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Harley Flanagan [Misfits/Murphy's Law/Cromags/ect.] How I got into Punk Rock/The Early Day's of NYHC the NY SKIN scene...
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Harley Flanagan [Misfits/Murphy's Law/Cromags/ect.]
How I got into Punk Rock / The Early Day's of NYHC the NY SKIN scene...
One again... ha ha ha ha
Im gonna ramble a little bit about the old days for all you puppies who weren't alive yet or were to young to remember ha ha ha (and don't mind my spelling ha ha ha ha)
People who where around back in them days and or saw or remember Any of the stuff Im talkin about Especially All the Old clubs and shows, Maxs, Rock Hotel etc etc CB's ....please feel free to post and add to this blog

Peace
HF
http://www.myspace.com/3935800
http://blog.myspace.com/3935800

Now let the rambling begin ha ha ha ha....

You mighta seen some of the picture of me with the the Clash,Dead boys or Ramones etc or at the old Punk shows in Europe and England etc the old Punk/HC gigs when I was just a kid and, People often ask me how i got into "Punk" so young.. well....ha ha ha ha
it was Moms fault ha ha ha ha...

I was living in Europe at the time and in 77 my Mom who was always into music and was a bit of a freak herself she had been into all the fads from early rockn roll to th ebeatles invasion stones etc, an old school veteran of the hippie/ scene who had been down with all that velvet underground scene and what not, She went to London with a friend of her's and yeah while she was there she went into a record store and asked what are the kids listening to these days? What are they buying? I want to get it for my son.. and well, she came home with a record that had just been released called "Never mind the Bollocks" that and a few others.And that was that.

I was blown away, she got me that and the first damned album, as well as a few Stiff records 45's i think like two damned singles as well as reckless Eric and Nick Lowe and like Ian Dury sex and drugs and rocknroll and a few other things Albertos el los trios paranoia's "snuff rock" ( a classic ha ha ha) that was a good one, i wasn't into all the Nick Lowe reckless Eric Elvis Costello hahaha so much but that was all the stuff that came out on STIFF records, and there really wasn't to much stuff out back then ...that Was that. The next thing I got my hands on was the Clash's first album and the Dead Boy's first album, then the Ramones and from there I just tried to get my hands on anything I could. I was like ten.

It was just energetic it was raw and exciting. i was always into music as far back as i can remember even as a little kid. , before i got into punk i was into things like into Hendrix i used to draw pictures of him when i was like 7, i still have some of them and I was really really into Bob Marley i had good taste, i was into stevie wonder the jackson 5 and herbie Hancock i liked some Beatles, even Billy Holiday and Coltrane i was really into a lot of music for my age, i loved "the Harder they come" soundtrack with jimmy cliff that was one of my all time favorites i liked a lot of old reggae, for my age i was really into a lot of cool shit. I had been In the school band at my crazy ass hippie school in Denmark Aarhus thats wher i had first started to learn Drums and stand up Bass etc, But then yeah "BAM!!" this punk rock thing exploded out of my speakers with guys named Sid vicious, Johnny rotten, and Rat scabies captain sensible ha ha i was like WOW !!!! i was blown away! i was so into it !! it was loud it was crazy, it was rebellious and angry it was like the Anti everything that everybody around me was into, i lived in Europe at the time and everyone was into like ABBA and shit, i mean think about how much main stream music sucked back then, and then came Punk Rock !!! it changed everything !!!! it was definitely a Revolution, or a Revelation for me. And the first punk gig i went to was in Denmark, I saw the Sods, the Brats, No knocks and a few other bands it was great, there is actually a few pictures of me at that gig stage diving and shit on our website www.cromags.com . and yeah . I was in my first Punk Band "Little Big Boss" that same year with these two French guy's who were like in their early 20's we did like one tour we played at a big Anarchist festival and at this one really big new years punk bash in Copenhagen.and that was that we fell apart after our first tour ha ha ha. Then I went to England. I was 78 i was 10, hanging with rat scabies and his friends when he had that band the white cats together. my Aunt Denise played with them for a while her and this guy Kelvin Blacklock he was and old friend of Mick Jones and them I think he mighta even been in one of the first clash lineups called London SS. but yeah rat and them and my Mom his roadies they used to sneak me into their shows in London and shit so that was when i really saw some of the sickest shit early 78 in London it was sick! I was probably the youngest kid to ever get into or go to shows back then, i was younger then that kid D-generate from Eater ha ha remember them ("thinking of
the USA" ha ha ha great record) but yeah man that was really back in the day !! i was in England when the pistols went to the states and then the stimulators were supposed to play at Max's Kansas City one of the nights Sid was playing there and well, thats when all the shit went down and then he died, i was so fuckin freaked i was like traumatized it was like oooh noooo ..it was really fucked up,

