The DiWulf Family of Authors
The DiWulf family is far-reaching and very interconnected. We feature a group of authors whose work we believe to be crucial to the preservation of subculture. But, more than that, the authors who have joined our family are close friends; people we respect deeply and with whom we have very strong bonds of friendship. Just like the community that raised us, we believe in people, not products. We only work with those who get what we are trying to do and, in many cases, we have ongoing, working relatiohips with these writers. Read more about our friends below:
Nancy Petriello Barile
Nancy Petriello Barile was born and raised in Norristown, PA, a small suburb outside of Philadelphia. A descendant of Ben Franklin, Nancy's rebellion began at an early age by questioning the strict authority imposed on her by her Catholic School education. It didn't take long for those rebellious seeds to find an outlet: music. Nancy's life in music began at an early age with the discovery of glam and proto-punk artists like Bowie, Roxy Music, Patti Smith, and TRex, among many others. It didn't take long for Nancy to realize that music was her calling, and she began her musical education by traveling to Philly for concerts and shows. As punk rock began to explode around her in the late-'70s, Nancy found a home in the nonconformist world that was opening up before her. Not being one to just sit on the sidelines, Nancy soon found herself making fast friends with the local punks who were just starting to come together to form the foundation of the early Philly punk rock scene. Soon she was managing her good friends in the local Philly band Sadistic Exploits, booking them into places like The Omni in Philly and A7 and CBGB's in New York. Nancy jumped in with both feet, determined to contribute and participate as much as anyone else, and she saw no reason why she couldn't. She was booking bands at places like the Elk Center in Philadelphia, and, with the help of some of the other pioneers in the Philly punk scene, Nancy orchestrated Punk Fests I, Philly's first all-ages purely punk festival. She refused to allow anyone to limit her in any way.
One of the turning points in Nancy's life came when she met the guitarist from the Boston hardcore powerhouse SS Decontrol. Through the old-fashioned punk staple of expensive, long-distance phone calls (punk rock's DIY methods of avoiding long distance charges made the calls possible), she forged an instant relationship with Al Barile, and the bond between the two of them became stronger despite the distance. It didn't take long for Nancy to decide she was all in, and she soon moved to Boston. She and Al married and, as the years went by, Nancy's dedications shifted; she had become a teacher and found a new kind of empowerment in guiding young students using the lessons that the early days of punk and hardcore had taught her.
These days, Nancy is an accomplished and highly lauded teacher in the town of Revere, MA. She has written for astute publications such as Huffington Post, Scholastic Inc., and the Center for Teaching Quality, among others. Nancy has also been acknowledged for some of the amazing work she's done as a teacher by the Varkey Foundation (she was a top 50 finalist for the Global Teacher Prize); she was a two-time finalist for Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Award; she was awarded the Massachusetts Commonwealth Award in Creative Leadership in 2011, and in 2013, she was awarded the Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award. Nancy credits her success in the classroom working with kids in a low-income, urban, multi-cultural high school to her beginnings in the punk rock scene. Her experiences as being one of the first women in the Philadelphia punk rock scene gave her the tools to later connect with kids who would most often be considered "outsiders," and to help impact their lives in positive ways.
Nancy still resides in Revere and is still married to Al. Hold My Coat? Not in Philly is her first book.
Karen O’Sullivan grew up in Uptown Manhattan. An early interest in photography led her to experiment with a Polaroid Swinger, and a next-door neighbor eventually turned her on to Konica cameras. Konica’s cameras were notable for having the first automation system that allowed for manual exposure setting. Around the same time, she started to go to concerts at downtown clubs like CBGB’s and she became a huge fan of the Dead Boys. Her adoration of the Dead Boys led to more exploration, and her world was soon filled with platters from the class of 1977 UK Punk bands like Generation X, The Buzzcocks, and The Clash. Inspired by master photographers like Alfred Stieglitz, who took iconic images of the Flatiron building, she started attending City College and took as many photography courses as she could. She ignored the dire warnings of professors who continually told her how difficult it was to make a viable living as a photographer, and her perseverance eventually took her to The School of Visual Arts.
