Friday, May 3, 2013


Dez Cadena is now a member of the Keith Morris version, now simply called FLAG. You can see a video of that version over here.

Greg Ginn, whose version is claiming the name Black Flag said his version was "not to be confused with the 'fake' Flag band currently covering the songs of Black Flag in an embarrassingly weak 'mailing it in' fashion." also released a new song that you can listen to here.

The AV Club probably has my favorite line yet about these two: "And meanwhile, Henry Rollins remains at home waiting for the red phone of justice to ring and looking at his tattoos."

The battle lines have been drawn. Whose side are you on?

Original post continues below:

There was a conflicting news report on the Internet this morning.

Not conflicting in the way you're thinking of. It was more personally conflicting and I still don't know how I feel about it.

Greg Ginn is reforming Black Flag with the intent of writing new music and putting out a new record. He recruited Gregory Moore, who played drums on the brief Black Flag reunion in 2003, Dale Nixon, which is actually Ginn's pseudonym for when he writes and plays bass, meaning they don't actually have a bass player and Ron Reyes to provide vocals. Reyes was the second vocalist for Black Flag, but didn't last long. He quit the band mid-set in 1980 because of escalating crowd violence. The band finished their set by playing an extra long version of "Louie, Louie" and asking crowd members to take turns singing. Reyes did provide vocals on the band's EP "Jealous Again" but was credited as Chevo Pedarast—a Spanish term for "pedophile". So they split on great terms.

Reyes replaced original vocalist Keith Morris, who quit the band because he wasn't getting along with Ginn but was getting along very well with cocaine and speed.

Speaking of Keith Morris, he's also reforming Black Flag.

His version has a bunch of shows scheduled and includes Chuck Dukowski, who played bass as Black Flag was gaining a huge reputation in the early years. He's credited with being the so-called "leader" of the band, mainly because Ginn was quiet and usually avoided the spotlight. Dukowski gave the interviews, helped establish the band's sound—along with Ginn's unique guitar style, of course—and kept them working and even acted as the band's manager after he was no longer in it. They've also got Bill Stevenson on drums and Stephen Egerton playing guitar. Stevenson had filled in for Black Flag numerous times before finally joining full-time in the early 80s—pulling double duty with Descendents. Egerton (from Salt Lake City and a member of Utah's very own Massacre Guys) never played in Black Flag, but played in both Descendents and All.

Henry Rollins and Dez Cadena have yet to announce their respective versions of Black Flag, but at this point, I wouldn't be surprised if it happened.

Actually no, I would be surprised if Rollins formed a different version. He and Ginn don't get along and I don't think they've actually spoken in a long, long time. I've heard him talk about it and read things he's written and he's reached out to Ginn a few times over the years and it's never panned out. I think he's content to just let things lie where they are between them. He gets along great with pretty much everyone in Keith Morris' version, so if anything, I'd expect to see him at a few of their shows. Maybe not on vocals, but definitely hanging on the side of the stage, just watching. I feel like he'd be content with that.

I still don't know how I feel about reunion shows. I've seen a reunited Earth Crisis, which was terrible but I've also seen a reunited Descendents, which was awesome. This could really go either way. If both of these bands came through Salt Lake (which they absolutely will not, by the way) and I had to choose between them, Keith Morris' version would definitely win.

In fact, that's what they should do. Both versions of Black Flag should tour and play the same city each night. Only here's the catch: they each play a different venue. You, as the audience, have to choose which version you want to watch. Whichever band gets the least amount of people can't be Black Flag anymore. There. I settled it.

The thing that bums me out the most about this is that dueling versions of bands that existed in the 80s is something that I thought only happened with shitty glam rock bands like Poison and Ratt.

I don't want to see one of my favorite punk bands follow that path. If that's the case, shitty VH1 reality shows can't be far behind. In fact, I think I just pitched one. I'm claiming ownership of it right now.

* header image taken from Overnight Drive.

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