Ready, Fire, Aim
By Kevin Triggs
“Young skinhead they call you a hooligan
Just because you don’t make any sense to them
You’re a hardworking man who’s paid his dues
But they still call you racist on the evening news
And the blood that runs right down your wrist
Don’t come from a knife, but the cuts on your fist”
– Lyrics from Dropkick Murphys – “Never Alone”
If you do a quick search for the book Ready, Fire, Aim you will see pages and pages of books (with the same name) about a million dollar money making business scheme. It isn’t until one digs deeper underground that you will find the masterpiece by Kevin Triggs. I would venture to say that the underground is where it belongs. Not that Kevin doesn’t deserve fame and fortune but that Ready, Fire, Aim is something so real, honest and raw I feel that the mass media could not handle its truth. Much like the culture that it spawned from, Ready, Fire, Aim shows the “real” realities of life in a non-racist Skinhead Crew.
As for the story, it is about protagonist George Dachs’ rise through the ranks of The Brew City Skinheads. Triggs’ command of the culture and lifestyle shows his own intimate involvement in the Skinhead movement in Milwaukee, WI. The tale is told with so much detail and Triggs does such a good job of creating reader relevance that it is as if the reader is standing there participating in the very acts they are reading.
One of the things I like about certain bands is the way they plant little “Easter eggs” throughout their songs. One such band is Avail. Avail’s frontman Tim Barry, plants all sorts of Richmond native Easter eggs throughout his lyrics. He talks about things and places that really are kind of esoteric. From the outside one just hears a bunch of words, but once you are in the know it brings this whole different level of understanding and meaning to you as the listener. Triggs does this with his writing. He talks about the skinhead lifestyle from the perspective of someone who had to be involved in it. He also talks about places and bars/venues around Milwaukee with such confidence that he had to have been there.
Early on Triggs talks about the Social Distortion’s documentary, Another State of Mind, referencing local landmarks Grand Avenue Mall and The Eagles Club. These are all intimate details that an outsider would likely not know.
I absolutely loved this book. I found an article that will help clarify what this book is about. It ran on Sunday, January 22, 1989 in Tulsa World. The title will sum up everything that one would need to know about this wonderful book. It is called Skinheads’ Biggest Battle May Be Between Themselves.
Should you read this book? Yes! If the rating system was based on borrow, burn, buy the CD, or buy the record, I would buy the record hands down. You want to own this book. It is an awesome read with a wonderful perspective. I can’t wait for more from Triggs. (Adam Vedomske)