After a drug bust and one founder of hate rock distributor Panzerfaust was revealed to have a Mexican-born mother, the white power music giant shut down.
Questions about the "Aryan" blood of Anthony Pierpont, proprietor of the hate rock distributor Panzerfaust Records, have raged for years in the bizarre world of white supremacy. Pierpont has repeatedly sworn he's white. But detractors have pointed to his suspiciously dark skin as evidence that Pierpont is actually a representative of "the mongrel hordes."
Now, the controversy seems to have scuttled Panzerfaust, which had risen recently to become one of America's two most important racist labels.
Early last year at an Aryan Fest rally in Arizona, Pierpont was manning a Panzerfaust booth, selling hundreds of white power CDs and t-shirts. When Aryan Fest security guards kicked out a cinnamon-skinned teenager for "not being white," several racist Skinheads pointed out that the boy's skin was obviously lighter than Pierpont's.
But when White Revolution leader Billy Roper took the stage, he defended Pierpont's pedigree with gusto. "I'm here to say that's a white man!" Roper bellowed, pointing to Pierpont, who fervently sieg-heiled from behind his stacks of merchandise.
Some neo-Nazis returned Pierpont's salute, while others grumbled their dissent. But the controversy seemed to quiet down — for a time.
By last summer, Panzerfaust was posting its highest sales ever, and that fall Pierpont and his partner — Skinhead Bryant Cecchini, alias Byron Calvert — were in the headlines thanks to "Project Schoolyard," a nationwide campaign to distribute free Panzerfaust sampler CDs to 100,000 middle and high school students.
But reporters weren't the only ones whose attention was grabbed by the recruiting initiative. On Nov. 30, the Minnesota Gang Strike Force raided Pierpont's home and arrested him after finding marijuana and traces of cocaine.
Cecchini was disgusted by his partner's sloppiness. Plus, he says, he had recently discovered Pierpont's birth certificate — a document that shows Pierpont's mother is a Mexican-born woman named Maria Marcola del Prado.
And Cecchini also found, as he recounted in an Internet posting, tawdry messages Pierpont posted detailing a "sex tour" he took in Thailand in October. The messages indicated that Pierpont had had sex with non-white prostitutes — a definite Aryan no-no.
The final act came when the Southern Poverty Law Center posted a picture of Pierpont posing with friends in a California prison yard where he had served time for a drug offense in the 1990s. His friends seemed clearly Hispanic.
Within days, Panzerfaust had shut down.
Now Cecchini has denounced his former ally, and the Panzerfaust Web site has been redirected to something called Free Your Mind Productions, apparently a new label.
"Free Your Mind Productions is not associated with Panzerfaust Records or Anthony Pierpont," the new site says. "Any deals made with him should be looked at as acts of treason."