Tag: Black Flag

Black Flag / X / Big Time

December 1979 Los Angeles punk poster

All kinds of dreams again about reports to FBI saying I’d been places I’ve never been and done things I’ve never done, with the strong sense this is linked to Black Flag. That Black Flag are strongly tied to false reports made to the FBI in return for record deals and other favors linked to the recording industry.

This would fit a pattern I’ve already seen with punk rock in general, which is that it now looks to me like it was always a front for string-pullings of the recording industry, CIA, drug trafficking, etc. This doesn’t mean everyone involved in punk rock was involved in that that – but probably anyone who was anyone in their scene was linked into the back room deals. It sounds like a lot of these back room deals involved filing defamatory (untrue and harmful) reports with the FBI in return for favors.

As someone who was enamored with punk music in the early 1980s I guess that I’d observe – even back then I questioned this – how did X end up getting to where they got, signed to Warner Brothers? That was a pretty unique position for a band with the look and sound they had at that time. And I believe it’s fallacy to say that punk bands didn’t want some level of commerical success. I think most people who are seriously into their music and art want to be as successful as they can be, without making terrible compromises. But if you weren’t let in the door, you weren’t going to let that stop you – is how I saw the punk rock attitude.

Ramones were not shy about saying they wanted success. They even had a song called “We Want The Airwaves.” X wasn’t shy about it either. There was a 1986 movie called The Unheard Music in which, to my recollection, they admitted they were seeking commercial success. I myself only started to hear this stuff about deliberately eschewing commercial success as a matter of principle in the 1990s. I’m not sure when Chris first heard it; if it was a concept in the 1960s underground (another CIA op) – but it was pushed pretty solidly by Greg Sage and the Wipers in Portland and by K Records in Olympia.

Did X get a contract with Warner Brothers because they were such a stand out band, quality wise, or was there another reason?

The mystery of Black Flag

1983 Black Flag at Mojos flyer

What a weird band Black Flag was. I liked Black Flag. I never saw them live. Apparently that was by design. But they seem to have been among a very small group of flagship bands that spread punk rock like a virus and I think that too was by design.

I’ve been trying to decode what their mission was. I never take stories at face value. The black flag as a symbol of anarchy is too obvious. Black Flag as an insecticide that “kills bugs dead” doesn’t seem to quite hit the nail on the head. I’ve speculated before that the black flag was specifically a reference to something to do with Abbie Hoffman and Grace Slick trying to dose the Nixon White House with L.S.D (and at some point hanging a black flag somewhere) but that’s probably too obscure and the part about a black flag being involved is only in some versions of the story – though I do suspect that Jefferson Airplane/Starship was another secret-agenda type band. “We built this city on rock and roll” – what they meant was they built the city on FBI files?

I feel like Black Flag spread something – plans, instructions, finance. Maybe finance linked to the record business, in exchange for nasty stories about, and set ups around, Chris and me. The punk rock “community” drew us in, surrounded us, and quietly stabbed us in the back – all for cash and prizes. Dialing for dollars.

I’ve thought about Greg Ginn, wondered if there was a link to the Bowie song Jean Genie, or Jinn, shape shifting genies. There’s actually a lot of directions I can go with all of this – the Welsh surname, the connection to the color white – or maybe more obviously that, like Steve Martin’s King Tut, he was born in Arizona. Arizona really comes up a lot with regards to all of this. Lots of people seem to be moving to or from Arizona. And what about his artist brother, who made so much of the poster and album cover art for Black Flag and SST, who changed his last name to Pettibon? Why Pettibon? Is it any connection to Pettygrove Hospital in Portland, which I understand to be involved in mind control and various types of medical murder (cancer, violence, etc). I’m not trying to pin anything specific on Ginn or Pettibon, but I do think that something in what I’ve written here is correct.

train design looks like a black flag

Special Bands: Agent 86, Black Flag

There are certain bands with a devoted following who put hours into researching and documenting their every move. All it really takes is one dedicated researcher, like whoever runs the Mudhoney tourbook

Black Flag shows are cataloged here https://concerts.fandom.com/wiki/Black_Flag

Agent 86 (basically Mike Briggs and whoever else) is still flying under the radar as an obscure regional punk act, but I’m starting to see more of their flyers and show dates appear online. I actually was a bit surprised at first to find out that Agent 86 played outside of the Humboldt/San Francisco circuit. I had assumed they were like most 1980s Humboldt bands, playing a few house parties, vets halls, maybe opening locally for a couple of regional hardcore bands, and then disappearing into the night.

Agent 86 seems to be a finance gruber. A strong position is achieved, apparently, by a person who manages to even have a casual connection to Chris or to me. This helps explain some of the unusual meetings in Chris’ life and in my life where people appear briefly, then disappear, but continue to wield influence behind the scenes. At some point I was in the same room with Mike Briggs. I may have spoken to him, or not, I don’t know. I think I’ve seen his band play. I remember him as blonde and older.

This is part of the pattern that happened with Sub Pop later in the 1980s. Bands that would one day become grunge superstars all seemed to have some personal contact with Chris between 1985 and 1988. This includes Kurt Cobain who Chris did not share a bill with, but spoke with, briefly, back stage at Satyricon in 1988.

With regards to Black Flag, I started noticing some weird things about their early 1980s shows. One thing I tried to figure out is if Chris had played on a bill with them, and how many times. Chris (who’s memory is good) thought they played together once or twice, but he also said their styles were really different and he wouldn’t expect to be put on bills with a band like Black Flag. And it does look like they played together at least once, but I’m not sure because there are two different flyers saying two different things. And now I’m going to have to get into this whole thing where I have to admit to myself that there was a really nasty thread of racism and sexism running through 1980s hardcore punk that I was in denial about, at least at first.

According to the Black Flag concerts wiki, their first show in Portland was April 21, 1980 at the Long Goodbye. I don’t know when the Untouchable’s first show in Portland was, but I do know it was in 1980, and I know that they played the Long Goodbye the following month, on May 18, 1980. The website shows Black Flag playing four shows in Portland in 1980 alone.

Napalm Beach may have played with Black Flag at the Met in Portland on June 30, 1982, but maybe not. There are several flyers for this show, all showing Poison Idea on the bill, but only one of them showing Napalm Beach. It seems like it’s swapped in some posters with Nig-Heist. I am including this detail because I suspect the racist band name may have inspired another band name that would appear later, linked to Wipers, to Sub Pop, and to Elliott Smith: Crackerbash.

Another screenshot I have from another website – I’m not sure which – shows Black Flag and Napalm Beach both opening for Bad Brains on December 10, 1982, again at the Met.

Bad Brains, Black Flag, Napalm Beach flyer for the Met
Bad Brains, Black Flag, Napalm Beach at the Met Oct 12, 1982

I can only find a record of Black Flag playing once in Humboldt County, in Arcata at all ages club Mojos May 29, 1983. This is in contrast to X who played in Humboldt quite a bit (though the documentation of this so far isn’t great). It looks like there was a scheduled concert for May 3, 1984 at Mojos with Black Flag opening for Meat Puppets that was cancelled. Some sources indicate Meat Puppets played but Black Flag didn’t.

When I ran across this information online back in December 2020 – specifically the information about Black Flag playing an all ages show in Arcata May 1983 – it sort of threw everything I knew or understood about my high school days into question. How is it that there was a Black Flag show in Arcata in 1983 that I didn’t know about? I am really not sure because I think it was that same month – May 1983 – I went to my first “grown up” concert, which was Jefferson Starship at Redwood Bowl, outdoors at Humboldt State University. I say grown up because I guess my parents dragged me to a hippie concert or two when I was a baby. I saw X at Mojo’s the following fall, and somewhere between 1982 and 1983 it seems like I saw a number of all ages shows – or maybe it wasn’t that many – at the Arcata Vet’s Hall and the Bayside Grange.

But now it looks like there were a number of punk shows at Mojos in 1983, including T.S.O.L (February 15), and Dead Kennedys (April 27). Were these shows deliberately being kept from me? I suspect they may have been, especially the Black Flag show. I just feel like I would have known if Black Flag were playing, and if things were normal. I would have seen it in a zine (why did I only see one or two copies of Counterpeace? I know more must have come out) or my friends would have said something.

Maybe the flyer offers a clue.

1983 Black Flag at Mojos flyer
1983 Black Flag at Mojos flyer

Special bands, regional scenes

It’s become clear that the music/entertainment business doesn’t work at all like Chris or I thought it worked. The way that we thought it worked was basically the way it has been portrayed in public media, in rock ‘n roll biographies and memoirs, or reflected by by our peers. Basically, you learn to play and to write, you form a band, you book shows, you book a tour, you work hard and contribute to the community, you present your music and your act and try to get support from a label. That is what we thought.

How does it actually work? I’m not sure, but bits and pieces are starting to come through. A lot of it seems to have been centered around keeping Chris and me down. The motivation for that seems to be finance, power, and perversion, and it may be at the behest of FBI/CIA.

It’s looking like a lot of liars, snitches, thieves, rapists, rapist apologists, child molesters, bullies, and hall monitors dressed up in punk rock clothing, feigning rebellion.

