BLACK FLAG LINE UP 2015
Veteran Pro Skateboarder, Company Owner, Mike Vallely, Lead Vocalist
Legendary SST, Black Flag Founder Greg Ginn Lead Guitar, Vocals
Maty’s Corner #21
Milo Finished College and Got Saved by Allroy:
A Story of Descendents and All
1978 Hermosa Beach California, something is stirring that would effect the whole of Southern California punk rock and be a pillar of an early label. Fishing would be the initial spark behind the 2 most seminal bands in pop punk and 1 of the most in punk as a whole. Bill Stevenson (Drummer and overall mastermind behind both bands) worked at a bait and tackle shop under Keith Morris’ dad. Bill asked Keith about music, from there he got turned on to Ramones, Sex Pistols, Dickies and most importantly The Last. Bill and Joe Nolte of The Last became fast friends. They then met Frank Navetta, who came up with the name and wrote many of Descendents’ best known songs. Joe left to commit to his initial band and Tony Lombardo was randomly found near 9th and Walnut in Long Beach. 1980 would see Milo recruited and this was the real start of Descendents rockin and rollin every night.
1982 brought us Descendents best known and one of the South Bay’s most important albums, Milo Goes to College. This was the beginning on the South Bay powerhouse of SST Records. This whole album is utterly stand out. From Navetta’s I’m not a Loser and Parents, Milo’s Hope, Lombardo’s Suburban Home to Stevenson’s Bikeage. This band is far from a one man show. This is in the list of most solid albums from California punk rock, nothing bad and everything good.
1985 dropped off I Don’t Wanna Grow Up. This is opens up with the Descendents self titled theme song. This was born out of the few years Stevenson spent in Black Flag while Milo was learning to save the world with science. Bill had a batch of songs he wrote the wouldn’t work with the Flag. This also gave us Silly Girl and Good Good Things. It’s good that they weren’t trying to re-do the Milo album.
1986 dropped out Enjoy. A different album from the previous 2. There’s some darker heavier tracks, but still Descendents nonetheless. There’s a few of the excellent punk love songs on this like Get The Time, a cover of Beach Boys’ Wendy and Sour Grapes. From here a new idea would be born.
ALL was birthed in 1987. This album introduced the philosophy of ALL! It’s punctuated with some great standard Descendents songs as well. Including one of the groups most heavy heart songs Clean Sheets. For those who don’t the All-O-Gistics they are:thou shalt not commit laundry
thou shalt covet thy neighbor’s food (all)
thou shalt not create ties with the scathed (no all)
thou shalt always go for greatness
thou shalt not commit adulthood (all)
thou shalt not partake of decaf (all!)
thou shalt not suppress flatulence
thou shalt not commit hygiene (all!)
thou shalt not have no idea (all)
thou shalt commit thyself to an institution (no all)
thou shalt not take the van’s name in vain
thou shalt not allow anything to deter you in your quest for all (all!) you may achieve all
and not wallow unknown for eternity,
all you have to do is do it! all!(we shall achieve all) he who bears the most gas, let him also bear forth his ass, and cast forth the first frap
Nine years later in 1996 the Descendents came back on a new label, Epitaph Records. They gave us Everything Sucks. This spawned 2 video singles for When I Get Old and I’m The One. The influence of ALL showed in the songwriting, this is their best album since Milo went to college. Another stand out on this is Coffee Mug, the tribute to the container for the elixir of God.
There would be another 8 year hiatus until 2004’s Cool To Be You. This came out on Fat Wreck. It’s a great enough album to be worth the wait. The Descendents/ ALL sound were fully merged into one unit as of this release. This is their most current. Descendents are still active with live shows.
During the Descendents’ breaks Stevenson and the other members minus Milo have been nurturing ALL starting in 1987. This is on of the most underrated bands as they’ve always had the stigma of the singer not being Milo. They’ve had a revolving door of some great vocalists including Dag Nasty/ Down By Law front man Dave Smalley. They even had an album on Interscope Records. It’s a different sound from Descendents and very worth the time to check out. For more to feed your Milo and Allroy addiction get the documentary Filmage. Now get to know these bands’ music, drink of the bonus cup and go for ALL!
Greg Ginn And SST History In The Making
Born in Tucson, Arizona. Greg Ginn was an American guitarist, songwriter, and singer and business owner. He is best known for being the leader of and primary songwriter for the hardcore punk band Black Flag, which he founded and led from 1976 to 1986, and again in 2003. The band announced another reunion on January 25, 2013.
Since breaking up Black Flag, Ginn has recorded a few solo albums, and has performed with the bands HOR, Fastgato, October Faction, Gone, Killer Tweeker Bees, Confront James, EL BAD, Mojack, The Texas Corrugators, Jambang, Mexican Lions, and he also played bass with Tom Troccoli’s Dog. He also owns the Texas-based independent record label, SST, originally begun as an electronics company called Solid State Transmitters when he was a teenager in Hermosa Beach, California.
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Pro skateboarder and band manager Mike Vallely with bands founder Greg Ginn
There’s a simple answer for all the “Black Flag” fans who are confused about why two different versions of the hardcore punk band are touring this year only separate: It’s about money, says Mike Vallely, professional skateboarder and newly appointed band manager for Black Flag. The master mind and founder of “Black Flag,” guitarist Greg Ginn carefully selected, vocalist Ron Reyes and original drummer Gregory Moore, to be the front men on a world tour in 2013. Now here’s a hilarious facet of this punk rock reunion story, but also performing on the road, simultaneously, playing memorable Black Flag songs, is tribute band “Flag,” who’s by the way is also composed with former band members, and playing the same popular hit songs, while traveling on the road. Seems almost everyone from Black Flag’s “Ghost of Christmas Past,” have been called to duty, except for the bands most popular vocalist and easily most famous band member, Henry Rollins.
