Guitarist PARRIS MAYHEW On The CRO-MAGS' Enduring Influence

CRO-MAGS founding member/guitarist Parris Mayhew has posted a lengthy message on the group's official web site addressing the band's enduring influence and explaining some of the reasons the CRO-MAGS have failed to make their reunion a reality despite several attempts at doing so over the course of the last few years. An excerpt from Parris' message follows:

"It amazes me that it's been 18 years since 'Age Of Quarrel' first came out and people are still hungry for any news or rumors about CRO-MAGS. Not just casually interested but fanatically obsessed. Actually, interest in CRO-MAGS has escalated the band into legendary status worldwide. The CRO-MAGS has truly become an URBAN LEGEND. The stories told and retold until they are unrecognizable. The truth about CRO-MAGS now is insignificant and elusive at this stage in the convoluted history of the band. But it hasn't changed the fervor in which fans seek any piece of information, gossip or out right bold-faced-lies about the band. I receive questions on a daily basis through e-mail and from personal contact on the streets of New York and Los Angeles. The band is that important to some. I have become so accustomed to the recognition that I sometimes forget. It's just a part of my life and am only jolted by it when I see it through some one else's eyes. Like when I am with someone I work with who is unaware of my former band and I get approached by some wide eyed freak making a fist and yelling 'CRO-MAGS YEAH, YOU FUCKING RULE MAN!' And my colleague invariably turns to me with a baffled look on their face and says, 'You were in CRO-MAGS?'

"CRO-MAGS has become a large part of people's identity. So much so that countless fans of CRO-MAGS have tattooed the name CRO-MAGS on their skin. And many fans have even become angered by the behavior and actions of CRO-MAGS members through the endless stories, true or otherwise, and attempt to become personally involved in the internal conflicts between the members of CRO-MAGS because it is that important to them. Many fans actually take sides and act upon it. They want to be a part of CRO-MAGS so much that they don't care if it is as a friend or as an enemy of CRO-MAGS. I have been personally praised for my role in CRO-MAGS. One fan that writes me often named his son Parris in my honor. On the flip side, other fans have threatened me with violence because they resent the fact that I ended the band. Their band! It has truly reached bizarre levels. I was confronted by a group of five New York gang members in a nightclub and was informed that I was to beaten upon leaving the club. One gang member then held out his hand for me to shake hand with him. I said 'You guys are going to jump me later but now you want to shake my hand?' He said 'We just came up to show you respect before we fuck you up. And after we fuck you up we are gonna go home and listen to your records. The CRO-MAGS changed my life. I owe you that respect.' I picked up that thread of respect for what I have done for him with my music and talked him and his friends out of spoiling my evening." Read the rest here.


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