I had business experience. I had made my living designing and building electronic equipment. Basic business was not new to me, but the music business was completely new to me. I knew nothing about distribution, or any of those things.
I didn't want to wait around for some business entity to come around and give me money and tell me what to do. We just started releasing records as best we could.
I didn't have a lot of overtly political songs. I think it was more the actions of the group that were threatening to the authorities, and also our political philosophies apart from the music.
Black Flag was formed in 1977. We first recorded in 1978.
As a label, you have to treat every group and every record as a unique entity. I think that that has been our success, rather than relying upon a fan base.
We were excited when we sold our first 10 records. I always felt that if we could get the music out there, and if people became accustomed to it, then a substantial number of them would enjoy it.
People from major labels were afraid to go to Black Flag gigs throughout most of the band's existence. They treated our gigs as something threatening. I'm sure that it probably was. They probably had reasons to be scared.
It took us two years to get our first real gig. That was a big dream. We ended up booking a lot of our own gigs and putting on a lot of our own shows. We were trying to get our actual music across, trying to make a connection there.
Punk rock really came out of N.Y. as a philosophy before the groups were ever recorded. I had a kind-of intellectual interest in the idea of creating a new scene that could be a grassroots thing.
We had a lot of riots. We came under attack from many of the police departments. It certainly wasn't some publicity thing. I was afraid for many years. We couldn't play in LA for many years. A lot of people got very cynical.
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