Here we see the heavily-rumored conga sequence from J.J. Abrams’ forthcoming Star Wars movie wherein Luke dances with himself, Lando Calrissian, and a bunch of dead people.
A: No. I’ve never really thought of myself as having the right kind of body for tattoos. I always figured they’d look weird, like I was trying to look tougher than I actually am. Like overcompensating.
Only once did I seriously consider getting inked. When I was nineteen I accompanied my friend Justin to a tattoo parlor in Daytona Beach because he was getting some asian symbol on his arm (as was the style at the time). During that trip I almost convinced myself to get Black Flag’s famous logo stamped somewhere on my frail barely adult torso, but I didn’t have quite enough cash and I was also worried that I might not be championing Damaged as strongly at age eighty. So that was that.
For a while in the mid-2000s I joked with people that I was going to get a back piece of Chewbacca driving the Ectomobile through downtown Oslo with the Ramones and Richard Nixon in the back, all wearing ghostbusters jumpsuits, but that would probably take centuries to complete (and hurt like a bastard).
When reached for comment on Fallon’s rumored promotion, Greene remarked, “You know, this is all Jean Doumanian’s fault. If her version of ‘Saturday Night Live’ had been a success in 1980, Lorne Michaels wouldn’t be “LORNE MICHAELS” inasmuch as NBC probably would have ignored his suggestion to replace Letterman with Conan in ’93.
“Look, I love Conan, but it’s obvious NBC only went with him because he had the ultimate reference. Coco’s not a rabble rouser in the style of the guy he replaced but he’s still not as ‘company’ as Leno. They needed a Leno Junior in there. Instead, they got a Lorne-endorsed headache, one that plagued them through an entire second Bush presidency.
“It’s all ‘SNL 80.’ If Jean Doumanian had made that shit work, check the alternate timeline: Lorne Michaels spends the majority of the 1980s turning Three Amigos! into a trilogy, we get ‘Late Night with Greg Kinnear’ once Letterman bounces, Jay Leno hosts ‘Tonight’ until he drops dead in 2023, and Charles Rocket lives to appear in another Dumb & Dumber movie. It’s sick, it’s twisted, but it’s also probably fact.”
I tried writing a reflective post about my life and why everyone should try to remain optimistic through bad times, but why bother finishing that when we can just look at this incredibly dumb poster for Short Circuit 2? Like Number Five could stay above water for even half a second on that flimsy piece of vulcanized rubber. He’s gotta weigh at least a thousand pounds. Don’t get me started on him holding the phone like he has an ear.
Euro friends: you too will soon have the opportunity to see each version of the reunited Black Flag as both factions are scheduled to invade your shores this spring. Greg Ginn’s “Black Flag” featuring Ron Reyes and Dale Nixon is booked for the Ruhrpott Rodeo on 5/18 in Hünxe, Germany; Keith Morris and Chuck Dukowski’s “Flag” featuring Bill Stevenson and a Descendent will be appearing twice at Deutschland’s Monster Bash Festival (4/26 in Munich, 4/27 in Berlin) and once at Belgium’s Groezrock Festival (4/28 in the scenic municipality of Meerhout). What’s next, showdowns in Canada, Japan, and the Falkland Islands?
Now, the $64,000 question: which Black Flag would I see if someone put a gun to my head? I’d be inclined to choose the Ginn/Reyes situation only because I’ve never seen either of those guys in concert. What if by some miracle they blow the doors of the place? Also, the possibility of viewing a robot bass player in a sombrero excites me. Keith Morris, Bill Stevenson, and S. Egerton are all really talented and fun but I’ve seen them loads of times performing with other bands, and I get the distinct feeling their “Flag” performances won’t have the same element of surprise or danger (read: a robot bass player in a sombrero malfunctioning).
In a related story, I’ve come up with a few more great titles for the new “Black Flag” album Ginn and co. are finishing. Hey Greg and Ron, feel free to swipe any of the following: Jealous Again (Again); Oh, That’s Who Had The 10½, Thanks For Letting Us Know; The Process Of Smoking Tons Of Weed & Deciding This Is A Good Idea; Slip It In Again But Not Too Far (I’ve Got Work In The Morning); My War 2: Fight For Your Right To Artie Lange.
This question courtesy of my own nagging subconscious.
As a teenager/young adult who clung to Everything Went Black like it was the Rosetta Stone, I never imagined the powerful, no nonsense unit that called itself Black Flag would ever exist as two separate factions on the punk rock reunion circuit a la Ratt or Steppenwolf. Yet here we are, staring down a festival season where “Flag” (founding members Keith Morris and Chuck Dukowski plus drummer Bill Stevenson plus Stephen Egerton from the Descendents) will perform at a Las Vegas bowling party in May while “Black Flag” (founding guitarist Greg Ginn plus second BF singer Ron Reyes plus nobody knows yet) is set to play the U.K.’s Hevy Fest in August. The sad part is this is not the first time this has happened.
In 2002 Henry Rollins (BF singer #4) assembled the benefit album Rise Above to help raise funds for the West Memphis Three, and it was a big deal in part because several former Flaggers—Morris, Dukowski, mid-period bassist Kira Roessler—agreed to participate. Noticeably absent was Greg Ginn; It’s unclear (at least from preliminary Google searches) if Hank reached out to him for the album, but I’d be surprised if he did considering the well-documented glacier that formed between the pair following Black Flag’s 1986 disbanding. What can be confirmed is Ginn’s lack of immunity to the nostalgia bug. The guitarist also had his own charity to champion. Thus, in 2003 Greg Ginn reformed his version of Black Flag, with a robot, for a one-time concert to benefit wayward cats. It didn’t go so well.
These previous situations both benefitted worthy causes, so it was hard to be very angry at what was going on generally. Now, however, it looks like a different ball game. I don’t fault these guys for doing their separate things with the members they still get along with because, hey, we all like to have fun and get paid if we can, but as a fan it’s just the worst. I want to believe Black Flag was at some point a sacred order, the one thing upon which all its varied members could agree—let’s do the band this way or not do it all—and that maybe one day in the near future they’ll go back to this mindset. Of course, I suppose you want to believe that about every musical group you see. The hard truth is none of these people are monks and they’re all on the wrong side of fifty. So what shall be shall be.
It could be worse. The Ramones could be reforming with the Geico lizard on vocals. It’s all about perspective.
Image swiped from blackflaglogo.tumblr.com.
This question courtesy of my good buddy Paul R. Porkchop. Indeed, where is my rant on the nerd-shattering news that J.J. Abrams (who I think we can all agree is most famous for his writing credit on Jim Belushi’s Taking Care of Business) will be directing Star Wars The Seventh: R2′s Folly? Oh, here it is:
I don’t have much to say about Abrams being appointed new pope of Star Wars beyond he’s the boring, obvious choice for such an endeavor but I guess you can’t blame Disney/LFL for hedging their bets. J.J. makes pretty solid entertainment even when he shits the bed. Still, when you think about some of the truly inspired or inspiring choices they could have made for Episode VII, watching the “Lost” guy get it is pretty deflating. Nothing could possibly be worse than the prequels, so what do they have to lose hiring, oh, I don’t know, M. Gondry or David Fincher?
Of course, we have no way of knowing right now where Abrams landed on the list of potential SW7 directors. Maybe the Disnuts offered it to one or two or five other filmmakers before Mr. Sexy Star Trek was invited aboard. It’ll be interesting once the film comes out to hear who may have turned this sucker down or couldn’t commit due to scheduling conflicts. Has fate saved the world from witnessing Tarantino’s adrenalin-soaked take on Lando Calrissian? The mind boggles at the thought.