Maty’s Corner #12
Keith Burned a Black Flag, Got a Midget Handjob, Won The Circle Jerk and Got OFF!
This well known voice of our scene came screaming in 1976 as a co-founder of Black Flag. Before all this though, he had gone to high school with Greg Ginn and Raymond (Pettibon) Ginn. Also worked in his dad’s bait shop with Bill Stevenson of Black Flag and ALL. In ’76 Black Flag was known as Panic, thankfully that changed. Keith’s time in Black Flag was short lived but did garner the seminal Nervous Breakdown Ep. In ’79 he split off citing creative differences and his intense use of stimulating drugs.
From here he formed the Circle Jerks with Red Kross members Greg Hetson and Lucky Leher. This original line up also included Roger Rogerson on bass. The first Jerks shows were where a lot of the stage dives and slam pits that are now commonplace started up. Their beginnings were at a place called The Curch which was a burned out shut down church in Hermosa Beach. This is also were Black Flag and The Descendents started out of. The Circle Jerks would go on to release 3 seminal albums. Being Group Sex (1980); Wild In the Streets (1982) and Golden Shower Of Hits (1983). Shortly after they released Wonderful (1985) and VI (1987). They weren’t as great, but pretty good. Then they released their absolute abortion known as Oddities, Abnormalities and Curiosities. In all fairness I feel the same way about Black Flags most recent offering. Outside of their releases, the Jerks were in Decline of Western Civilization and Repo Man where they met Zander Schloss who would become a later bassist of the band. After more than 30 years the Circle Jerks are “on Hiatus” as of 2010.
In 2000 Keith had a project called Midget Handjob. They released one album named Midnight Snack at the Poodle Factory. It was a strange mix of jazz with really weird spoken word by Keith. I think it’s pretty cool and worth a listen.
As of 2010 Keith has been active with OFF! This band is a bit of a super group as it consists of Keith along with members of Redd Kross, Rocket From the Crypt and Burning Brides. They have released 2 albums to date with a third on the way 08 April 2014. These guys are a hard core kick in the teeth like the Jerks old days. Definitely worth getting to know if you haven’t already done so.
Outside of OFF, Keith has teamed with some prior members of Black Flag to form Flag. This presently is a strictly touring unit that plays old Black Flag songs. I don’t know that they’ll ever record as they do not currently illustrate any intention of doing so. Flag spent most of last year in some strange legal conflict with Greg Ginn. That issue is currently dead in the water. So to those who read this not knowing about this unstoppable scream of the scene, get to know the recordings and turn others on to this favorite of mine.