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UNITYHXC.COM | Raybeez



From Skratch zine issue 20, october 1997


"Don't forget the streets"
"Don't forget Raybeez"
Quote taken off of victory records'website which was shut down the weekend of Ray's death to pay its respect.


Who was Ray ?

Raymond James Barbieri was the vocalist in Warzone, in addition to playing drums on the 1984 Agnostic Front United Blood EP.
Beginning with that EP, Ray made a dramatic impact on the hardcore scene and is credited for keeping it and the original english skinhead movement alive. He inspired a lot of people all over the world, especially street kids, and especially in New York City, where he often played and booked other bands at CBGB's. Ray also helped compile Revelation Records' New York Hardcore CD.
Ray's lyrics, always from the heart, were his most memorable accomplishment. When Warzone played, he used the stage as little as possible, hoping that just by looking you in the face when he sang you'd take in what he had to say.

His favorite message? A shout for unity, spreading the word that racism and separation of any kind was a load of shit, including the divisions between punks, straight edgers and skins. He also handed out and included in album inserts free literature for runaway hotline numbers, child abuse centers, and GED information. It's a shame that some kids had the nerve to say that Ray onstage was just an act and a sell out, and a lot of newer hardcore/straight edge bands are too busy worrying about how hard kids can dance to their songs rather than getting positive message across. It is sad that we have forgotten who influenced a lot of the bands still around today. Chances are it was Ray or one of his close friends guy like Jimmy " Gestapo " Dresher from Murphy's Law, Lou Koeler and Craig Setari from Sick Of It All, Toby from H2O, Roger Miret and Vinny Stigma from Agnostic Front, all the guys from Madball, and Harley Flanagan and John Joshofs from Cro Mags.


In spite of rumors that Ray may have died from AIDS or a heroin overdose, the actual cause of death was viral pneumonia. Warzone was in Chicago recording the new album and Ray started having a hard time doing his vocals, complaining he was having difficulty breathing. He tried hard to rehearse with Warzone again but couldn't, so he went to the doctor and was immediately hospitalized. He kept in touch with Vinny, Todd and J-Sin and was sure that he was to be released in a few days. Vinny spoke to him the morning of his death, and Ray reassured him that he was going to be okay ; It would be just like him to know he wasn't going to be okay but not want anybody to dwell on it those that really knew Ray are surprised he lived this long. The important thing to remember is not how he died or whatever bad things he got caught up in that may have caused his death. The important thing to remember is he probably would have thrown down his life for anyone other than himself.


Warzone was able to finish recording its last album, which Victory will release as soon as possible. Agnostic Front played a show in Boston the Friday after Ray's death, and for the first time Roger didn't have set list ; he spent most of the time talking about his friendship with Ray and actually played a bunch of Warzone's songs. There is a huge tribute show being held at CBGB's on october 12th. Agnostic Front, Sick Of It All, Murphy's Law, H2O and Downlow are among the bands scheduled to perform.

 




 
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