Barred for Life
363 pages
English

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363 pages
English

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Description

The Bars represent me finding my people. We were like a tribe. Together we are strong whereas before we felt weak and ostracized.


Barred for Life is a photo documentary cataloging the legacy of Punk Rock pioneers Black Flag, through stories, interviews, and photographs of diehard fans who wear their iconic logo, The Bars, conspicuously tattooed upon their skin. Author Stewart Ebersole provides a personal narrative describing what made the existence of Punk Rock such an important facet of his and many other people’s lives, and the role that Black Flag’s actions and music played in soundtracking the ups and downs of living as cultural outsiders.


The Bars say ‘I’m not one of them,’ and it also lets the right people know that I am one of them.

Stark black-and-white portraits provide visual testimony to the thesis that Black Flag’s factual Punk-pioneering role and their hyper-distilled mythology are now more prevalent worldwide then when the band was in service. An extensive tour of North America and Western Europe documents dedicated fans bearing Bars-on-skin and other Black Flag iconography. Nearly four hundred “Barred” fans lined up, smiled/frowned for the camera, and issued their stories for the permanent record.


It is the black flag of anarchism, and that is the opposite of the white flag of surrender.

Barred for Life expands its own scope by presenting interviews with former Black Flag members and those close to the band. Interviews with alumni Dez Cadena, Ron Reyes, Kira Roessler, Keith Morris, and Chuck Dukowski, as well as photographers Glen E. Friedman and Ed Colver, and the man responsible for tattooing The Bars on more than a few Black Flag players, Rick Spellman, round out and spotlight aspects of Black Flag’s vicious live performances, forward-thinking work ethic, and indisputable reputation for acting as both champions and iconoclastic destroyers of the Punk Rock culture they helped to create.

When I see The Bars I think ‘Black Flag the band,’ but they also represent an entire movement of people that are not going to conform. They are part of a culture of people that stand up for themselves.


Sujets

Informations

Publié par
Date de parution 14 février 2013
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781604864861
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 2 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0025€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Exrait

Barred for Life: How Black Flag’s Iconic Logo became Punk Rock’s Secret Handshake
by Stewart Dean Ebersole
© Renegade Art Front 2013
This edition © PM Press 2013
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be transmitted by any means without permission in writing from the publisher.
ISBN: 978-1-60486-394-9
Library of Congress Control Number: 2012913625
Cover design by Matthew Smith and Richard Demler
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
PM Press
PO Box 23912
Oakland, CA 94623
www.pmpress.org
Printed in the USA on recycled paper, by the Employee Owners of Thomson-Shore in Dexter, Michigan.
www.thomsonshore.com

Q: Henry, your tattoos are famous around here. I’ve seen a number of people with Black Flag tattoos… What if like a fifteen-year-old girl got [The Bars] tattooed on her forehead? How would you feel about that?
A: Cool. Give her a knife, give her some acid, point her westward and say, "Kill, kill!!!"
Excerpt from the recorded interview on Black Flag: The Complete 1982 Demos and More

