2001


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"I have two Black Flag related tales: the first isn't a story as much as a saying that a bunch of us would use when ever someone around us got overly excited and began to make no sense. Remember there was that Target Video (they were always such bad quality) of Flag in Italy, and at the end of it there is this crowd scene with punk kids drawing the bars on each other and yelling 'Black-ada Flag-ada.' This became a standard cheer on tour in Europe with Slap Shot, especially in Italy. I think between every song Choke or Mark would be yelling it out.

"The other story goes back to the '83 My War tour. Cable TV had just come to Boston and we had the great idea of going onto the public channel and doing a cooking show with Black Flag. So we get it all set up and buy all kinds of food, but the cable guy with the camara got scared of where it was we were living and refused to park his car there. So we had to just cook for the band. They were pretty freaked out by all the fancy food we had prepared, but were very happy to eat it.

"I remember how after they had all left that Curtis, from Taang! said:

"hey, they didn't say thank you."

"And how pissed we were in our little moment of righteousness. Later on I did my first tour with the FU's and realized how easy it was to forget to say thanks, or even recognize other humans on the road."

Rev. Hank
Jan 2001


"June of 1985 in New Orleans. I think it was an all-ages show at St. Theresa's Gym. My first Black Flag show. Good gawd, it was packed! It looked like a fucking Grateful Dead show in the parking lot... lots of hippie kids. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

"I had seen Henry earlier that day at a record store, I think it was Metronome Records (any New Orleans folks remember that?) He was going to do a signing thing. Can anyone explain to me why bands did these things? Actually I don't remember anyone but Rollins doing something like this... kind of odd, seeing as how he hated it so much.

"Anyway, the thing I remember most about the show was how intense the slam circle was. I was all of 15 and not very big. I remember seeing dudes with the spider web tattoos and the bullet hole tattoos on their bald heads, and how fucking big these guys were. I pressed myself up against the back of the gym wall and simply stood there in awe. Then came the incident. As the band ended playing for the night I made my way up to the little risen stage thing and decided it would be fun to grab a setlist. As I was fishing around the stage, a bare foot came crashing down on my right hand, squashing my fingers. Much pain ensued, I looked up and saw a not very understanding Henry Rollins.

"I did not take home a setlist that evening, but at the same time, I was not the least bit put off. Good times!"

Marc B.
Mar 2001


"One of the best bands ever. Growing up in LA, Black Flag has been a huge influence as long as i can remember. When I was younger, my older brother was pumping No Values and taking me to watch him roller skate halfpipes and pools. The only thing that was played on the boom box was Everything Went Black. My older brother also went to the infamous LA Black Flag show with the riot cops and the stabbing victim...

"I recently purchased a copy of the Everything Went Black double album on vinyl. I almost had a heart attack to find a original Pettibon poster and album cover sticker inside. Imagine... in the store for over 10 years and the record store clerk had no idea.

"I don't know how I would have ever made it through high school & life so far with out their 'fuck it' attitude, especially before it was accepted by the mainstream that so-called 'punk' is cool. They will always stand out to me as one of my favorite local LA bands ever."

Sara H.
Mar 2001


"I saw Black Flag at the Wherehouse in Lubbock, Texas where I got Hank to sign the donor card on the back of my driver's license. Back then you had to fill out the card and have two witnesses sign it with you... I guess they couldn't trust your decision to donate on your judgment alone. Anyway, I asked Rollins to sign it and he looked at me and said:

"You don't even know who the fuck I am

"so I said 'Fuck you man, just sign it, I don't have any friends.' He signed it and got Greg Ginn to sign it, too. I remember it was signed 'Henry' and Ginn put 'Get Gone' next to his name. I think this was in '86.

"Alas, many moves and a wife have taken a toll on my rock and roll memorabilia collection. Recently I read something that Hank wrote where he said touring with Black Flag was weird because only when they were on either coast would they play decent size venues and draw big crowds. When I saw them in '86 in Lubbock, they played in a closed automotive repair shop with plywood placed over the grease pits. There were probably fewer than 100 people there.

"I don't know what you know about Lubbock in those days (or even now,) but back then it was not the cultural hotbed of Texas. I had not been exposed to much of the 'underground' stuff that was going on, but I had heard Black Flag through some of my skater friends and liked 'em. I just remember standing there checking out this band thinking to myself 'why aren't these guys playing down at the Colliseum, because they certainly kick the shit out of Night Ranger."

Todd E.
May 2001


"Just looked at your web page and enjoyed seeing all the old memories of Black Flag shows. I saw them around '85 in San Francisco. It was one of the loudest shows I had ever seen. Henry was awesome in his polyester running shorts and displaying his sun tattoo. He had long hair and was doing pelvic grinds in peoples faces."

Teal B.
Aug 2001


"I have quite a few Flag stories, but I'll just touch on a couple. My brother and friend Rob probably have a few as well. We all grew up in Hermosa Beach during the formative SST years."

Story 1

"I'm at the Hollywood Palladium seeing TSOL and 9 other bands. Some dude dove off the balcony that night. My brother and I had been turned on to SOA, Minor Threat, and other DC hardcore around this time and ate it up. I see this recognizable guy standing in the shadows - it's Henry all by himself. I went up, introduced myself, and told him I loved SOA! We rapped for a while and he said he was joining Black Flag. He told me where SST was and it was just blocks from our house. He invited us to stop by anytime.

"Needless to say, we were over there the next day and many times after that. We spent time with Flag, Hüsker Dü, Minutemen, Davo, and Mugger. All those guys were very cool and very kind to us."

Story 2

"We heard rumors of a Black Flag/Saccharine Trust show at some house in Carson. We get directions and head down. It's in this Samoan gang area and we almost get mugged by gang guys while we're sucking down our Schlitz Bull Talls (Hermosa punk tradition) at some park - obviously, their territory.

"We find the house and Flag proceeds to tear through a barbaric, smoking set in the kitchen culminating with Henry tearing doors off a kitchen cabinet. The cops show up and Saccharine Trust's bass player, Mark Vidal - a HUGE dude - breaks his leg in a few places jumping a fence trying to escape the cops. A truly memorable evening."

Ed N.
Sep 2001


"I saw Black Flag with the Minutemen back in 85'. I was 14 then. It was an experience that changed my life forever. I picked up the bass and actually played in a band that opened for fIREHOSE in 93'. A dream come true..."

Dustin C.
Oct 2001


"The first time I saw Black Flag was around 81' in Tempe, Arizona. I was hanging out in my yard and heard a bunch of noise coming from down the street. I walked down to a warehouse down the street and where many punks were hanging out. Just as I went inside, Black Flag took to the stage and blew me away.

"The next day I cut all my hair off! I went on to see Black Flag many times through the years. Once I saw them at a Mexican bar in LA and Henry played an entire song (as he often did) with his shorts pulled down to his knees. They are most powerful band I've ever seen live. Period."

Tom F.
Nov 2001


"My big brother got me into punk in 1982. One day he brought home Black Flag's Jealous Again and Dead Kennedys' Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables. I remember not liking the Dead Kennedys, but I liked Black Flag. I liked them a lot. I was 14 or 15 years old then and was listening to stuff like Devo, Van Halen, and God knows what else. I liked the rebellion aspect of it. The 'don't judge me by the way I look but by who I am (even better, don't judge me at all)' attitude really took me.

"Later that summer, Black Flag played in Sacramento at the Galactica 2000, an old disco. The place was packed. Crucifix opened the show and the place went crazy. When Flag came on, the crowd was ready. There was no audience and pit separation... the whole place was a pit. People were jumping off the stage like popcorn. I have never seen so many girls stage-dive in my life. I thought that was so cool.

"The dance floor was surrounded by about five bar tables with barstools. The tall tables soon became launching pads as people would dive into the pit. The place was so packed that people were running and jumping off the main bar. The place went berserk.

"When they finally played I've Heard It Before (my favorite song), we made a long snake chain during the long drawn out intro. This was before thrashing in a 'Ring Aroung the Rosie' fashion took hold. When the intro got more intense, we started coiling the snake inward. When Henry finally got to the opening lyric the pit exploded and the whole place went ape-shit.

"I've been to Slayer shows, Metallica shows and a million other punk shows back in the day, but this was the most intense, adrenaline pumping, and insane show I ever went to (although Bad Brains at the Maritime Hall in San Francisco about two years ago comes in a close second.) All these new commercial punk bands are a bunch of posers and wannabees and can never match the intensity, passion and real raw energy of Black Flag and the early 80's punk rock movement."

Timothy S.
Nov 2001

More to come...pics, links, and essays about the band! Feel free to suggest things or just write!

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