Keith Morris, the bands original singer and song writer for Black Flag, heads up the tribute band “Flag,” with the likes of Dez Cadena, Chuck Dukowski and Bill Stevenson, also reuniting together and touring North America, performing the same Black Flag songs, live in concert. Guitarist Greg Ginn claims the touring band “Flag,” consisting of Keith Morris, Dez Cadena, Chuck Dukowski and Bill Stevenson, infringes on “Black Flag’s” rights, which are owned by him under his label, SST Records.
Keith Morris of OFF! former singer of Black Flag, Circle Jerks and now Flag
Keith Morris and all the ex-band members through the years, have been wanting to do Black Flag again, but they’ve been wanting to do it on their own terms,” Vallely tells in Rolling Stone magazine. The pioneering hardcore punk rock band had been largely dormant since splitting in 1986. Then, after years of releasing music on his own and with various side projects, Greg Ginn announced in January that he was re-teaming with Reyes and Moore for a tour and a new album under the original band name, “Black Flag,” a move that Vallely says was nearly a decade in the making. “Greg and I had been talking about doing something together since 2003,” says Vallely, who is Black Flag’s newly appointed manager and remains the lead vocalist in the hardcore band, “Revolution Mother.”
Vallely has been performing hardcore since early years as Mike V and the Rats
“Good for You” turned into something good thus far, a new punk band with Mike Vallely on vocals and Greg Ginn on guitar. The group released its debut, “Life Is Too Short to Not Hold a Grudge,” in February on Ginn’s legendary label “SST Records”. “Good for You” seemed to signal that Ginn was ready to return to producing hardcore punk rock, and at the same time the guitarist was working with Vallely, he was talking to Ron Reyes about reviving Black Flag, but he did not want to just play oldies, but goodies as the sets.
Keith Morris, remains calm after hearing of Ginn’s negative comments to the media and the multiple pending law suits popping up almost daily. Kieth Morris says he’s doing “Flag” just for fun, not for an increase in revenue, or fame, says Morris, who is the original vocalist and the front man for “Black Flag” from 1976-1979. Morris later went on to sing with the band “Circle Jerks” and currently remains the lead singer in the punk rock band “Off!” who’s also touring North America in 2013.
By Rich Monday
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
A Story of SST Records and the South Bay sound
SST which stands for Solid State Transmitters was started by Greg Ginn in 1966 as a business that sold electronics equipment. It would not become a record label until 1978. 12 years to go from slanigin’ electronics to the label that would form an entire sound and scene. Now, we cannot quite tell the story of this label without proper focus on the big 3 bands of the South bay. Those were Descendents, Black Flag and Minutemen.
Black Flag formed up in 1976 in Hermosa Beach, CA. They put out SST’s first release which was the Nervous Breakdown EP which boasted a pre Circle Jerks Keith Morris wielding the mic. Black Flag tore through 3 different singers before finding Rollins in 1981. Rollins had gotten off work at the Haagen Dazs and sang the song Clocked In with the band. They offered him a spot and Ian MacKaye told him to go for it and Henry relocated to Hermosa Beach, CA. Rollins would be their longest lasting vocalist going from 81 to 86 when they broke up. Black Flags’ aggressive style and constantly evolving music would be the birth of South Bay punk and an influence on everything in hard core music since its inception. Today Black Flag is back with Ron Reyes on vox and has new album coming out. I personally have reservations about the new music I’ve heard, but every fan should at least give it a chance then have an opinion.
The Descendents were a sonic blast out of Manhattan Beach, CA. There’s actually a Norm’s restaurant in the area with the Milo caricature spray painted on it. Descendents were not initially an SST band. They were on New Alliance until it got bought out by SST. I think the South Bay scene is better off for it. They had a number of eps and released the widely known full length Milo Goes To College in 1982. It would be 3 years until they recorded again as Milo was in the beginnings to his PhD in Biochemistry. They recorded with SST until 1986. They then became active with Epitaph and Fat Wreck. Milo and crew are credited as being one of the largest influences to the skate and pop punk scenes of the 90’s era and early 00’s. Later this year the documentary Filmage which covers both Descendents and All is due out.
The strange near funky sonic blast coming across the bridge from SST was the Minutemen out of San Pedro. Their first release which was equally as important as Nervous Breakdown and Milo was the Paranoid Time EP. It was hardcore with a punk vibe and really weird high minded vocal blasts. About the best way to get music from the guys is getting a hold of the Post Mersh 1-3 discs. Minutemen and Black Flag tore the South Bay apart with endless local shows. One main venue was an Alano club that’s right on the bay in San Pedro. Yeah, the recovering alcoholics love their good punk rock! Minutemen were much more short lived than they should have been due to D. Boone’s death in a van accident in ’85. More can be learned about the Minutemn by checking out the We Jam Econo documentary for free on you tube.
Another rock star of SST who only briefly played bass in Blacg was Raymond Pettibon who is Greg Ginn’s brother. Some may be wondering about this man’s importance. His artwork adorns most of Black Flag and Minutemen’s recordings, including the famous 4 bars of the black flag. Other than birthing an entire sound and scene and putting out other great punk like Saccharine trust, SST also put out some bands of importance to the alternative scene being Soundgarden, Husker Du Sonic Youth and Meat Puppets. If this article is anyone’s first exposure to SST bands, go check thos big 3 out right now! As D. Boone once said, “punk rock changed our lives.”
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: