BLACK FLAG LINE UP 2015
Veteran Pro Skateboarder, Company Owner, Mike Vallely, Lead Vocalist
Legendary SST, Black Flag Founder Greg Ginn Lead Guitar, Vocals
Ron Reyes the former/new/now former Black Flag singer revealed he’s been booted out of the long standing iconic hardcore band Black Flag. Reyes tells reporters, the ousting happened on November 24 while the band was performing a gig in Australia. Mike Vallely, the professional skateboarder who fronted a short-lived Black Flag reunion in 2003, reportedly walked onstage, snatched the microphone away from Reyes, and ordered him off the stage.
Reyes’ departure from Black Flag ended in Australia, but anybody who has followed Mike Vallley’s career knows it was destiny calling. Mike has been caught on tape in many fights over his legendary skateboard career and is known to be hard as nails against any opposition. So what a perfect job for the then Black Flag manager to hand Reyes his walking papers.
Reyes shared through a Facebook post, explaining that Vallely, who is also a professional skateboarder, walked onstage, grabbed the microphone from him, and sang the rest of the set himself. “I would not be surprised if Mike V becomes the new singer for Black Flag,” Reyes wrote in November. “It is my opinion that they have been planning this for some time.”
Reyes flew home and posted to Facebook almost immediately.
You can read his entire Facebook post below:
“On November 24th 2013 the last night of the Australian Hits and Pits tour with two songs left in the set Mike V comes on stage stares me down, takes my mic and says “You’re done, party’s over get off it’s over…” He said something else to me but it was a lie so I won’t repeat it here. So with a sense of great relief that it was finally over I left the stage and walked to the hotel room. They finished the set with Mike V on vocals. There is much more that can and perhaps should be said. But for now I will spare you the gory details. The writing was on the wall since before we played our first show. So many things went wrong from the start. I was into things like having a good drummer, rehearsing and spending time on things like beginnings and endings of songs, being a little less distracted with tour life and a little more on the ball. You know things that would make our efforts worthy of the name Black Flag… Yes it is my opinion that we fell very short indeed and the diminishing ticket sales and crowds are a testament to that. However It was made clear to me that raising these issues was tantamount to a blasphemous stab in the back to Greg. How could I question him, his efforts and hard work? How could I dare be a fan of OFF! And or be friends and a fan of Flag? I was told that I had to choose sides. But I refuse to treat someone like an infallible Pope figure. No guitarist deserves such unquestioning blind devotion. And so I have been excommunicated in a very strange fashion. I truly feel sorry for anyone who had to witness the infantile behavior and the relentless provocation I was subjected to both on and off the stage. I regret that under such fierce provocation and taunting I sometimes responded in manners bellow my standard. I am grateful for the opportunities Greg gave me. There were some magical moments at first. I was naive enough to believe in the promise of potential. But in the end the good was no match for the overwhelming bad. It am proud of my contributions including the new album and its cover. Come on folks it’s only rock n roll. I would not be surprised if Mike V becomes the new singer for Black Flag. It is my opinion that they have been planning this for some time. I wish them well. Mike is a true disciple of Greg and so they have a good working relationship. And ironically the tension over the last weeks has brought out some of Greg’s best playing. So it could be interesting. I will miss playing with Dave Klein. He is a great kid and truly an outstanding bass player. Dave was an anchor that kept me from losing my place on a nightly basis. Trust me that was no easy task for either of us. I truly apologize for being in or more accurately “appearing” to be in competition with “Flag”. They know my heart on this matter. From the beginning I was happy for them and fully supported and understood why they would want to rock those songs and have a good time with friends and family. Yes I questioned their use of the name and logo but in no way questioned their motivation or right to do their thing. I envy them for they have succeeded in ways that were never possible with “Black Flag”. And once again for the record, I agreed to do Black Flag before I knew there was a Flag. I mean no malice towards Greg or Mike although they will most likely see things very differently. I wish them luck and prosperity. I have learned many valuable lessons this year. And these lessons will enrich my personal and musical endeavors. Cheers. Ron Reyes.”
Vallely denies that the personnel change was planned ahead of the Australian gig. Vallely claims that Reyes — who originally handled vocals for Black Flag on 1980’s Jealous Again EP — became “disgruntled” and “combative” throughout the tour, noting that he and Greg Ginn, the only consistent member of Black Flag, had different opinions about the group’s future.
“We feel that, generally, the band fell short in 2013 because of a difference in the philosophies of Ron and Greg — it just led to dysfunction,” says Vallely who previously fronted a short-lived Black Flag reunion in 2003 and teamed up with Ginn last year for a project called Good for You. “Greg just felt like, ‘I don’t want the Black Flag name to fizzle out with this or be tainted with this record that’s proven to be sub-par compared to what the expectations for it were.'” Vallely explained further, saying, “He told me he made a mistake by working with Ron and trying to pander to a sort of old-school thing. He just thought that I was the guy for the job… I’m not gonna say no to that.”
