While the inaugural CBGB's Festival was to bring together the spirit of the legendary Bowery club that brought bands like The Ramones, Talking Heads, Blondie, Television and many others to the limelight, took an ugly turn Friday night at Webster Hall. While the current legendary venue, Webster Hall, was set to feature NYHC bands VOD, Cro-Mags and Sick of it All on one bill, former Cro-Mags bassist Harley Flanagan allegedly stabbed and bit two people, including the current bassist, before the band took the stage.
According to eyewitness accounts and news outlets such as The New York Times, Flanagan was in the VIP area with a knife around 8 p.m. when he allegedly attacked the Cro-Mags current bassist, Michael "The Gook" Couls and a bystander. Flanagan was then quickly taken down by security guards and held until police arrived at the scene. Flanagan, who reportedly suffered a broken leg, was taken into custody and wheeled out of the venue handcuffed to a wheelchair.
Our very own RICH D SMOOV was at the event photographing the event for OFFICIALLY A YUPPIE, he was not in the VIP area during the incident, but commented on the pandemonium after the alleged attack. Smoov said, "It was mayhem, cops were all over. Webster Hall and John Joseph of Cro-Mags were discussing giving everyone a refund, but no information was available at the ticket windows and created more chaos among the fans. The police were forcing everyone out and telling people to go home." Photographs of the concert and bands performing will come soon. Smoov did not get any photos of the altercation.
CBGB's Festival did comment on the incident and released a statement saying:
“We are saddened to learn about the events that occurred last night at Webster Hall. Our primary concern is always the safety and experience of New Yorkers, music fans and the general public. Naturally we will fully cooperate with law enforcement while hoping for the speedy recovery of those injured.
Live music can be incredibly uplifting, empowering and positive. We don’t feel the actions of one person should overshadow four amazing days and nights of events that include today’s historic and unprecedented free concerts in Times Square and Central Park.
-The CBGB Festival"
Many outlets including NME have pointed out that The Cro-Mags issued a statement on the incident via Facebook and said:
"We are all okay. I guess when you’re a racist with a swatstika tattoo and your wife leaves you for a black man and no one will play music with you because of YOUR shitty attitude Mr Flanagan – you resort to ruining shit for everyone by stabbing your replacement. Cro-Mags will make up the show with S.O.A.I. [Sick of it All] We apologize. PMA [Positive Mental Attitude] always wins!" However, the post appears to have been removed and no further mention or statement has been made by the band.