Monday, July 21, 2003

Hello Punk! Hello Kitty!

Got an email / low-fi press release from SST records recently – the label that first released Soundgarden, Sonic Youth, Meat Puppets and Dinosaur Jr. – saying it’s back in business after six years. Included was the following bit of unintentionally hilarious and head-scratching info:

Eddie Solis here at SST Records. Legendary Punk band Black Flag will reunite for a reunion show on Friday September 12, 2003 @ The Hollywood Palladium. All $$ will go to Cat Rescues. Let me know if you are interested in speaking with Greg Ginn regarding this.

A strong strain of animal rights is threaded through the punk subculture -- being a vegan is something to aspire toward, etc, etc. But it seems strange, however, for a punk band to reunite over kitty cats. I mean, Black Flag was Hardcore and Hatred and Heavy -- not exactly the first band you’d think would reform for rainbows, hugs, sunshine and lollipops.

A bunch of months ago I finally read Get in the Van, the Henry Rollins tour diary about his years in Black Flag, and it left me emotionally exhausted. Here are three choice quotes from that book:

"Ripped my right arm apart with piece of wood. Felt good at the time. Club colder inside than outside."

"I was listening to the radio the other day in California and one of our songs came on and I jumped because I couldn’t find my microphone. Now that’s damage."

"One minute, you’re up onstage with all these people that are real nice to you. An hour and a half later, you’re sitting alone in the shed with a bunch of spiders and moist air."

That last quote, by the way, refers to the fact that the young and penniless Rollins lived in a shed in the backyard of Greg Ginn’s parents, although that assertion came under scrutiny in a 1997 Punk Planet interview (which is reprinted in the anthology We Owe You Nothing). So, first off, here is Ginn setting the record straight on the shed issue:

"Get in the Van? It’s all false. I don’t need to read that stuff to know that it’s inaccurate. He makes such a big deal out of living in a shed – it’s constructed like a house; it used to be my father’s study."

Conversely, here is Rollins talking about Ginn’s interpersonal skills:

"Do you know why everybody left? Because of Greg. Did Chuck Dukowski tell you how he left the band in tears after Greg Ginn vibed him out of the band? Did Bill Stevenson tell you how he left the band in tears, crying and screaming? Did Kira tell you how many nights she came to me crying, wondering what was up with Greg?"

Meowch! Now who’s being catty?