “Rikk” Agnew, Jr., a member of some of the most influential bands of the Orange County hardcore punk genre, as well as the “deathrock” band Christian Death. As a member of the Adolescents and as a solo artist Agnew is considered one of the best guitarists in the Southern California hardcore punk scene.
“I was the youngest of four kids. I was a latch-key kid,” Taylor, whose stage name is “Pat Nobody,” told me during a recent interview. He will be performing with his band Nobody Special at the upcoming Christian music festival, Test Fest, on October 10. “I got mixed up with the wrong crowd and I was a problem child.”
He said he went to “juvie” when he was 14, had an attitude problem, and missed school a lot… pretty much a resume for OC punkers of the era.
“I was just up to no good. At that point in my life, being a spiritual person was not important to me,” Taylor explained. “I fell away, again, I got into the punk scene. It was worse this time because the enemy was really trying to destroy me.”
At 18 years old, he started a band called Eternal Youth. “I was angry, hostile, violent, the whole thing. I wasn’t anti Christ but I definitely wasn’t walking with the Lord and I wasn’t trusting Him at all,” he said.
“I started having these weird experiences with demonic forces and it forced me to cry out to God. It didn’t happen right away. I wrestled with this force for maybe two or three months before deliverance came and when it finally did come I knew I was never going back there again. I knew Satan really wanted to destroy me.”
Taylor said punk was different back then. Many mosh pits, areas of dancing frenzy usually right in front of the stage, were seriously dangerous and violent back then.
“I wanted to be just a normal guy. I wanted to leave the punk scene. I didn’t have enough [high school] credits and I ended up going to a continuation school where all the ‘screw ups go,’ Mike Ness (Social Distortion) was there. I was straightened up.
“I was on fire. I told everybody about Jesus. I couldn’t shut up about him. All my punk friends said, hey, this is not right.
“I had such a burden for the punks after I came out of it because it was dark, it was hopeless, it was violent, it was empty, and it doesn’t lead anywhere,” he stressed. “The music was powerful, influential, and negative. Back in the day, it was a lifestyle. When the Lord pulled me out of it and opened my eyes, it just gave me peace in my heart again, which is what I needed bad.”
When asked about how he began a relationship with Jesus, he said, “For me personally I can’t say that I became saved on this [particular] date, I went to an altar call and I got zapped. I was born and raised a Catholic and I went through all the motions of First Communion, Confirmation, and all that, and I meant it. As a little kid I meant it and the Lord blessed me for that. I always felt close to the Lord as a young child. I was keenly aware of evil, right and wrong. I cannot remember a point in time when I did not believe ever.”
Taylor added, “I could have never made it this far without the Lord. I would be dead. In more ways than one, a million times over.”
Along with Nobody Special, musical artists scheduled to perform and give personal testimonies at Test Fest include Disciple, Manafest, Project 86, Altar Billies (formerly of Altar Boys), The Heroes, Matter, David Upton, GRYP, and Phil Sanchez. Organizers say the all-day event will be held in a family-friendly park atmosphere with lots of games and vendors to make for a relaxing and encouraging day. The venue is Lake View Park next to Irvine Lake in Silverado.
The organizers’ mission statement for Test Fest: To ignite souls for Christ through the power of music and testimonies of God’s unfailing Love.
On the Web: http://www.testfestoc.com/