A Black Flag reunion — a real Black Flag reunion, one that featured the complete version of any of the California hardcore originators’ classic lineups — would be a big, big deal. But Flag guitarist and mastermind Greg Ginn spent decades alienating basically every single person he knew in the punk underground, so that’s not going to happen. Instead, two different Black Flag reunions are playing shows this year.
First, there was the news that a band calling itself Black Flag will play England’s Hevy Fest, which comes to Kent 8/2-4. Ginn is spearheading this version, which also includes singer Ron Reyes, who replaced Keith Morris in the band and sang for them between 1979 and 1980; he was in the band when they taped theirDecline Of Western Civilization appearance and recorded the Jealous Again EP. It also features early drummer Robo, who left the band in 1981 and went on to join the Misfits.
Originally, it was reported that this Black Flag would be the full 1979 lineup of the band, which would also include longtime bassist Chuck Dukowski. But Dukowski’s doing something else instead: forming his own version of the band called FLAG, which will play Black Flag songs on tour in the U.S. and Europe later this year. FLAG also features Circle Jerks/OFF! singer and Black Flag co-founder Keith Morris, and Descendents/All drummer Bill Stevenson, who played in Black Flag from 1983 to 1985. Descendents/All guitarist Stephen Egerton will fill in for Greg Ginn on guitar. FLAG is already booked for the Groezrock Festival, which comes to Meerhout, Belgium 4/27-28, the two Monster Bash festivals in Germany 4/26-27, and Las Vegas’s Punk Rock Bowling festival, which runs 5/24-27.
Meanwhile, there are totally enough left-over Black Flag members for another couple of versions of the band; I would not be remotely surprised to hear about a Henry Rollins/Dez Cadena/Kira Roessler/Chuck Biscuits version of the band hitting the road.