by Louie Bones
Big Wheel Magazine
April 13th, 2013
Fans of Black Flag have a lot to be excited about this year and with the addition of Barred For Life: How Black Flags Iconic Logo Became Punk Rock’s Secret Handshake, fans have another awesome Black Flag-related book to add to their collection of Black Flag reading material.
Although not a release endorsed by Greg Ginn, this book is a must have and an insightful look at Black Flags loyal fan base. More specifically it’s about that percentage of loyal fans with Black Flag tattoos, fans who are Barred For Life. The books author is a long time Black Flag fan who set out to meet, photograph and interview like minded fans around the globe and that’s exactly what he’s accomplished. Over his lengthy excursions he was able to photograph hundreds of fans from all different walks of life who share a common love for Black Flags music and message. Some fans prefer Keith Morris, others prefer Ron Reyes and some even express their distaste for Henry Rollins but all agree on one thing and that is that getting into Black Flag is a life changing moment and others with the “bars” are like extended family members.
The black and white photos that adorn the 322 pages of Barred For Life create this honest appeal that sets this book apart from many tattoo focused publications around today. The interviews with ex Black Flag members and colleagues add another dimension to it as well, one that adds a personal touch and truth.
Ron Reyes, Edward Colver, Glen E. Friedman, Kira Roessler, Chuck Dukowski, Dez Cadena, Keith Morris and Tattoo Artist Rick Spellman shed light on what it was like around Black Flag during the bands original incarnation both on and off stage. Their inclusion make this a must have for fans of Black Flag’s music and art while the hundreds of photos make this a must have for both fans of Black Flag and tattoo culture. If you love Black Flag, tattoos and Black Flag tattoos then you will need this book!