As I’ve been looking into this I began to see some unexpected patterns. One of the patterns is what I’d call “special bands.” These are bands that show up in unusual ways or unusual places or involved in unusual activities when compared to their peers. In many cases, I think these bands are finance grubers – in other words, while they tour and perform, they are also hooking people up with cash, instructions from above, connections, etc. At least that’s what I suspect. All I can say for sure is these are bands that are unique in that they are able to go places and do things their peers cannot or do not, and it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the overall quality of their work.

Black Flag from Los Angeles seems to have been one of these bands.

Another one was Agent 86 from my home town.

I’ve started making a list of “bands referenced by Kurt Cobain without actually being referenced” and I’ve put Agent 86 on that list (“Class of ’86”)

My research on Chris’ music and Seattle clubs in the 1980s shows Agent 86 showing up a few times, at least once with Green River. Green River/Mudhoney are also a linking band.

Agent 86 was basically a project of a guy named Mike Briggs. In the early 1980s he was in his 20s, hanging out with high school kids. He published a punk zine called Counterpeace and other than my parents’ more sophisticated early 1970s Stomatopod, it was the first zine I’d ever encountered. Stomatopod was hand made, but went to a publisher every quarter, while Counterpeace was a classic 1980s zine, xeroxed, with cut out letters and advertisements for upcoming punk shows and reviews of local homemade cassette releases, etc. I had one or two copies that I read over and over.

note from my friend Alicia with lots of punk bands and logos on it
June 1, 1984

My neighbor Michele introduced me to the hardcore scene via her Dead Kennedys and Black Flag records (she also had Blasters, X, Fear – lots of Slash records) and I got into it quickly. I’d been primed for it my whole life, I can now see – again, as things are so closely controlled. I’d been made to feel like an outcast and misfit beginning around fourth grade and through Junior High School. I now realize this was entirely by design. What punk did was help channel feelings of teenage depression or feelings of low self-worth into something activated and intense. I loved slam dancing.

There is a lot in this mind control system related to taking away power and agency from certain strategically placed individuals, and then when they are at a low point, offering or showing an unusual form of power and agency – in my case it was a search for freedom and empowerment through rock n’ roll, and punk rock. In other people’s cases it might be a “privileged” opportunity to harm, control, oppress or exploit another group. In some cases it was probably the ability to traffic illegal drugs like LSD, ecstasy, cannabis, or cocaine without concern for or even under the protection of the law (a protection that only lasts as long as the law lets it). All of this was going on in the realm of rock and roll, probably going back to the very beginning. One of the protection mechanisms for the FBI/CIA is the disparaging of artists, especially rock n’ rollers, as lesser human beings. When you get tired of playing with them, or after they serve their purpose, or when the price is right, they’re just eliminated from the field thanks to piezo-electrical biomedical CGI, plausible deniability, and silenced witnesses.

The Ramones – all of whom eventually died young of cancer – sang about this “Gabba gabba we accept you as one of us” (a “freak” – taken from Eraserhead – “erase her head”). Medically, GABA is a neurotransmitter. Ramone’s “pinhead” is about piezobiomedical implants used to directly control brain waves and/or to attack people in the heads. The Ramones were a special band in that they were able to tour early and widely, and they certainly knew about piezo-electrical biomedical CGI.

The plan was to portray Chris and me as freaks behind our backs while pretending to be our friends, to accept and care for us in the punk/music community. This creates an atmosphere of deception, endless in-jokes, cloak and dagger attitude. To this end, what I think right now is some of these special bands – these bands that toured early when other bands couldn’t book tours – were using the tours as an opportunity to connect with regional scenes and give special instructions to special people. We are talking about layers of handlers and use of cut outs and honey traps. Nasty spy stuff aimed at and involving children and teenagers – with all of it surveilled and manipulated by US government sources, police, hospitals, research institutions, and others. This is where the evidence is pointing.

Where the music industry comes in seems to be in financing record deals and passing out other benefits to those on the “team” suppressing, deceiving, defrauding, exploiting, and trafficking us. To this end, they hide behind, and funnel resources through, shell companies which often look like (and are) regional independant recored labels. Thus we have plethora of creatively named regional/independant labels like Slash (get it?), Death Row (get it?), Kill Rock Stars (get it?), Dirt Nap (get it?), Alternative Tentacles (get it?), Relapse Records (get it?), Cavity Search Records (get it?) – the list goes on and on. What I see is that every time there is a fresh kill and/or the entertainment business gets worried that this exploitation scheme might be in danger, a BUNCH of independent records come out, and/or new labels are formed with lots of money to put out professional sounding recordings on colored vinyl with professionally designed covers and even to make decent music videos. This is along with all the new cars and construction you see. It looks like the money is coming from nothing at all, but what it is, is money being moved around in a massive multi-tentacled criminal network.