Black Flag Biography

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Black FlagBlack Flag was an American hardcore punk rock band that formed in California in 1976. Initially called as Panic, the band was formed by Greg Ginn, the bands primary songwriter and guitarist. Through the years the band existed, Ginn was the only continuous member of the band through a number of line up changes.

Panic went on to go through a series of line up changes partly due to Ginn’s intense work ethic that he wants the other band members to follow. This led to other members leaving not being able to cope up with hours upon hours of rehearsals.

It 1977, Ginn was able to have bassist Chuck Dukowski along with drummer Brian Migdol and vocalist Keith Morris to become the initial line up for Black Flag.

Both Ginn and Dukowski also formed their own independent record label from which the band released their first EP, Nervous Breakdown. Black Flag again went through another change in the line up shortly after with the departure of Morris and Migdol, replaced by Chavo Pederast and Robo.

By 1980’s the band already was on a relentless touring schedule over the US that allowed them to gather a small but dedicated following. They followed their touring with the release of their album, Jealous Again. After another round of line up changes, mostly on the vocal duties for the band, 1981 saw the arrival of Henry Rollins who became the band’s next vocalist. Rollins became Black Flag’s longest lasting vocalist and added some dynamism to the band that further endeared them in the underground punk rock scene.

By 1981, the band was able to land a recording contract with Unicorn Records whish was a subsidiary of MCA. Their first album made under the label was refused for releasing. The Damaged album eventually was released under Ginn’s SST label and the album went to receive critical support among fans. Unicorn sued the band for using the name with the battle going on for years which disallowed the band to use the name Black Flag until Unicorn eventually went bankrupt.

In 1984, the band went on to release a handful of albums which became one of their most prolific in years, after some time lost in the battle with their record label. They went on releasing four albums in 1984 and followed them up with constant touring. This continued on through the next year.

But despite the band having a fruitful run during the period between 1984 and 1985, there has been some trouble brewing among the band members. This was further heightened by their relentless touring schedule, drug problems as well as living in near poverty most of the time. Finally the band disbanded when its founding member, Ginn decided to call it quits.

Although the band never really achieved commercial success during their run, they eventually became one of the influential forces of the hardcore punk rock scene. They were even considered as the first ever hardcore punk rock band that paved the way for other bands such as Minor Threat, Husker Du and Bad Brains to follow suit. Some song critics believe that Black Flag as the band that laid the groundwork for what would eventually evolve as the grunge movement in the 90’s.

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