Thursday, January 17, 2013

Recommended Reading - "Get in the Van" by Henry Rollins

With the announcement that Flag, a band comprised of former Black Flag members Keith Morris, Bill Stevenson, Chuck Dukowski, set for the Punk Rock Bowling extravaganza in Vegas in May, we immediately got pumped that this may be the closest thing ever to a Black Flag reunion of any kind. Yet, during the bands 10 year run and revolving door of musicians, the most famous member to stand apart from Black Flag was their final singer, Henry Rollins. Rollins, who was fronting the band State of Alert was asked to front his favorite band when their singer, Dez Cadena suddenly left. From 1981-1986 Rollins kept a diary of nearly day-to-day activities involving the band. After the band split in '86 and Rollins had a successful solo career with Rollins Band, in 1994 he published is diary with Black Flag, Get in the Van: On the Road with Black Flag. 

The book, which even won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album in 1995, has become a cult phenomenon and has become the blueprint of what to do and what not to do when on the road with your band. The book features photos, and other memorabilia that Rollins kept in his diary and felt was worth publishing. While Black Flag are now an iconic and legendary band, this band lived anything but the Rock and Roll lifestyle. The conditions they toured and performed under were far from glamorous and there were no tour buses or groupies, this was a full on DIY road trip of brothers on the road. Years  later this book still resonates with indie and DIY bands and still is the blueprint of the road traveled by the road dogs that paved the way for unsigned talent to go out and tour.