According to the new/old Black Flag singer, Reyes was more interested in playing the band’s classic material, while Ginn wanted to focus on writing new music. Vallely also alleges that Reyes tried to leave the group before he was fired, and insists that the only reason Reyes was given the ax onstage was because it looked as though he was going to quit in the middle of the concert.
“I did not threaten him or physically remove him from the stage,” Vallely says. “I just told him very plainly, very simply, that it was over. And he looked at me and he almost seemed relieved. Then he walked off the stage.”
Looking to the future, Black Flag are hoping to redeem their less-than-stellar 2013. “It could have been better,” Vallely admits. “Black Flag can be a stronger, more cohesive, tighter band. We want to prove that.”
The singer says that the elder punks are already working on new material, and are gearing up for a “pretty extensive” tour that is expected to begin in May. As for the reception to last year’s What The…, Vallely said, “I talked to Greg about the legacy of Black Flag” and he said, ‘I write a lot of music, and I’ll write a lot more music. I’m not gonna cry over one fucking record.'”
Legendary punk band BLACK FLAG has reformed and will play this year’s Hevy Fest, set to take place August 2-4 in Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent. The group’s only 2013 appearance in the U.K. will mark the first time in 30 years that the band’s played in the country.
BLACK FLAG’s lineup for the show will include singer Ron Reyes, who was a member of the band during 1979-1980 (after Keith Morris but before Dez Cadena) and was featured on the “Jealous Again” EP. He will be joined by guitarist and founder Greg Ginn as well as bassist Chuck Dukowski and drummer Roberto “Robo” Valverde.
Vocalist Henry Rollins joined BLACK FLAG in 1981 and left five years later. He has since released several music albums and established himself as a spoken-word artist and book author.
Now we have “The Chase,” which could be described as the “second new song from BLACK FLAG in a generation.” That’s right — fans have had to wait 28 years for the follow-up to 1985’s In My Head and now we’ve got two new Black Flag tracks in as many weeks.
“They have undoubtedly had the greatest impact on DIY record distribution, underground touring and hardcore music of any band, before or since,” Hevy Fest’s announcement reads. “There is a whole generation of musicians and fans that would cite BLACK FLAG as being the most important band to have influenced them, without ever even having the chance to see them perform live, until now.”
May 14 Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg – Rockhal Club
May 15 Milan, Italy – Alcatraz
May 16 Zurich, Switzerland – Dynamo
May 17 Rome, Italy – The Orion
May 18 Hünxe, Germany – RUHRPOTT RODEO
May 20 Vienna, Austria – Arena Wien
May 23 Austin, TX – Infest
May 24 Dallas, TX – Trees
May 25 San Antonio, TX – The Korova
June 06 Lawrence, KS – Granada Theater
June 07 Des Moines, IA – Wooly’s
June 08 Chicago, IL – Reggie’s Rock Club
June 09 Chicago, IL – Reggie’s Rock Club
June 10 Detroit, MI – Majestic Theatre
June 11 Erie, PA – The Crooked I
June 12 Albany, NY – Bogies NY
June 13 Boston, MA – Middle East Downstairs
June 14 Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw @ The Polish National Home
June 15 Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw @ The Polish National Home
June 17 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
June 18 Roanoke, VA – Growlers
June 19 Lexington, KY – Buster’s
June 20 Newport, KY – Southgate House
June 21 St. Louis, MO – Fubar
June 22 Fayetteville, AR – Rogue
July 10 El Paso, TX – Tricky Falls
July 11 Tempe, AZ – Club Red/Red Owl
July 12 Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory
July 13 Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory
July 14 Los Angeles, CA – Vex Arts
July 15 San Diego, CA – SomaSanDiego
July 16 Santa Cruz,CA – The Catalyst
July 17 Redway, CA – Mateel Community Center
July 18 Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theater
July 19 Seattle, WA – El Corazon
July 20 Vancouver, British Columbia – Chinese Cultural Centre
July 23 Oakland, CA – Oakland Metro Operahouse
July 24 Ventura, CA – The Majestic Ventura Theater
Black Flag With New Release For First Time In 28 Years
Revived hardcore punk band Black Flag will release “What The…”, their first studio album in 28 years, on November 5th. The group put the 22-track album up on iTunes today for pre-orders and the sales were high.
Earlier this year, the group released two new songs that are included in the track list for “What the…” In May, they posted the song “Down in the Dirt” as a free download in exchange for an email address list signup. Shortly after that, Black Flag posted another new song, “The Chase,” as a video release.
Guitarist Greg Ginn, who co-founded Black Flag in 1976, announced the return of the group in January. Its lineup includes vocalist Ron Reyes, who sang on the band’s 1980 EP Jealous Again, as well as two new members, bassist Dave Klein and drummer Gregory Moore (who played drums at a Black Flag reunion show in 2003). In April, the group announced they would be releasing a new album. Ginn doesn’t want it to be about a reunion, or just some sort of greatest-hits act. It’s not Beatlemania, you know; for him, it’s about the music. So there has to be new music for him to even consider playing the old music.
