Five years ago this week the punk community lost one of its leading figures – Lei Jun of Oi! outfit Misandao.
Founded in 1999, the band was one of the first to jump headfirst into the skinhead subculture, and quickly made Beijing their stomping ground, organizing punk festivals, appearing in documentaries, and even opening a noddle shop in Gulou (still going strong).
A pillar of the punk community, he passed away due to a heart attack. He was 40 years old. Unexpected, crushing and just confounding, I had seen Lei Jun countless times at shows, and while I never personally met him, he was a man who brought with him good company and good times. While this wasn’t my first time catching Misandao, it definitely was the moment that stuck with me.
There’s never quite like having a policeman curiously peer out his window as he slowly passes by the Old What? Bar, the skanky hole in the wall that resided once upon a time next to where countless emperors reigned, and seeing a bunch of Oi! kids hoofing and puffing just meters away. I just loved how contempt, spit, anger, and buckets of sweat are unleashed upon the crowd – a riotous, righteous bubbling of punk rock at its purest. Rest in peace Lei Jun.
For more info on the legacy Lei Jun left behind