Karen was part of the small but growing family of kids who populated the early New York Hardcore scene. She developed a friendship with hardcore pioneers, Kraut, and one of her photographs was used on the back cover of their 1982 Adjustment to Society album. Karen was a regular at the early NYHC shows and being a participant allowed her to photograph the bands and kids that made up this vibrant scene. She took hundreds of images that are striking in their simple ability to capture unguarded moments. Karen shot them all and was everywhere: A7, Great Gildersleeves, CB’s; always present and ready with her camera. Karen became a regular contributor to a local music fanzine called Coast to Coast. It’s also important to note that Karen’s photos were not limited to the New York Hardcore scene. Her endless musical curiosity and fascination, coupled with the multitude of influences that thrive in the city, led her to a flourishing (but still very much underground and under-documented) Hip-Hop scene. The photos she took of legendary performers like UTFO and the Treacherous Three are an intimate glimpse into Rap’s pre-breakout stage, long before it exploded into a worldwide phenomenon. Her shots were beginning to pop up in magazines like Vibe, and she was well on her way to establishing a career as a photographer when fate struck.
Karen was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in the early 1990s. This debilitating disease confined her to a wheelchair. It was a setback, but not a deterrent. She continued photographing as much as possible as the disease progressed. By 2002, she reached a point of limited mobility and extreme muscle weakness. She has remained bedridden ever since; her mind being extremely alert but its body remaining unresponsive.
Her portfolio of work documenting the early NYHC scene has been celebrated in books like Steven Blush’s American Hardcore. As Steven tells it: “Karen O’Sullivan was the great unheralded photographer of the early ‘80s Hardcore Punk explosion. To feature her photos in the American Hardcore book was one of the smarter moves I ever made.” Karen gave her all to documenting music she thought vital and deserving of preservation. “I loved all different kinds of music,” Karen once said. “But, basically, in the hardcore scene, there were so many talented individuals; so many kids hanging out that we became a family. We were kids from dysfunctional families, so that’s why we liked making our family. The hardcore scene was its own family.”
In the early-2000s, Karen had a fortuitous run-in with an old friend, Ray Parada. It was Ray who, after years of trying to convince Karen to publish her "lost" photos, initiated what would soon become Somewhere Below 14th & East: The Lost Photography of Karen O'Sullivan, the first book to ever contain a collection of her photos. Karen, of course, balked at the idea. As Ray put it: "I presented the idea of putting out a book of her photos. It took me years to convince her. I think she just didn’t want the shine. Good ol’ fashioned humility. Even when she was healthy, she’d take hundreds of pictures, and she wouldn’t show them too often." Eventually he did convince her, and for that we all owe Ray a debt of gratitude.
Karen still lives in New York. She is physically hampered by MS, but her mind is still as sharp as ever.
Marc Wasserman has the unique distinction of co-founding the first ska/reggae band from New Jersey: Bigger Thomas. The band, once known as Panic!, called the Trenton, NJ punk club City Gardens home. Bigger Thomas played shows from Boston to Washington, DC and released four albums of 2-Tone inspired ska and reggae. In 1991 they toured with legendary ska outfit The Selecter. It was after discovering the New York ska scene of the mid-‘80s and attending shows at CBGB's, The Continental, and the Cat Club that Marc realized his love of ska and reggae was to be the path he would follow. A student of the genre and its multifaceted history, Marc instinctively took to music at an early age. His informal education started with classic albums by The Beatles, Herb Alpert and his Tijuana Brass Band, Tony Orlando & Dawn, and The 5th Dimension; sounds inherited from his parents’ music collection. He heard The Specials first self-titled album when he was 14 and it was love at first listen. He was drawn to the band's unique mix of punk energy and ska rhythms, their outsider status, and their fashion sense. He quickly became a fan of 2-Tone ska; early UB40, Steel Pulse, The Clash, reggae, and all the new wave music of the early ‘80s. After reading that Paul Simonon of The Clash had taught himself to play bass, Marc picked up a cheap 4-stringer from a Sears catalog and followed suit. In 2014 Marc co-founded Rude Boy George; a New York-based band that re-imagines popular ‘80s new wave songs in a ska and reggae style. The band has recorded two albums and regularly performs around the NY Metro area. He is also a member of dub pop trio Heavensbee, an original studio music project that takes its inspiration from ska, dub, reggae, ‘80s new wave, and electronica. The band has recorded one album: Soul Mates, that was released on Specialized Records in the U.K. Marc also writes the popular ska blog Marco On The Bass, which is the foundation of his documentation and research on the origins and birth of the American ska scene. Marc’s first book is a collection of essays and interviews that tell the history of the American ska movement and it is a study of the culture's impact and influence on a burgeoning American scene.