Anyway yeah man that was a fuckin drag and everyone who was around back then knew he didn't do it, He didn't kill her.. A lot of people have a pretty good idea who did, but that's another story. I actually have the key to room 100 at the Chelsea where Nancy died, i was the next person to stay in the room after the cops reopened it me and a couple of other punk rock friends of mine.and well yeah anyway,

It was 78 when I got back to NYC i had been bouncing back and forth BTW Europe and NYC for a while but now I was really back for good.

I wound up on the Lower east side of Manhattan the L.E.S (Lower East Side) which was a total fuckin ghetto back then, thats where we ultimately wound up moving. I lived in a building with Allen ginsberg who was a friend of my moms and aunts and Richard Hell he was one of the first punk rockers one of the chicks from the runaways lived there, it was a freaky building it was like the only building on the block with white people in it and we were all freaks and artist Punk rockers poets and fags and shit so we all got fucked with a lot. 12th street my block was run by one of the local Puerto Rican gangs called the Hitmen.(And believe Me You have no idea how that neighborhood was back then....) They used to have shootouts with the Allen boys all the time on my block and down near Allen Street it was all drugwars and fighting over streets that they would sell Dope and coke on it was crazy,adleast one apartment got robbed in my building every week (it was the building with all the white people in it ha ha ha), i mean im really not kidding, the cops were scarred of the gangs in my neighborhood back then, so no one could really do shit, I mean the shit was nuts...

My aunt had a band the stimulators, she had been in a rock band when i was younger and i had jammed with them in i guess like 76 or something on one of my visits to the states, we did like Ted nugent covers and shit cat scratch fever and stormtrooping and shit like that, they did originals to, but yeah by time i moved back to the states she had gotten into the whole punk thing when it exploded she had been in the white cats with rat scabies and them and, she had been to all the coolest shows the first damned show in NYC at cbgb's thats where she had met Rat Scabies and them guy's, she saw X-Ray Spex there, the Ramones Generation X of course the New York Dolls and well just tons of old NY shows and tons when she had been staying in London with rat she really got to see a lot of cool shit back in the day.

So now here i am in NYC, im going to all the stimulators gigs and practices,

the first real "punk" show i saw in NYC was at CB's it was the Dead Boys back then there was seats bolted into the floor all the way to the front of the stage (year's later me and my friends would rip them all out) yeah the dead boys, it was sick !! ha ha ha stiv bators came crawling out on to the stage he then threw a jar full of live roaches and waterbugs into the crowd of people all seated in the front of the stage and of course they freaked !! it was hysterical they where like mostly normal people who just went to a "nightclub" to see some "live" music and had no fuckin idea what they where getting themselves into. later in the set stiv hoisted himself up to the
ceiling with a noose around his ankles dropping himself reapededly on his head into a pile of broken glass over and over again, well needles to say they had to eventually take him to the hospital to sew him back up before the second set ha ha which they did do!!! yeah it was sick there guitarist called me a young Sid cause I told him to go fuck himself ha ha it was all so fun and fucked up back then.
The NY scene was pretty sick.
I actually saw one gig at CB's before that on one of my visits home from Europe, a band called the werewolves in like 76 I think they here from Texas.

