Wade Michael Page, the gunman behind Sunday's murder of six people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, previously spent two years performing in an Orange County-based white supremacist rock band called Youngland.
According to OC Weekly, Page moved to Orange in 2001 and joined Youngland soon after. Several other supremacist (aka “hatecore”) bands at that time regularly played at a neo-Nazi-friendly Anaheim bar called the Shack, which is now—ironically—a Latin dance club under different ownership.
I wrote about Youngland and the Shack several times during this period, when I was a Weekly staffer. One of the photos accompanying this article shows Youngland playing at the Shack on June 24, 2001. Page is in the red shirt, and you can make out the white Shack banner in the background.
Page is also in at least one of the photos in this review of that show, posted on the site of Resistance, a West Virginia-based racist record label and supremacist information source.
Youngland, which is still active—the group recently performed in Australia, according to an interview with pseudonymously named band founder Kenn Etiquette, who mentions Wade Page by name—built a reputation in OC’s hate-rock scene primarily for its tweaked version of the John Denver song Thank God I’m a Country Boy, retitled Thank God I’m a White Boy, which has lyrics referring to “money-hungry Jews.”
Youngland was also a favorite of notorious white supremacist Tom Metzger, who attended at least one of the band’s Shack shows.
Etiquette also created the OC-based supremacist Internet radio station Radio White. The station’s URL still exists, but is now dubbed Micetrap Radio, with the slogan “The Voice of Our White Generations.”
According to groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, white supremacist bands use rock, punk and metal music to recruit new members, and to generate income to further their goals.
Most media reports have mentioned that Page had a 9/11 tattoo, but he also had at least two other tattoos more in line with his white-pride beliefs. One photo that’s been circulating shows Page with the number “14” overlaid on a so-called Odin’s Cross, an ancient religious symbol that’s been adopted by white supremacist organizations. The “14” refers to a supremacist slogan commonly known as “The 14 Words”—"We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”
In April 2002, Youngland had been scheduled to perform at a Moose Lodge in La Habra as part of a birthday party for Adolf Hitler (yes, really), but police and the lodge were tipped off after I wrote this story about the event, and it was canceled and relocated to Palmdale.
Orange County has a long history of white supremacist movements—read Gustavo Arellano's excellent OC Weekly piece about when the Ku Klux Klan tried to take over the county—but in recent years the groups have apparently died off or moved to less-noticeable environs like the Inland Empire.
Still, such groups occasionally resurface, which is what happened in 2009 when an Anaheim club called The Doll Hut inadvertently hosted a white-power rock show after being told it was going to be a wedding reception.