One item you might have missed in the neverending news tsunami of the past couple years: the quadrisected, photocopied face in the Discharge logo belongs to the great singer Mark Stewart.
That’s him staring back at you (or so it seems; I always assumed Discharge guy’s eyes were open but hidden by shadows, not closed as Stewart’s are) on the reverse of Discharge’s first seven-inches, “Realities of War,” “Fight Back” and “Decontrol,” not to mention all those T-shirts, back patches and leather jackets. The image comes from the print ad for the Pop Group’s debut single, “She Is Beyond Good And Evil” b/w “3’38,” released in 1979, when Stewart was still a teenager.
The ad for the Pop Group’s first single in the March 31, 1979 issue of NME (via Beat Chapter)
The back cover of Discharge’s first release, ‘Realities of War’ (‘thanks to no fucker’)
The Pop Group posted one Randulf Stiglitz’s astonished discovery of the Discharge logo’s identity on Facebook last year. I assumed it would pass immediately therefrom into the common fund of human wisdom, so I did not write about it at the time. As it happened, everyone was distracted by alarming signs of the human species’ descent into barbarism, with the result that news algorithms—today’s cigar-chomping J. Jonah Jamesons—buried this fun fact on the last page of the internet. So enjoy it again, for the first time!
Below, Discharge blast through “Realities of War,” “State Violence State Control,” and “A Hell on Earth” in Stoke-on-Trent, 1983, and the Pop Group performs by torchlight in the promo film for “She Is Beyond Good and Evil,” c. 1979.