Barred for Life on #VansBookClub
Originally posted in Spanish
September 11th, 2017
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 forehead? How would you feel about that?
A: Cool. Give her a knife, giver her some acid, point her westawrd and say "Kill, kill !!!"
In the firmament of the punk, very probably only a design has managed to surpass the delivery and devotion of the famous A of anarchy inside a circle with satanic stroke, to such a degree to become one of the most popular tattoos: the four vertical bars and black, dazed and untidy, logo logo of the parents of hardcore punk in its most salty and painful version, Black Flag.
Yes, again, Black Flag. Because it is the band that most embodies what punk should always be. Because his ideology is more than music and moshpit.
And because yes and simply: we love it.
A logo that was born almost at the same time that the band changed its name from Panic to Black Flag:
"... (Greg) Ginn asked his little brother, a certain Raymond Pettibon, to make the cover, a disturbing ink illustration of a teacher driving away a student with a chair, as if he were a lion tamer. A few months before, they had discovered that another group was also called Panic. Pettibon suggested Black Flag and designed a logo for the band, a stylized waving flag composed of four vertical black rectangles. If a white flag means surrender, it was evident that it meant a black flag; the black flag is also the recognized symbol of anarchy, not to mention the traditional emblem of pirates; He also reminisced a little about his heroes, Black Sabbath. Logically, the fact that Black Flag was also a popular insecticide did not hurt either, " says Michael Azerrad in his book Our band could be your life .
As Black Flag became a living legend, and unlike many of the bands that shaped the punk, they led the radicality of their ideology to the limits of self-terrorism and incomprehension almost inadmissible, absurd, as when they let their hair grow to the hippie or metalhead just to annoy the skinheads and racist faces that began to attend their plays, the famous bars of Black Flag were transformed from a simple graphic record to an effigy that represents a turning point in the private ideologies of many people who see in Black Flag a hotbed of honesty and their own thoughts, an angry clap on the back that encourages them not to be afraid of dissidence, defects, contradictions, whatever the cost.
"When you see that someone has the same Black Flag bars as you, you know you're not alone in this world, despite the differences" Brian Sokel, pornographer.
The mentioned originality is an overvalued longing. A few are tattooed the singo of infinity, a diamond, a Virgin of Guadalupe or a SpongeBob. Then, hundreds follow that route: the camouflage becomes condemnation. They have taught us that when certain tastes, things or fetishes become popular, their aesthetic and ideological surplus value simply points to a devaluation, to a mortal devaluation, it becomes rabble and the rabble takes away any spark of feeling exclusive. Exclusivity is the thirst for insecurity more clumsy according to any sucker.
"Having the Black Flag bars puts me in a tribe of people with a passion for music and a passion for non-conformity " Dan K, installer of solar panels.
How would you take a book with pictures of people with a Demon of Tazmania tattooed in some corner of their extremities? Would it generate empathy or feel like a fraud, like when you see someone put on the same thing as you at a concert or a party?
"If I see someone in the street, a complete stranger, but with the four bars of Black Flag, the same ones that I have, the most likely is that I approach to talk to you" Danielle Lafore, social worker and waitress.
The more black bars are tattooed Black Flag, its meaning is strengthened and its ideological value and why not sentimental, it shoots to religious levels.
Why do people with the Black Flag tattoo increase without fear of getting lost in the rabble?
"Apart from being a Black Flag badge, I think these bars are a symbol of the idea that I try to live, go my own way and do what I want" Kevin Stewart, bicycle messenger.
A possible answer is found in the pages of Barred for life , a book of photographs of light heavyweight category that only captures tattoos of Black Flag bars as a starting point for hundreds of variables. It emerged as a joke, when its author, Stewart Dean Ebersole, a geologist, builder, designer and photographer, tattooed Black Flag bars in the vicinity of his ankle in a suburban studio in Columbus, Ohio. One of his friends said something like: "One more bastard who is tattooed Black Flag bars." It was true, as it was true that he never stopped to think that he would not be the first or the last to tattoo the Black Flag bars and that it did not matter to join the crowd that marks those four bars painfully and forever.
Barred for life is not only the photographic record of hundreds of people proudly showing off their Black Flag tattoo: "All the ideas and texts, except the long interviews and the photographic captures, are my interpretation of the myth about that band called Black Flag and that thing called punk rock, which conspired completely to change the way I understood the world, Black Flag changed the world enormously of many people, but at that point, I can not write a whole essay without starting from my own story and personal experiences "says Ebersole in the prologue.
Experience that becomes a lengthy essay on the impact of Black Flag through its discography, its iconic advertising, tours, attitude and accompanying the photographic catalog of people who proudly show off their bar tattoo.
The photographs, taken by Ebersole and the crowd that gave him a cheek in that Ohio studio (Jared Castaldi, Matt Smith and Todd Barmann) are cataloged by Name, Home of residence (which in turn trace a route that starts in NY passing through Canada and the center of the United States in the direction of the West Coast and ends in California with special stops in England, France and Italy), Occupation, favorite Singer and Favorite Song of Black Flag and a phrase that explains the reason why Those four bars were tattooed:
"The bars may look like a simple logo, but they also represent the idea that all you need to record a record and go on tour is the desire to do it" Steve Curtis, Musician.
In addition to the photographs, the book starts each chapter with extensive interviews with Dez Cadena, Glen E. Friedman, Ron Reyes, Keith Morris, Rick Spellman, Chuck Dukowski, Kira Roessler and Edward Colver. Henry Rollins is conspicuous by his absence.
This visual jewel combines the editorial design of the art books with the spirit of the fanzine in proud black and white and can be obtained for US $ 25 directly in the publishing house that was published by PM Press.
PS: Many of the participants, as well as proud Black Flag tattoo bearers, are proud carriers of Vans.
Buy book now | Buy e-Book now | Back to Stewart Dean Ebersole's Author Page