Amy Yates Wuelfing
Amy Yates Wuelfing is an OG punk rock chick. She began her writing career penning interviews for and co-publishing the seminal Hard Times 'zine in the '80s. A Temple University grad, Amy spent more than years collecting stories and interviews about a beloved Trenton, NJ dive called City Gardens. This painstaking project culminated in the publication of her first book: No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes: An Oral History of the Legendary City Gardens. After years of rejection from the mainstream publishing world, Amy, along with No Slam Dancing co-author Steven DiLodovico, formed DiWulf Publishing House using the DIY ethos instilled from years on the punk scene. Amy has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and served as a producer on the documentary film Riot on the Dance Floor. She once punched Bruce from Flipper right in the nuts. Today Amy spends her time being the head honcho at DiWulf and rescuing cats.
Steven DiLodovico is a hardcore kid from Philadelphia who was living a life of dissolution until he was rescued by Amy Yates Wuelfing. He has been writing since he was a child and never really wanted to do anything but go to shows. He co-authored No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes: An Oral History of the Legendary City Gardens with Amy Yates Wuelfing (whom he often calls his "other" wife) and also co-founded DiWulf Publishing House with Amy. Steve is married to Pookie and they have two lovely cats.
Freddy Alva is a New York-based author who considers himself lucky to have grown up during the early 1980s; a decade that spawned a multitude of subcultures that helped shape him as an artist. Graffiti art and hardcore music, in particular, left a lasting impression on him, and still inform his work to this day. Freddy was very active in the DIY culture of hardcore from the outset; he was a fixture at such venerated venues as CBGB during the heyday of their Sunday matinees. Along with friend and fellow NYHC stalwart Chaka Malik, Freddy covered the music scene through his fanzine New Breed and eventually released a well-known and highly revered compilation cassette that featured some of the most influential bands of the time, The New Breed Comp. A recent documentary sharing the same name has been released to critical acclaim. Freddy was instrumental in running Wardance Records, booking shows at Abc No Rio club, and being a part of the independent Reconstruction Records collective. The Queens native has been immersed in subculture for most of his life and has forged a niche by documenting as much of it as he can through independent outlets. His work in film, music, and outsider art is unending and his dedication to preserving the histories of the subcultures that raised him is what drives his creative force.
Freddy is currently a licensed acupuncturist as well as a freelance music writer. His articles have appeared in Noisey/Vice, No Echo, Cvlt Nation, In Effect, and various print publications. He is a lifelong borough of Queens loyalist, Tai Chi practitioner, a Speed Chess aficionado, and a veggie food lover. Urban Styles: Graffiti in NYHC is his first book and it documents the collusion of two celebrated and uniquely New York subcultures: urban graffiti art and its fundamental influence on the New York hardcore music scene Urban Styles is a logical extension of Freddy’s quest to shine a spotlight on heretofore unknown and underappreciated aspects of social movement and youth culture. Urban Styles: Graffiti in New York Hardcore is published by DiWulf Publishing House.