NO ONE needs to flick through the dusty annals of rock-lore to remember that 1977 was the year of punk. An exclusively British phenomenon, or so it appeared.

Bondage suits fought pitched battles with drapes in the Kings Road Saturday afternoon civil wars, the Jubilee was denounced, a generation of newly born infants were force-taught nappy knotting due to safety pins becoming a scarce lapel-adorning (or nose-decorating for the really daring – even her majesty's regal nostril did not escape) commodity.

After years of revolting musical sycophancy, anything American was severely ridiculed.

But in that, then peanut vendor ruled territory of the USA, a few things were stirring and new wildly rancid musical forms springing to life. Six thousand miles from the Roxy and unaware of the London new wave explosion guitarist Greg Ginn and bassist Chuck Dukowsky were piecing together the ingredients for their own band of untamed angry energy.

The handle was Black Flag and the place, a suburb of Los Angeles called Hermosa Beach.

Greg: "We were really into the Detroit bands. The Stooges and MC5 and also a Detroit band called the Dogs who were playing in L.A. We liked Black Sabbath and Little Richard too which was the stuff that really inspired us to start playing.

"When the Ramones came out they started a whole new thing with us. A lot of people think we heard the Sex Pistols but we were encouraged by the Ramones really. We didn't hear the U.K. stuff until much later. was really a parallel scene happening in L.A. and England."

To continue reading this article and to discover many more (over 140,000 words-worth!), purchase Mick Sinclair’s Adjusting the Stars: Music journalism from post-punk London. 


mick sinclair

any use of the text on this page is subject to permission