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Black Flag (band)

The hardcore punk rock band Black Flag was formed in 1976 in southern California, largely as the brainchild of the guitarist and sole continuous member through multiple personnel changes, Greg Ginn. Black Flag forged a unique sound early on that mixed the raw simplicity of the The Ramones with atonal guitar solos. Over this could be heard lyrics (mostly written by Ginn) about neurosis and paranoia, themes which did not disappear when Henry Rollins took on the role of lead singer in 1981. Most of the band's material was released on Ginn's independent label, SST Records.

The name 'Black Flag' comes from the historic flag of Anarchy, which is traditionally black. It was suggested by Ginn's brother, Raymond Pettibon, who also created much of the band's cover artwork.

The band was a seminal influence on different trends in punk rock, from hardcore to death metal, and even pioneered the underground capitalism of do- it-yourself record labels that flourished among the 1980s' punk rock bands. In fact, SST Records was the label for numerous other important bands, including the Minutemen, Meat Puppets, and Husker Du, and released some albums by Negativland, Soundgarden, and, for a while, Sonic Youth.

Over the course of the 1980s, their sound, as well as their notoriety, evolved in ways that alienated their early punk audience. They grew their hair long and played longer, slower, and more complex songs at a time when many bands in their milieu stuck to a raw, fast, three-chord format. As a result, Black Flag's discography is more varied than much of the hardcore of the 1980s.

Throughout their ten-year career as a band, Black Flag's experiences became legendary in the southern California area, chronicled in Henry Rollins' own published tour diary Get In The Van. They were blacklisted by the LAPD and Hollywood rock clubs because of the destructiveness of their fans, and were involved in legal battles once they attempted more mainstream distribution for their records.

Table of contents

Lineups

Lead Guitar: Greg Ginn
Rhythm guitar (Damaged): Dez Cadena
Bass: Chuck Dukowski, Kira Roessler, C'el Revuelta
Drums: Brian Migdol, ROBO, Emil Johnson, Chuck Biscuits, Bill Stevenson, Anthony Martinez
Front Man: Keith Morris, Chavo Pederast A.K.A. Ron Reyes, Dez Cadena, Henry Rollins

Discography

LPs

Singles & EPs

Bootlegs

  • Live SO 36 18.2.-86 (live)
  • 7-11 (live)
  • No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service (live)
  • The Complete 1982 Demos Plus More (demos + radio show)
  • Annihilation (Live at Palladium Aug 31, 1985)

Reference



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