Anyway The punk scene in the states was different from the UK and Europe,
the pistols were now done they never did play in NY. Though NY Did have a pretty cool scene it had been a lot of kinda like wack glam throw back shit, bands like the new york dolls and shit who even though Steve Jones and so many of the old English punks always gave them props in my mind they weren't so much the "first punk band" as some have said as they were the last glam band of the preceding fading era they were like the end of glam, and what made them "punk" was how bad they were ha ha ha. and besides the Ramones really started it! ) and we also had Ohio imports the Dead Boys, But you also bands like the Talkingheads and B-52's and all kinds of really horrible things were falling into the category of "Punk" and a lot of people in the states had never really been exposed to it really, and didn't get it, and was getting a really strange perception of it, you'd get like all kinds of fuckin freaks going to shows and it seemed like there was only really a smaller scene that was really down with what was going on.
You had bands like the Blessed ( Like a underground Punk rock bay city rollers from nyc on smack ha ha ha) playing at Max's all the time you had the Dictators and the Talking Heads and the B-52's Dead Boys Blondie and all this stuff was being called punk, or "New wave" a fucking term me and my friends hated! cause it lumped in the talkingheads and all the "Art rock" garbage that was coming out as punk and me and my friends Hated it.......

and then you had us the stimulators, we weren't a sex pistols style punk band or anything even though of course we loved them we were heavily influenced by all the bands of the time the whole English movement, everything from old generation x to the damned and everything else sham 69 even 999 and all the great Irish band SLF the undertones etc,and on and on and the classic American stuff Iggy the stooges Ramones and all kinds of other stuff, we had our own thing going it wasn't really any of the above..but we where part of that time period, back then each band had there own sound. back then everyone was doing there own thing it was cool. everyone had there own signature...
it was all new, there where no rules.

I joined the band replacing Johnny blits of the dead boys (And he had replace Bob wire), Johnny just bailed out the day of a show, wouldn't answer his phone wouldn't answer his door, he had some shit going on ha ha ha think it mighta been drug related ha ha ha, but yeah anyway i knew most of their material from having seen them play and having been at their practices so many times so i jumped in they had a gig that night at the cat's cradle in North Carolina, i learned all the material in the back of the van listening to a cassette and drummin on a phone book.

we played that night with the Autistics,it was great ha ha and i was in instant success ha ha it was hysterical, no one had ever seen a kid my age in a real band it was funny and great and people loved it I was like ten or eleven. we had two girls in the band Denise Mercedes (My aunt) on guitar and Anne Gustausen on bass and this crazy little blond poet dude Patrick Mack on vocals he
lived down the block from CB's he was really into iggy and bowie and was a crazy frontman, he would dive across tables on his face knockin peoples drinks all over he place do flips on stage spass out and get all weird and go nuts it was fun he was a really cool guy, i was never a huge fan of his voice but hey it was the times everybody was doing their own thing and he was doing his so anyway we were a really freaky band ha ha two girls a little kid and a crazy "MO" on vocals ha ha we weren't a typical so called "punk" band. we didn't really fit into any of the category's but we were good that was the great part of it, i mean looking back my drumming needed work but hey i was a kid 11 years old fuck it and we were breaking ground you know, and in some way's we were a lot of the reason the NYHC scene even came to be,
Ask Jimmy G from Murphy's law and or Doug Holland ha ha ha They'll tell you ha ha ha ha.

