In the years 1982-1983 Black Flag were performing some of their strongest material ever, as immortalized in what I boldly declare to be the best punk album ever, Black Flag’s 1982 Demos. Yeah, despite its obvious flaws, I’ll stand by that assertion. Still, it’s always quite the bummer to understand the dynamics of the material written during this era and how it was never properly recorded to its full realization. As a result, I’ll pine over the lost 1983-era Black Flag album that could have been, and then take it even further by contextualizing the LAPD’s tactics against the band within the paradigm of many other well known struggles throughout history involving artistic vision being prevented by the hand of totalitarianism. Then I snap out of it and decide I'd rather be endlessly raging hard to “I’ve Got To Run”, the b-side to the TV Party single, which was as close as they ever came to fully realizing their sound during that era.
Anyway, this soundboard recording of the band at the 9:30 Club in D.C. circa 1983 kind of rectifies the hole in my heart, and it will probably do the same for you if you’re similarly passionate about such things.
I must say, this recording, despite a serious lack of the song “My War”, trumps any other recordings I’ve heard of the band during this era. A few years ago, CD Presents released a pretty good soundboard recording of two sets they did in San Francisco circa 1982. While that recording was a pretty awesome encapsulation of what could have been- it was full-on Chuck Biscuits era Black Flag, for fuck’s sake- Greg Ginn’s guitar was inexplicably mixed really low, which is totally unacceptable, and honestly just kind of ruined the whole damn recording for me.
This recording, on the other hand, is legit – This time we have Bill Stevenson on drums, and, yes, fully audible guitars rounded out by Dukowski’s bass sounding precisely as thick and dirty as it should. Also, I’m pretty sure Ian MacKaye makes a vocal appearance on “I’ve Had It”, which is just as neat as the appearance he makes on the recording of Henry’s first Black Flag show in D.C., in which he actually sings the entirety of “Fix Me”.
All in all, this show is crucial for anyone who is into Black Flag, not just the collector nerds.
Up next, is another Flag show recorded at the 100 Club in London circa 1981. It’s a pretty standard Flag show, and not really too crucial unless you’re a completist collector nerd. However, the stand out aspect of this one is that it features what is probably the earliest version of “Scream” I’ve ever heard, and played at double the speed than what would become the standard. Pretty cool.
After Dez Cadena “quit” Black Flag in 1983, he immediately spent a short time in Redd Kross.
(They’ll always be Red Cross to me.)
My unrelenting journeys into the internet’s nether regions led me to the discover this rare gem – a snapshot of Dez with Redd Kross jamming on tour with the Bangles in Tucson, AZ circa 1983.
(Dez on the left, and dancing, tambourine playing McDonald brothers on the right)
According to the photographer-
“I was lucky enough to meet the band before the doors opened after the sound check for one of the warm up bands, Redd Kross. Susanna Hoffs was telling me that the promoter wasn't going to let Redd Kross play after hearing the band. I expressed my disappointment when I heard this, then she said "The Bangles are a really great band too." She was amazing! And still is amazing! I heard The Bangles for the first time that night, and have been a big fan ever since. Susanna invited some of the members of Redd Kross up on stage for the encores. Cool!”
To see more of this dude’s photos, check out his page HERE.
As an added bonus, here are the McDonald brothers assisting the Bangles by adding a shitty teen punk vibe to their song “Call on Me”.
I also happened to find this great shot of pre-Black Flag Dez circa 1980, along with similar pictures of Jack Brewer and Joe Baiza from Saccharine Trust. These were unearthed by scouring the Saccharine Trust myspace page, so clearly these dudes were ahead of their time, you know, as far as taking myspace vanity pictures goes.
Finally, here’s an epic 1979 rehearsal demo of the band Tyrant, which was Saint Vitus before they got Scott Reager on vocals. All the classic pre-Wino Saint Vitus tunes are presented in a pretty decent recording, all with guitar player Dave Chandler handling the vocal duties. Someone pressed this recording on vinyl recently, but it didn’t include “Burial At Sea”, which is one of the most crucial jams.
(Click on the picture for the link, dude.)
Enjoy! Oh, and fuck mediafire. Internet archive or