“With their new singer, Black Flag and The Minutemen made their first tour of Europe in the Winter of 1981. During that tour, the band met punk icon Richard Hell and opened a concert for him. Rollins later published his diaries from that tour in his book Get In The Van. As the front man, Rollins was a frequent target of violent audience members, and became known for fist-fights with audience members. Rollins developed a distinct showmanship on stage, where he could entertain an audience just by talking to them.
As the band was about to return home from the European tour, UK customs detained Colombian drummer Robo due to visa problems, and he was not allowed back into the country. This would be the end of his tenure with the band (he eventually was able to get back into the United States and in 1983 would join The Misfits as their drummer). The loss of Robo temporarily put an end to extensive touring for a while. Emil Johnson of the Twisted Roots filled in for one tour, but it was clear he was only temporary.
While on that tour in Vancouver, the band found out that drummer Chuck Biscuits was leaving D.O.A.. He was quickly drafted onboard, traveling with the band for the rest of the tour (cut short because of Henry Rollins’ twisted knee) to learn the songs. This lineup recorded the later-bootlegged cassette , showing the direction the band would go in for the My War LP.
However, due to personality conflicts — In Get In The Van,, Rollins described Biscuits as a “fuck up” — and the Unicorn court injunction-forced inactivity of Black Flag, Biscuits left to join their rivals The Circle Jerks. (Later, Biscuits joined ex-Misfits singer Glenn Danzig’s solo project Danzig). Black Flag eventually got Bill Stevenson of The Descendents to join permanently (he had filled in from time-to-time before). While the Unicorn Records court injunction prevented the group from releasing a new studio album, they nonetheless continued to work on new material, and embarked on a period which would mark a pronounced change in the group’s direction (and that of underground music in general).
It is possible that the violence of the previous tour had an effect on the band’s direction. The group had also become increasingly interested in music other than punk rock, such as The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and some of the members (particularly Ginn) used cannabis. (However, various members had been fans of such music long before Black Flag, with Ginn being an avid Grateful Dead fan, and Cadena a fan of Hawkwind.) Newer material (which can be heard on bootleg) was slower and less like typical punk music, with classic rock and blues influences seeping in. Cadena left to form his own band DC3. He would take some of the new songs he had written for Black Flag with him and record them for DC3’s first album.” – Wiki
“While embroiled in a bitter lawsuit with Unicorn Records that cost a countless and overwhelming amount of hours and dollars, the label slapped an injunction against the band, preventing them from recording and releasing under the name Black Flag. Under clear threat of law, in 1982, following the release of the landmark album Damaged, Black Flag snuck into the studio to record songs that would ultimately compose both the My War, and Slip It In records. These are the only recordings the band made with possibly their strongest lineup: Henry Rollins on vocals, Greg Ginn and Dez Cadena on guitar, Chuck Dukowski on bass, and Chuck Biscuits on drums. These versions are far more vital and uncontainable than those that would ultimately end up on the official SST releases. Cadena’s visceral rhythm is the perfect counterpoint to Ginn’s damaging, stinging, cascading leads, while Biscuits’ drumming paired with Dukowski’s muscular bass is a more feral Phil Rudd-Cliff Williams combo. Though only a bootleg, this is the most visceral and brutal set of Black Flag recordings available. Also included are two songs that never made it past this demo stage: “What Can You Believe?” and the angular “Yes, I Know.” There is also the added bonus of a 1984 Radio Tokyo studio session and interview.” – AMG
Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on December 24, 2008