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Black Flag were the pioneers of American Hardcore, and this is their blood-spattered story. Formed in Hermosa Beach, California, in 1978, they made and played brilliant, ugly, no-holds-barred music for eight brutal years on a self-appointed touring circuit of America’s clubs, squats, and community halls. They fought with everybody—the police, the record industry, and even their own fans—and they toured overseas on pennies a day in beat-up trucks and vans. This history tells Black Flag’s story from the inside, drawing on exclusive interviews with the group’s members, their contemporaries, and the bands they inspired. It depicts the rise of Henry Rollins, the iconic front man, and Greg Ginn, who turned his electronics company into one of the world’s most influential independent record labels while leading Black Flag from punk’s three-chord frenzy into heavy metal and free jazz.
“Here is an exhaustive prequel to, followed by a more balanced re-telling of, Rollin’s Get in the Van journal, chronicling [Black] Flag’s emergence in suburban Hermosa Beach, . . . and how their ultra-harsh, hi-speed riffage sparked moshpit violence. . . . A gory, gobsmacking read.” —Andrew Perry, MOJO
“Chick’s analytical and in-depth biography of the progenitors of SoCal Hardcore builds up to a page-turning, scene-setting climax. . . . Chick does a fine job of detailing the importance, influence and dedicated touring ethic of the band.” —Alex Burrows, Classic Rock
“Stevie Chick chronicles Black Flag from both ends, mapping how they careened from menacing, berserk, and beachcore outsiders to grizzly hardcore icons to bizarre, and sometimes boring, post-hardcore pioneers that chewed through miles, tours, members, and songs.” —www.PopMatters.com
“Chick’s well-researched and readable book immerses the reader in Black Flag’s world, recreating the violent yet creative atmosphere of the early Hardcore scene through new interviews with the band and their peers.” —Mat Croft, Record Collector
“The book’s real strength comes from Chick’s use of research and his ability to place Black Flag’s story in a wider context. Whether he’s writing about surf culture, skate culture, or the history of garage rock, Chick does so with authority, and he braids these loose asides beautifully into the “facts” of Black Flag’s history.” —Adam Ellsworth, The Arts Fuse
Translated: “An unrepeatable collection, also with more than 30 photos of the legendary band of photographers Glen E. Friedman, Edward Colver and others.” —Staf Magazine
About the Author
Stevie Chick has written for the Guardian, Melody Maker, and MOJO, and is the author of Ninja Tune and Psychic Confusion.