We got a lot of really young kids started coming to our gigs all the punks the really young ones were comin cause they felt like they had something in common with us i guess my age that had something to do with it i don't know, i guess they kinda figured if i could they could to, you know what i meanThats what Doug Holland from Kraut and Cro-mags later told me "if that fuckin little kid can do it So can I !!!"he credited us with starting the scene, we had a lot of girls at our shows probably cause there were two girls in the bands, i think there just was more girls on the scene back then. and anyway i was the first and the youngest to like really be in a band at 11 years old, and a lot of the kids coming to our shows where like 14 yr olds 15 -16 yr olds the beasty boys lucious jackson were all part of that scene when they were just kids, they where young as hell liike just a couple years older then me they were like my best friends they were at all our shows check out some pictures at www.cromags.com,
we used to have to sneak a lot of our fans in cause they were under age it was like we were doing for them what Rat scabies and them had done for me,

Eventually they started doing all ages shows at our gigs (a tradition that still continues at most HC and punk shows in NYC and everywhere else and yeah by now kids like Jimmy Gestapo (who years later Me and Him would form Murphy's Law) him and so many others Robby Crypt crash from C.F.A and god so many tons of kids who would start so many great bands so much would sprout out of this closeknit scene, but in those first few beginning days and at the center of it was the stimulators, the Mad and then the Bad Brains. the Stimulators helped create a circuit for this new breed of kids we brought out everything from the really young punks to the older punks, we became close friends with 2 other Bands and started to gig with them a lot. a scene started grow out of this...
THE MAD
Who were another really cool band with all kinds of crazy fuckin stage antics props blood gore all kinds of crazy shit it was like punk rock meets sphyco alice cooper club shit, with like video screens and all kinds of props and lots of lots of blood tits guts dicks getting cut off craz ill shit!!! it was nuts they where really disgusting but cool and very arty these two crazy japanese guys and a chick guitarist there drummer Dave hahn he was a cool guy a good friend of Nick marden(the Stimulators roadie & future bassist), Dave hahn at one point wound up managing the Bad brains for a second he was also the first cro-mags drummer way before the age of quarrel lineups last i heard singer screaming mad George was doing special effects in Hollywood he was a really amazing artist and painter sculptor that dude was bad ass!!! the whole shit that band that ha ha ha was a trip ha ha ha
But In my opinion the biggest thing that happened to our little scene and or best thing or what ever i should say
the BAD BRAINS
Who had just come to NY from DC we became instant friends with them through our close friend then Roadie and future Bassist Nick Marden,they were really the fire that changed everything musically forever ...that was it, that was when music changed it was a kick
in the ass for everyone ..

Back then it was Max's. CB's TR3 even the Mud club (even though me and my friends hated it) danceteria and all that shit the rock lounge and so on there was a lot of clubs going on back in the early 80's
me and All my friends got in for free,"everyone I was with" got in that was way back when i would like hang with Adam yauk and all the beasty boys crew lucious Jackson and all them i used to get them into the clubs with me, there was like a whole little crew of us and of course none of them where in bands yet they where like all friends i met who used to come to stims gigs that i now hung with all the time this was really before the HC scene really existed yet it was just staring to take shape in its very barest and earliest stages and a lot of great bands came outa that early period...

In 1980 the stimulators went to Ireland that is where i became a skinhead.
The NYC scene would never be the same....

we went over to do a small tour and the first big Irish punk festival ever in "Belfast".we stayed with film director john Davis and his family, he did a great movie about the Irish punk rock scene called shellshock rock. we hung out with lots of bands including the outcast,rudi,and many more as well as Terry Hooley who was one of the main guys we dealt with at the time he was the owner of good vibratons records a record store in Belfast, he was also kind of the producer of some of the local punk bands i think he might have actually put out the undertones first single i cant remember but i think he did, he also put out the Outcasts and lots of others, he was hysterical he would get drunk as shit and start pulling out his glass eye and
shaking it at everybody while he was talking to them ha ha, there was a lot of good local bands. this was kind of when the oi movement was just beginning in England and in Ireland it was as well. it was the begging of 1980 lots of skinheads at the shows and lots of punks, and honest for the most part every one was cool. it was really just when like skinhead crews from different areas or supported different football clubs who had beef would get into it or what ever but of course when it was time to fight the bouncers or the cops and or RUC everyone joined in,

i was in several riots while i was there, and well yeah the first one was when we played at the Belfast first international Punk & New wave festival at Ulster Hall with Aussie punk legends the Saints, remember the song "Stranded" anyway, us them and a bunch of Irish punk and skinhead type bands played including The Outcasts Rudi and a bunch of good vibrations records bands, it was huge there was fuckin tons of punks and skinheads, it was a 2 day event, it was fucking insane, it was the first time I had ever seen any punk event of its size and as extreme, these motherfuckers where the real deal i never seen so many mohawks and spikes and skinheads in any one place before in my life. it was sick, when you went into the bathroom you got a fuckin contact high from all the glue that was getting huffed it was insane. i was really amazed i was just walking around meeting people mingling and soaking up the vibe it was the shit, anybody who was there knows what im talkin about, that was a good time, i seen SLF hanging out, they wherent playing but they where there,,anyway.. we where the only band from the states and the only band that played both nights , at the end of the 2nd night that's where i saw my first
real full on riot, i mean it was a big ass hall a lot bigger then like Irving Plaza a few hundred kids there I mean A Lot, it was packed, , it was nuts, it started just like a little fight and then another one and it just spread from just little skirmishes here and there to all of a sudden everybody on the bouncers they got a huge metal ladder thrown at them from of the balcony and chairs flying ha ha and all the while where still on stage playing ha ha and as we are ending the set our manager is out on stage just trying to make sure none of us get hit with the chairs that are flying at the bouncers who are now running past us and hiding off to the side of the stage
while getting pummeled by skinheads ha ha , now the cops and the Royal Ulster Constabulary comes rolling in all the doors at once shields up clubs coming down and just circled the kids up and rounded them up and out all the while getting pelted with shit ha ha it was fucking nuts then the kids just ran havoc in the streets while they dispersed in little groups ,..ha ha ,,

they recruited me i became like there little NY mascot, i got my head shaved by one of the outcast roadies and he gave me a pair of braces, ( or suspenders for all us Americans ha ha) they all were into mod bashing paki bashing if it moved bashing just a bunch of fuckin maniacs, but i mean at the club they all hung out ,"the harp bar" you know, it was like never skins against punk or anything, they where really all nuts and drinkers and rowdy that's kinda where i saw my first "real slam dancing" of course they didn't know thats what they where doing ha ha. we got in fights in chip shops on the streets at shows when i say we, i mean Me and my new found friends and not and the others guys in the band ha ha but cause the shit always seemed to happen when i would go off to grab some chips with some of the boys or go for a walk or what ever ha ha .one time i went into a chip shop with this one punk and these assholes started talking shit and fucking with him, and yeah he just laughed it off said yeah all right mate and they kept talkin shit, we went around the corner, next thing the whole fucking harp bar full of skins came running in this fucking chip shop ha ha ha you shoulda seen these dude faces they where shittin
themselves!! they started kicking there asses hitting them with chairs etc then all bailed out, door slamming behind ha ha i was like "Damn!" ha ha, but i mean hey,,those fuckers Did start it!!

Anyway yeah. I seen that in numbers we didn't have to take any shit, these guys sure as fuck didnt..and I came back to New York with a goal I was gonna teach everyone about skins and start a crew.


i wanted my own crew that didn't have to take no shit from no one in our neighborhood fuck all the local gangs i wanted to stand up and not alone, i wanted the scene to do it, in Ireland i seen that there were white boys out there who would scrap with anyfucking body gangs cops it didn't matter they where like there own gang! it wasn't like in my neighborhood where white people were targets, and i was done taking people shit. when i came home started shaving all my friends heads, it took a while at first but after a while it just took off!!! at first the skinhead scene started small... it was just me and then a couple of my other little friends who where like my age, Eric j Casanova (old cro-mags singer) and then a couple of others.

