Spray Paint the Walls: The Story of Black Flag

Spray Paint the Walls: The Story of Black Flag

by Stevie Chick

Black Flag were the pioneers of American Hardcore, and this is their blood-spattered story. Formed in Hermosa Beach, California, in 1978, they made and played brilliant, ugly, no-holds-barred music for eight brutal years on a self-appointed touring circuit of America’s clubs, squats, and community halls. They fought with everybody—the police, the record industry, and even their own fans—and they toured overseas on pennies a day in beat-up trucks and vans. This history tells Black Flag’s story from the inside, drawing on exclusive interviews with the group’s members, their contemporaries, and the bands they inspired. It depicts the rise of Henry Rollins, the iconic front man, and Greg Ginn, who turned his electronics company into one of the world’s most influential independent record labels while leading Black Flag from punk’s three-chord frenzy into heavy metal and free jazz. Black Flag created the DIY touring circuit and much of the ethos of self-released records, self-booked tours, and ultimately, self-reliance.