Black Flag photo book out now, as Glen Friedman & Ian MacKaye discussed in NYC
Photographer Glen E. Friedman collected his early '80s images of Black Flag into a new photo book, What I See: The Black Flag Photographs of Glen E. Friedman (order it here). Band co-founder and bassist Chuck Dukowski wrote the introduction, and here's the description:
What I See: The Black Flag Photographs of Glen E. Friedman is an incredible compilation of all of Friedman's most iconic and recognizable images (from 1980 to 1983), of this seminal American punk band, as well as over one hundred never-before-seen photos made during those phenomenal peak years in the group's history.
The book includes a foreword by Chuck Dukowski, a cofounder and bass player of Black Flag. Friedman's own introduction to the book takes readers through his journey with the group, from the very first time he heard their music, to his perspectives on the music of the era, to the how, why, and what Black Flag were doing at the time. His words provide additional context to the imagery, explaining what drove him to create his art alongside the band.
From the streets around Black Flag's single-room home base/office, rehearsing for their first album, handing out flyers, wheat-pasting posters, driving for hours to a show and returning the same night, house parties, clubs, to the big stage and the beach, Glen E. Friedman was there with his heart, soul, and most importantly his camera. In What I See, he shares with us and inspires us with these images that were made over an incredibly volatile four-year time span.
It's out now, and you can order a copy HERE.
Glen stopped by NYC's Rough Trade to promote the book on Friday (4/1), where he did a signing and Q&A with none other than Ian MacKaye. The conversation began with Ian recalling his history with skateboarding and discovering punk. He then looked back on some of his first experiences with Black Flag, including a review that suggested they looked like they'd been hanging out in a parking lot before they walked onstage. "That's my kind of band," Ian thought.
Other stories Ian recounted about Black Flag included a time when the band stayed at his parents' house while they were touring the East Coast, and he remembered seeing them eating pancakes and smoking cigarettes with his mom in the kitchen. He interviewed the band during that time, but called the resulting tape humiliating and said that it will never see the light of day. Ian also talked about his childhood friend Henry Rollins getting the much-coveted role of Black Flag's new singer.
Discussing the book and its photos, Glen said that 80% of those selected have never been seen before, and that Ian helped in the selection. He and Ian also discussed his triumph in capturing the band on film in the harsh lighting conditions of the clubs they played in, and how his experience photographing skateboarders translated well to photographing the band. Glen said he liked to photograph people who inspire him, and no band has ever inspired him quite like Black Flag.
See a few pictures from the Q&A below.