Photo by Edward Colver
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I CHASED MY FIRST COLLEGE DEGREE for nearly five years, which is actually less time than Barred for Life took to grow from simply an idea into a completed volume. If one can say that a university education is a life-changing event, then I contend that being given the opportunity to create this book, the act itself, the amazing people that helped me, and all of the people that I met along the way, was probably the most important event in my own life so far. Love the book or hate the book, it does not change the fact that the product is a combined effort of hundreds of people, thousands of hours, and was a total test of everybody’s patience who had a vested interest in completing the project.
Let me start off by saying that Barred for Life began its life as a joke among four friends at a suburban Columbus, Ohio, tattoo studio. Besides me, at the christening were Naomi Fuller, Keith "KEEF" Elliot, and Matt Marsh, who all questioned why I decided to move forward with the project roughly one full year after that fated, rainy, dreary, and gray day when I dropped into the shop to show off my new tattoo work, and to grab a quick nap on the shop couch. For the entirety of the project I always tried to keep in mind the "joke" element that emerged at Thrill Vulture Studios that day so that the "project" element didn’t become too serious and heavy. Sadly, sometimes I forgot the original spirit of the project. Sometimes things got real dark and real heavy, but that is now all water under the bridge. Barred for Life is finished. The joke is over.
Working side-by-side with the original crew of Jared Castaldi, Matt Smith, and Mr. Todd Barmann across the broad timeline of research and production of Barred for Life was as amazing an opportunity as it was truly humbling. These three men, so perfectly suited for this tightly-niched task, and their roles as Photographer, Layout Designer, and Editor respectively, freed me up to do what I do best, which constantly changed and wasn’t always an easy role to define. Their collective patience as the book took on its final form, and as I morphed between the many roles necessary to bring the stories and photos together, was super-human at times.
Picking up the camera and following in the footsteps of Jared sent nervous lightning down my spine for the first few days of Barred for Life ’s 2009 tour. his emotionally textured portraits set the style-bar high right from the beginning of the project. Jared proved a serious professional during every phase of the project. Not only did he teach me how to use my digital equipment, but he served as a great mentor to me as I took over his photographer’s role for the tour. I came to realize from Jared’s first shot of Matt Marsh in Columbus, Ohio, that no guidance was necessary. Jared seemed to understand exactly what look I had in mind for the visual end of Barred for Life , and every shot fell onto the pages perfectly.
Matt never let me forget that this book is rooted in the most DIy of Punk Rock traditions, so whenever I felt like caving in and taking an easier path he supplied me with the inspiration and strength to continuously ask myself, "Would I have done things this way when I was a broke-as-shit Punk Rocker working on my own fanzine way back when?" Equally as important, Matt gets full credit for the title. In a flash of inspiration on a cold Saturday morning in a small, crowded, and very noisy coffee shop on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Matt blurted out, "how about Barred for Life ?" Everybody present at our table turned, looked, smiled, and shook our heads in unison. It was a feeling of "near completion" just giving a finished title to the project, and from that day the name never once changed. It is/was perfect.
Mr. Barmann, the consummate editorial force that he is, urged me to dig deep and write words that speak to a wider audience that may not share our twenty-five-year Punk Rock perspective. The many days sitting and writing at various Philadelphia coffee shops found me asking the question, "Will Todd like what I wrote?" Knowing that I can write a "perfect" paragraph, and that Todd would somehow always make it better, forced me to keep my style streamlined and linear, and to make my words count. A new editor took over in Todd’s stead early in 2010, but even while sitting and finishing the writing in my friend’s flat in Italy I always wrote to an audience of Todd; his guidance was as Yoda-like as a Jersey City Jewish mystic could muster.
On the publishing end, a massively sincere ThANK yOU is offered to Craig O’hara and his mighty PM Press. Craig approached me right after the 2009 tour and offered to release Barred for Life , but I was hesitant. No, for some reason I was stubborn and wanted to self-publish, but over the course of next year and a half I slowly migrated back to Craig, asked him to publish, and he welcomed the project without hesitation. Craig, a friend of nearly twenty-five years, offered me the powerful editorial assistance of David Ensminger, who rapidly sharpened my narrative meanderings and lengthy interviews into what you are soon about to read. Craig encouraged me to plug away diligently toward the light at the end of the tunnel even when I was ready to give up and focus on my new career.
And lastly, on the production end of the spectrum at least, I offer a sincere yOU ROCK SO hARD to my layout guru, Richard Demler, who at the last minute picked up the final design portion of the project. Stepping in to fill the shoes of Mr. Smith, who defined the look of the book back in 2008, Richard took on the task with a fury, remained focused on continuing the existing visual flow, and managed to add his unique creative vibe to each and every page. A friend of the Cadena family for more than a few decades, Richard was a pivotal resource in helping me score the very first BFL interview with Dez Cadena at his home in Newark, New Jersey, almost three years ago. Before that interview I had no intentions to increase the scope of Barred for Life beyond interviews with people wearing The Bars on their skin. Thanks to Richard, an important documentary facet entered into the book, and one that led me to an score an interview with one of my teen-aged Punk Rock heroes, Mr. Ron Reyes.
As for the tour, I will never be able to thank enough my loyal travel companion, Stefan Bauschmid. Two broke, unemployed, and hungry-for-adventure mid-lifers, we found everything that we could have wished for and then some on this tour. A few arguments and disagreements, and more than ten thousand miles shared in our cramped hyundai Sonata sedan, and magically never a punch thrown! Almost always Stefan would give me the better bed, choose to do the gnarliest stretch of driving, and always on the mark when it came time to break down our portable studio and get rolling, he was the ultimate traveling companion. Seeing nearly thirty states he had not seen prior, my friend, a native of Austria, at times seemed to be having twice the fun that I was. happily, I didn’t mind at all.
And where Stefan was absent from the vehicle, I was accompanied by Jorge Brito (Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal), Noe Bunnell (East Coast of North America), and Audrey Dwyer (now Audrey Traum) (UK and continental Europe), who all wanted to make the tour happen as much as I did, and to see parts of the world they’d never seen before. Jorge nearly wrecked a Canadian wedding, Noe scored us nearly all of our East Coast couches and beds, and Audrey kicked into full gear and took the reins of the entire European excursion so that I could just focus on completing the tour without falling apart. Before the tour all were my friends, but during and afterward they assumed a new dimension in my world that amounted to super-hero status. To all three of you, I am lucky to count you among my continuing friendships.
On the tour side, there are just too many people that gave us food, gave us lodging, gave us a home, gave us friendship, and organized shows and photo shoots, to mention here. Standouts in my mind are Amy Chaos (Boston; who doesn’t have The Bars tattooed anywhere on her, but set up a shoot anyway), Nate 9000 (Bozeman, MT; who broke up our 2,000-mile drive to the West Coast from Minneapolis, and showed us an amazing three days in the wild west of Montana), Phillip Alcala (L.A., CA, who supplied us a home-base, and probably one of the best show/shoots of the entire tour), Wayne Glass (London, UK; who kept us safe and warm on the freezing leg of our winter journey in London), Patrick Pechado (Paris, France; who scoured France for Black Flag–related tattoos), and Mayo Maggiore (Milano, Italia; who,

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