All my friends and people on the scene and in school would always ask me why I shaved my head??? " why did I wear combat boots why did I roll up my jeans etc cause Im a SKINHEAD!!!" I would say! all defiantly and like everyone was supposed to already know what the fuck that was or what that meant ha ha ha!!! you said Skinhead over here people thought of the Fordham Baldies from the 50's ha haha I had put out a fanzine back then idid interviews with bands like Circle jerks end even Madness and show reviews who ever was in town sioxsie and the banshees 999 Buzzcocks undertones SLF who ever, and i wrote and compiled an article from a bunch of newspapers i got in Ireland and from England about "skinheads" history and violence hooligans style and music to teach my friends and the scene about "SKINS" ha ha ha...I was on a mission ha ha ha the funny shit was i was just a little fuckin kid! not even 14 yet ha ha ha!!!....

Everyday i just kept recruiting friends like literally almost everyday i had friends of mine at
my house shaving their heads ha ha it eventually as the HC scene grew and grew it started to take a life of it's own, i mean like i said at first it was just me then like maybe 5 of my friends but man, we started shaving up whole bunches of our friends heads and shit, it just took over from 1980 it was just me to 1982 Skins where the biggest part of the NY scene!!! and we where getting known all over the states and the world thanks largely to MRR and the lies and rumors they spread about us by, At first it was just a small crew, you know, like me and Eric Casanova, jimmy, little Chris, Paul dordal and then Vinnie Stigma and then the AF crew and then it just grew.
we would have head shaving parties ha ha music blasting it was hysterical everybody slappin each other in the head it was funny as hell me Vinnie stigma, ray beez Roger and everybody else a whole fuckin bunch of us ha ha it was so funny its good memories just tons of idiots havin fun getting wasted!..And the skinhead thing it would really take over the NY scene for a while,
there was us and then the "peace punks" and some Chaos Punks (they where sort of our allies ha ha ha) in the beginning everybody really got along fine untill MRR started pitting everybody against each other, and after that ha ha ha then the peace punks and all the PC Punks they just lived in fear ha ha

Now wwaaay back in the day All the St Marks punks and what not didn't really hang in the LES yet, but as time went on the scene started moving down further into my neighborhood well, back in the old days you know punks and shit used to hang out up on St. Marks by all the stores and shit, but didn't really go much further to often but as time went on the cops kept chasing Punk kids further and further east cause all the store owners and tenants used to complain and so we all just started hanging further and further down in ABC land and Tompkins Square park then the cops really didn't care what happened, it was off limits to them, and now we just had to deal with the locals ha ha but yeah i was used to it ha ha but now it got a little crazier and harder cause it wasn't just me anymore, i couldn't just come and go anymore, it was like a bunch of us and it was slowly the beginning of the L.E.S HC scene..and as the scene got bigger shit got crazier. Anybody who was into Punk back then knows what i mean, back then you were a walking target you really took your life into your own hands if you were a punk rocker and you walked the streets alone at least in my neighborhood. so inevitably i started getting into a lot of trouble in and out of school and in the streets at night,

when i left home and started squatting and shit it was no big deal. in fact i had more space more freedom and more privacy so what it was in burnt out buildings ha ha it was really no big deal you know having been raised by hippies and always being on the move it was nothing new to rough it and just get by it was no big deal at all like i said, i had more space ha ha more freedom i was on my own, it was cool. by now i guess i was like almost 14 .. the state was giving my Mom problems cause i wasn't going to school and i was fucking up a lot and they wanted to take me away and send me to like spotford (which is like a juvenile institution, like a prison for kids) or something so i just said fuck it and split. I was not with that program. soon after that I hitchhiked out to Cali. I was like..Fuck that.
But anyway yeah There was a lot going on in the city and on the L.E.S back then,

 

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