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Black Flag is for the children!
06.10.2014
10:58 am

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:
Black Flag
Greg Ginn
Mike Vallely


 
Increasingly notorious and tedious Black Flag honcho Greg Ginn may have found a redemptive moment to counter his ongoing quest to debase the name of his second greatest contribution to the world (the greatest being SST records, in case you actually had to ask). At the end of last week, the news began to spread that the band, now made up of Ginn and former pro skater Mike Vallely, will perform a “stripped-down” show of Black Flag songs—for kids.
 

 
The all-ages (duh) show is on Tuesday, June 17, at 6 pm, at Reggie’s in Chicago, and I really wish I could be there! Imagine relatively quiet, kid-friendly versions of “Rise Above,” “TV Party,” “Black Coffee,” “Police Story,” “Slip It In”… well, I guess probably not those last two. Who knows, maybe in bare-bones form, the piss-poor, Black-Flag-in-name-only dross from last year’s reunion abortion What the… might not totally suck.

Here’s some live footage of Black Flag when they mattered, a late Rollins-era performance from the Michigan cable program Back Porch Video.
 


 
Previously:
What the… Ron Reyes out of reconstituted Black Flag

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
What the… Ron Reyes out of reconstituted Black Flag
11.27.2013
07:39 am

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:
Black Flag
Greg Ginn
Ron Reyes

chavo
 
It seems the controversial and ill-starred Black Flag reunion is already falling apart. Via Dying Scene:

Wow! Ron Reyes just posted a lengthy statement on Facebook announcing he has decided to leave Black Flag, stating he believes the band “fell very short indeed and the diminishing ticket sales and crowds are a testament to that.” You can read the full statement below.

It is unclear whether Black Flag’s new album What The…, which features Reyes on vocals, is still going to be released on December 13th via SST Records. If it does see the light of day, it will be the first album released under the Black Flag name since 1985′s In My Head.

That release date of the 13th seems like it may be a typo, by the way. Multiple sources, including the band’s official site, have the date as December 3rd.

Reyes originally joined Black Flag in 1979, after the departure of founding vocalist Keith Morris. After singing on some of the band’s classic material, including the pivotal “Jealous Again” EP (whereon his vocals were credited to the name “Chavo Pederast”), he quit the band mid-gig in 1980, perhaps a foreshadowing of his onstage ouster THIS time around:

On November 24th 2013 the last night of the Australian Hits and Pits tour with two songs left in the set Mike V comes on stage stares me down, takes my mic and says “You’re done, party’s over get off it’s over…” He said something else to me but it was a lie so I won’t repeat it here. So with a sense of great relief that it was finally over I left the stage and walked to the hotel room. They finished the set with Mike V on vocals.

“Mike V” presumably refers to Mike Vallely, the professional skater who has recently collaborated with Black Flag honcho Greg Ginn in the band Good For You.

Black Flag were never strangers to controversy, but their 2013 reunion has drawn HUGE fire from fans for trying to pass off what many have claimed is substandard music as worthy of the band’s name, and for designing one of the single most bafflingly terrible album covers in the history of life on Earth. Underscoring what’s coming to be perceived as Ginn’s utter debasement of his own legacy is the concurrent and far better-received reunion of many of his former bandmates under the name Flag, to which Ginn responded by partaking of one of his apparent favorite extra-musical pastimes, suing his former associates. That went about as well as the reunion seems to be going.

We at DM sincerely wish Reyes the very best of luck in his future endeavors. Here he is raging full-on back in the day, in a scene from The Decline Of Western Civilization.
 

 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Reality 86’d: Six months on the road with Black Flag


 
Although it’s fashionable to bash Henry Rollins, when he was the lead singer of Black Flag, the guy was one of the greatest—and most fearsome—punk frontmen going. Back then Rollins was scary. Scary in a kind of Charles Manson meets Iggy Pop, slightly unhinged sort of way. I saw Black Flag play several times back in the day—always right up front—and they absolutely killed it live.

Reality 86’d is a road film by David Markey about the final Black Flag tour in 1986. They spent six months traveling in support of their grunge-metal In My Head album. That tour—which I saw—also featured Greg Ginn’s side project Gone and Painted Willie (Markey’s band). It marked “the end of the line for a trail-blazing American band” in the words of the filmmaker. Reality 86’d is a wonderful document about 1980s underground culture.
 

 
Thank you Michael T. Fournier

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
“Hi Mom! Still alive!”: Black Flag and the punk violence hysteria of 1980-81

image
 
As if you needed it: PUNK NOSTALGIA ALERT.

In the early ‘80s, Black Flag were at the center of the controversy about punk rock violence that hung over the hardcore scenes in L.A. and nationwide.

Two elements seemed at work here. First were the media reports about punk violence fueled parental hysteria, and likely prompted parents of rebellious teens to call the cops on shows that would probably have turned out fine. Second was the actual risk of potential injury at L.A. punk shows. This typically led ad hoc scene spokespeople to defensively compare violence levels at punk shows with those at metal concerts or football games. It also caused plenty of serious internal hand-wringing (mostly in punk ‘zines) about “scene unity”—which now of course just seems like naïve tribalism. 

This Reagan-era concern over local teen and twenty-something violence seemed completely bemusing at a time of mutal assured nuclear destruction and adventurous foreign policy.

Obviously, Black Flag shows weren’t sedate affairs. Of my two encounters with the band in the early Rollins era, one featured a quick half-stampede away from the stage and towards the door, while the other comprised watching a riot unfold outside a sold-out Flag show with the Ramones. Black Flag would eventually settle into the proto-grunge route to self-destruction in 1986.

Looking at it from an era in which more severe and socially tangible violence happens routinely at hip-hop shows, and punk is now fodder for a Broadway musical, Black Flag’s problems seems like they occurred less at another time than on another planet.

Here’s a 1981 segment from the local L.A. news show 2 on the Town.
 

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment