30 january 2002

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The First Four Years
SST Records, 1983
produced 1978-1983
compilation: includes Nervous Breakdown ep, Jealous Again ep, Six Pack single, Louie Louie single, and the BF songs from the compilations Cracks in the Sidewalk and Chunks.

Everything Went Black
SST Records, 1982
produced 1978-1982
compilation: includes out-takes from pre-Rollins recording sessions.

SST Records, 1981

TV Party
SST Records, 1982
single: includes additional tracks My Rules and I've Got to Run. This is a different version of TV Party from the Damaged album and features Emil on drums.

My War
SST Records, 1983

Family Man
SST Records, 1984
lp, split between Rollins spoken word and Flag instrumental.

Slip It In
SST Records, 1984

Live '84
SST Records, 1985
lp, live

Loose Nut
SST Records, 1985

Annhilate This Week
SST Records, 1985
single: includes album tracks from Loose Nut

The Process of Weeding Out
SST Records, 1985
ep, Flag instrumental

In My Head
SST Records, 1985

Who's Got the 10 1/2?
SST Records, 1986
lp, live

SST Records, 1987
career compilation

I Can See You
SST Records, 1990
single: includes album tracks from In My Head along with previously unreleased Kickin' and Stickin'.


Decline of Western Civilization
Includes performances and interviews with Chavo-era Black Flag, the Circle Jerks, the Germs, etc. VERY hard to find, but worth trying. Directed by Penelope "Suburbia, Wayne's World" Spheeris.

The Slog Movie
We Got Power Films, 1982.
Dave Markey's documentary from 1981. Includes footage of Black Flag, the Circle Jerks, TSOL, Wasted Youth, Fear, and others. Markey is one of the visual pioneers of this genre and you have more than likely seen his later work already if you've watched MTV. Here's some of his earliest work.

TV Party
Target Video, 1983. 30 mins.
Includes footage from 1980-1982: with live performances with Robo on drums, Cadena on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Dukowski on bass, Rollins on vocals. Also includes TV Party video, comments by fans, and an "interview" of Cadena and Rollins by Dukowski.

Video and sound quality is outstanding as it was specifically for video release.

Unknown Club: Philadelphia - 4 June, 1982
Single Camera Bootleg, 1982. 51 mins.
This is definitely one show that you have to see. The band destroys. A videocamera shoot from stage right with Ginn, Dukowski, Rollins, Emil, and Cadena. One of the highlights of the show is when Henry gets punched by some kid in the crowd and then pummels on the guy for a bit before he gets hauled out by security. Also, Dukowski looks amazing and sounds incredible on Scream.

This is one of the few recordings ever with Emil in the band and he doesn't disappoint. He's an excellent drummer. It's also shortly before the clear kit was spray painted black by Emil. This show is mentioned by Rollins in Get in the Van.

The video and sound quality is pretty bad by today's standards. Most copies will be green tinted and rather grainy. This is also a single camera show.

Also, most people get the date wrong on this... my date is correct. The date advertised for my copy was when Bill Stevenson had joined the band full time in early 1983.

Ukrainian Hall: Los Angeles - December 10, 1982
Single Camera Bootleg, 1982. 80 mins.
This is a pretty important show for a few reasons. One, it's one of the few shows that they did with Chuck Biscuits when he was in the band. Two, they were playing a few new songs that night, including What Can You Believe and Slip It In right at the beginning of the show. Neither of these had been released yet, but it was around this time that the infamous demos were recorded with this line-up. Remember that this is before even My War was released, much less Slip It In.

One thing I noticed about the show is how much of a powerhouse Chuck Biscuits is as a drummer. He actually made them sound like a metal band but not in a bad way. Another thing about this show is how charismatic Rollins is. He's almost constantly talking to the crowd (or even to himself) and just saying some pretty crazy stuff. He definitely had something going on that night. The whole band did... from the energy of the audience, this much is obvious.

The video and sound quality is about average for the period. A little better than the Philadelphia show a few months earlier. A single camera show, it sometimes suffers with too many close-ups of Henry, but not as bad as others I've seen. Overall, I'm impressed with this one.

SO36: Berlin - 18 February, 1983
Multi Camera Bootleg, 1983. 29 mins.
Another spectacular show. The band is extremely good this night. They do a lot of old stuff at this show it being as short as it is.

The highlight is Hank taking an unopened beer can to his head during Black Coffee and staggering off stage. He later comes back and recites the lyrics without the mic while holding a mic stand and pointing from the thrower to the stand and then touching his head. He invites him to the stage "to come and get killed." After the song falls over, he goes into a long rap about having travelled a long way to play for them all and that it's not so nice to throw things at the performers. Pretty intense moment.

The video and sound quality is frightfully bad on this. This is from Germany, so it's a format conversion (PAL, I believe,) so not only do you get signal loss (and on my copy, time sync loss) but you also get format conversion jitters due to the convertor not being very good. Be aware of this. Finally, this is a multi-camera shoot, so it may have been broadcast or released at some point somewhere.

Also, it is worth mentioning that this is the same show from which Nothing Left Inside is taken for the Satan is Love compilation below.

Mike Muir's Garage - 30 April, 1983
Single Camera Bootleg, 1983. 15 mins.
This show resulted from some silly feud between the Suicidal Tendencies and Black Flag crowds. As a sign of peace, love, and punk, they threw a show together in Muir's garage. Someone brought a camera and the rest is history. Only part of the show is here, but it's pretty incredible. It's also worth noting that this was Dezo's last real show with the band.

As this is an early shoot with consumer equipment well before "Steady Shot" and all those modern camera conveniences, this is a rough shoot. It's as close to the band as you're likely to find, though. You will often find this packaged along with other shows. Quite often, it's thrown on with the Live '84 show in San Francisco.

Black Flag Live: My War
Jettisoundz Video, 1984. 55 mins.
One full set from the tour in England in May, 1984.

Video quality is very good. Board mix for sound (vocals slightly louder than music.)

It appears as though this video is available on DVD now. Although I haven't seen it, I've heard they did a good job with it despite the lack of extras.

Black Flag: Live '84
Ace Video, 1984. 80 mins.
If you've picked up the Live '84 CD or tape release, then you've got the audio portion from this show. It is a decent show with a solid performance of both vocal and instrumental material. It is well worth owning.


This was an official release in the 1980s which has been widely bootlegged now. You can find it on eBay quite frequently. Look for the show which was taped at the Stone in San Francisco on 26 August as it is the actual date of this taping. The more reputable video is often marketed with some footage from the show in Mike Muir's garage (incidentally Dez Cadena's last show with Flag.)

At one point it was heard that this was to be officially re-released by SST; however, it doesn't appear to have happened yet.

There is another video being sold as UCLA 1984. While Flag did play a show in February as specified, it is simply the San Francisco show with much lower audio/video quality. It can immediately be identified by the computer generated (most likely a Commodore 64) credits at the beginning. Avoid this one like the plague.

Black Flag & Friends
UMass Video, 1985. 54 mins.
A reasonable pro-shot video with a great performance by the band and some antics by the audience (including some vets of the New England music scene.) Rather large venue, too: the University Ballroom in Amherst, Mass. in December, 1984.

The quality of the video is rather poor due to generational loss and the mix is rather bad. At one point, this video was available to order from a company called Rock Fetish. Their website has since disappeared, so it appears they've gone under.

Satan is Love
8 Count Video, 1996. 55 mins.
Contains one clip (Nothing Left Inside) of Black Flag from February 1983 in Berlin, Germany. Cadena and Dukowski in band. The whole video from this show is available and is covered above.

This compilation is no longer officially available.

Other bands on this video compilation include Bad Religion, Fugazi, Screeching Weasel, Down By Law, and others. Another plus: all profits were donated to Food Not Bombs in San Francisco.

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

I'm still considering moving this site to a different locale sometime in the near future. Please keep your eyeballs peeled if you can and help me with the transition and updating them silly search engines...

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