Around the same time Ginn announced the band’s return, a group of ex–Black Flag members calling themselves simply “Flag” began touring, playing songs from the band’s catalog. In August, the guitarist filed a lawsuit against that band’s members and former Black Flag front man Henry Rollins over alleged trademark infringement and related issues. A U.S. District Court judge ruled in early October that he would not provide Ginn with a temporary injunction against his former band mates due to a lack of evidence.
1 My Heart’s Pumping
2 Down in the Dirt
3 Blood and Ashes
4 Now Is the Time
5 Wallow in Despair
6 Slow Your Ass Down
7 It’s so Absurd
8 Shut Up
9 This Is Hell
10 Go Away
11 The Bitter End
12 The Chase
13 I’m Sick
14 It’s Not My Time to Go-Go
16 Get Out of My Way
18 No Teeth
19 To Hell and Back
20 Give Me All Your Dough
21 You Gotta Be Joking
22 Off My Shoulders
Black Flag Guitarist and Co-Founder Greg Ginn, vocalist Ron Reyes, drummer Gregory Moore, and touring bassist Dave Klein publicly slammed the Keith Morris led band Flag, by calling them a “‘fake’ Flag band currently covering the songs of BLACK FLAG in an embarrassingly weak ‘mailing it in’ fashion.”
Ginn follows up the comments by writing two debut songs directed at the ex Black Flag band members known as Flag called “Down In The Dirt” and “The Chase.”
One of punk’s most iconic band names has provoked a new lawsuit.
Guitarist Greg Ginn claims the touring band Flag, consisting of Keith Morris, Dez Cadena, Chuck Dukowski and Bill Stevenson, infringes on Black Flag rights owned by him and his label, SST Records.
Fans may be confused to see two different groups performing this year under the name of Hermosa Beach punk outfit Black Flag — one fronted by founding guitarist Greg Ginn, and another touring as Flag with Ginn’s former band mates Keith Morris, Dez Cadena, Chuck Dukowski and Bill Stevenson.
Part of the lawsuit focuses on Dukowski, who previously sued Ginn and SST in 2007. At the time, Dukowski was insisting that he was entitled to a portion of Black Flag’s revenue because he was still a member of the band. They eventually settled, with Dukowski reportedly agreeing to never perform under the Black Flag name or use the logo for profit. Ginn claims he and his label, SST Records, exclusively own the rights to the Black Flag name (and “Flag” variation) and infamous logo, which Flag use on tour.
Ginn accuses Garfield and Morris of lying to the Trademark Office on registrations; using his own label’s record covers to feign as though they’ve been continuing to use Black Flag since 1979; and in what’s alleged to be an act of “outrageous fraud,” using bootleg SST T-shirts in an attempt to show they’ve been making such products in that time.
Also named as a defendant is Black Flag’s most famous former member Henry Rollins, known for his own music, current radio show on KCRW, a column in LA Weekly and a role on FX’s Sons of Anarchy.
Ginn claims he and his label, SST Records, exclusively own the rights to the Black Flag name (and “Flag” variation) and logo, which Flag uses on tour.
Greg Ginn accuses Rollins and Morris of lying to the trademark office on registrations. He also accuses the members of FLAG of using his own label’s record covers to feign as though they’ve been continuing to use Black Flag since 1979, and, in what’s alleged to be an act of “outrageous fraud,” using bootleg SST Records t-shirts in an attempt to show they’ve been making such products in that time.
Interestingly, while not actually a part of any reunion, former vocalist (and most famous ex-member) Henry Rollins has also been named as a defendant. However, as divulged in the 55th, 56th, and 57th paragraphs of the suit on September 12, 2012, Rollins (aka “Henry Garfield”) and Keith Morris jointly applied to trademark the term “Black Flag,” as well as the Black Flag logo.
Rollins has noted several times — the following quote is from a 2011 Post article were Rollins states that “Greg Ginn doesn’t pay royalties. No royalties, no statements, nothing. At least not to me and several of my old band mates.”
However, a judge has found that SST has no rights to the Black Flag copyright; Ginn has special rights to any of the trademarks; neither Ginn nor the label cared about copyrghts or trademarks until now; Rollins never quit Black Flag (technically correct, since it was Ginn who “quit” the band in 1985, not Rollins); and fans are smart enough to know which band is which.
(1) the court found that SST had no rights in the trademarks;
(2) Ginn seemed to have no individual rights in the Black Flag trademarks;
(3) even if either had had any rights in those marks, they had abandoned those rights through a failure to police the mark for nearly 30 years;
(4) the defendants’ claim that the Black Flag assets were owned by a statutory partnership comprised of various former band members – even if these members only consisted of Henry and Ginn, based on (a) accepting Ginn’s argument that he never quit and given that there is no evidence or allegation that Henry ever quit – has merit;
(5) that even if the plaintiffs had some trademark claim in the marks, there was no likelihood of consumer confusion between Black Flag and Flag given the ample press coverage over the dispute; and
(6) the trademark application and registration that Henry and Keith made was done in good faith (e.g. not fraudulently) – and is thus not necessarily subject to cancellation – given that they understood their actions to have been done on the part of the Black Flag partnership (see No. 4, above).
The Verbicide Magazine Posted an actual copy of the filed Suit Below: