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Black Flag Reunites (Without Frontman Henry Rollins)

Black Flag reunion

Legendary punk band Black Flag are reuniting for their first UK gig in 27 years, but without their iconic frontman Henry Rollins.

The news cycle has picked up several long-awaited reunions of late (Eve, The Strokes), and Punk legends Black Flag will now join them in 2013 with two planned tours (though only one of them will hit the states). The only unfortunate part about the Black Flag reunions is that they’re not real reunions per se. Why? Because frontman Henry Rollins isn’t involved in either of them, reports Spin.

Instead, Black Flag’s second vocalist Ron Reyes, who sang for Black Flag from 1979 to 1980, will handle the mic.

Okay, I guess you could make the argument that this is a truer reunion of Black Flag than it would be with Henry Rollins. However, Rollins was the group’s longest-lasting singer, and many people popularly associate Black Flag with his name (since he has gone on to the most success since the break-up). Maybe it’s a Van Halen/Van Hagar argument, but I think Rollins’ absence is going to disappoint more than Reyes’ absence would.

In any case, Black Flag announced their intention to reunite Friday, for a performance at British rock event Hevy Fest in August 2013, reports MSN.

A post on the festival’s website states, “Celebrating our fifth year this summer, we have been working on some very special appearances for 2013 to mark the occasion — the first of which we can reveal today… Black Flag, Greg Ginn’s iconic band fronted by Ron Reyes to make their only U.K. appearance of 2013 at Hevy!”

What do you think? Would you see Black Flag without Henry Rollins?

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48 Responses to “Black Flag Reunites (Without Frontman Henry Rollins)”

  1. David Petro

    Of course I would see a Black Flag reunion without Henry Rollins. They had several singers. Just because Hank is the most famous doesn't make him the best. I'm glad they went with Ron.

  2. Digging Time

    You write about music and you don't know who the original singer of black flag is ? Hang it up.

  3. Rich Coffee

    I'd much rather see Ron Reyes with BF than Rollings, but maybe that's just me. I never saw 'em with Henry cuz I didn't care for 'em by then, but I did see 'em with Reyes and dug that version.

  4. Dyl Maxberry

    You guys don't know dick about Black Flag. What fucking hack wrote this article. Just because Henry Rollins was in the band the longest does not make him the "official" front man. There's just about as much history of Black Flag before he joined the band as well as his time in the band. And I'm a huge Rollins fan. Don't sideline the other guys. Fans of Black Flag like the band as a whole, so portions of Black Flag is better than no Black Flag. Do your fucking research before publishing your shitty articles.

  5. John Brenner

    Whoever wrote this is an absolute moron! Any real fan of the Flag knows that with Rollins, the band went in an awful direction. As great as Damaged was(most songs were written and existed before Hank joined the band.), the band's glory days were experienced with the three singers that preceded Rollins. Please author, educate yourself before you write absolute trash!

  6. Brian Kelleher

    You should go read wikipedia before writing articles. This thing is full of inaccuracies, plus even Rollins doesn't want to see Black Flag with him singing, he's always said he was the worst singer for the band. Plus how can you not mention the fact that Flag (three members of the original band) are playing shows? Shoddy shoddy writing.

  7. Jason Kenosky

    The only fans that would be upset over a Black Flag sans Rollins would be the Hot Topic set. Any true fan of Black Flag is more-than-likely extremely stoked that Rollins is not a part of this.

  8. John Kerr

    This article is missing the obvious in my opinion. I don't think Greg Ginn pulled Black Flag back together to do the kind of music that they did with Rollins. Which is the more metalish stuff. Which I like just as much as the early stuff don't get me wrong. I think Ginn is doing what Keith Morris is doing with "Off!," which is, going back to the type of speedy early stuff that Black Flag started with. And.. that would be the best double bill ever in my opinion.. Black Flag and Off! Which are both bug sprays.. so that makes it a great alternative to the upcoming Adam Ant comeback tour. :)

  9. Digging Time

    I think Dusten would be more comfortable writing about Timberlake or Lady GaGa

  10. Scott Drake

    Anyone who has a pencil and a CD player thinks they're a music writer. What a joke.

  11. Dusten Carlson

    All I did was write from a perspective that you don't agree with. Check other publications. The only reason this story is news is because Henry Rollins is not involved. Like it or not, that's the singer most people in popular culture associate with Black Flag. It's funny how anyone with a laptop thinks that their opinion matters.

  12. Dusten Carlson

    Brian – That's why I included the interview with Rollins below, in which he touches on his feelings regarding reuniting with his Black Flag lineup. I'm sorry that you don't think my article is accurate, but just because it isn't an in-depth article about the history of Black Flag doesn't make it so in my opinion. If I had written "Black Flag reunites and Henry Rollins is pissed he wasn't asked," then maybe I'd be worthy of the flaming. Heck, I'd flame myself for writing something that was unabashedly untrue.

  13. Dusten Carlson

    It's a good point, but like I said in other comments, the only reason the story is news is because Henry Rollins isn't involved. It might be unfortunate that Rollins' name is associated so much in pop culture with Black Flag, but as it stands, it just is. Good comment!

  14. Edmund Kaye

    everywhere I look on the internet all the headlines read "Black Flag reunites without Rollins" as if Rollins was Black Flag or it would come as some big surprise. He was the fourth and final singer and everyone knows that Ginn & Rollins never got along with one another. it's a trick to get people who know nothing about Black Flag but know who Rollins is to read their stupid, non-informative article, it's just recycled information. I like Rollins but Greg Ginn is Black Flag, Fuck off.

  15. Bryan Lawrence

    I enjoyed the keith morris years as well…..Greg and keith were both infinitely better than rollins…Shit Black flag started in what? 76? When rollins was still trying to get into the DC scene (and finally new york) Without bad brains he would not have likely made it. I really enjoy poetry but I dont really care for Rollins work, just kinda uninspired…Even black coffee blues.

  16. Digging Time

    No Dusten, people are commenting on your lack of knowledge about the subjects you choose too write about. Your a hack.

  17. Digging Time

    Now go write an article about one direction as I am sure you know all their names.

  18. John Brenner

    Rolins was the worst front man in Flag history. I love the guy for his writing, speaking, and just being an all around awesome icon, but as far as Flag frontman, he was bottom of the barrel. I'm very happy he's not involved. When he joined the band, the Flag went from the baddest band in the land to a metal jam band…

  19. Brian Kelleher

    Dusten – The very first sentence is wrong. It's not their first show in 27 years. Fifteen seconds on Wikipedia would tell you this if you didn't hear about the shows at the time. And I'm pretty sure the reason this is news is because Black Flag are reforming. In fact two versions are playing shows/touring this summer! Your spin on the story is Rollins, but that doesn't make it everyone else's.

  20. Dusten Carlson

    Brian – I've updated the first sentence to reflect that it is the band's first "UK" show in nearly 30 years, which is per Hevy's website. I'll admit the mistake on my part there, there should have been more clarity. However, the article states that there are two Black Flag reunions happening with only one hitting the states, and Rollins not being involved with either. It's not MY spin, nor is it MY decision what makes the news. Check other publications. They ALL have the Rollins perspective because, like it or not, he's the singer most popularly associated with the band. Whether or not he's the "true" singer or the "best" singer is a matter of fan opinion, of which you are certainly entitled to yours. I just wonder why you're coming at with with a hatchet for writing a perspective you don't agree with.

  21. Dusten Carlson

    Lol you're absolutely right, I should find more gainful employment in the booming industry of self-flattering intellectual superiority in article comment sections. It's not my fault you don't understand the media industry. At least my other critics said what they wanted to say and found something more constructive to do with their time.

  22. Digging Time

    Ahh Dusten stick with pop music and leave the rock n roll stuff too the people who know about it. It is just sad that this is what passes for music writing these days. We know a hack when we read one.

  23. Jeffrey Chase Friedman

    I think of Greg as more of a frontman since he wrote most of the songs, whether it be Keith Morris, Ron Reyes, Dez Cadena or Henry behind the vocals. Read Black Flag's chapter in Michael Azzerad's book "Our Band Could Be Your Life" if you haven't already.

  24. Brian Kelleher

    Going through the other stories on Google News – NME mentions Hank in passing, StereoGum talks about BOTH reunions in very clear language (you don't state at all that there are two versions of the band. You mention two tours, not even remotely clear) and doesn't mention Hank like you do, Metal Hammer doesn't mention Rollins' name AT ALL. Clash mentions it, but it's not their angle, This Is Fake DIY mentions all former singers that aren't involved, Paste Magazine mentions under the headline, but nowhere in the body of the article, Exclaim doesn't mention Rollins at all, Consequence Of Sound doesn't mention Rollins… So far it's just you, the Spin article, and MSN (who are an "entertainment" site, so they don't count). Plus, did you even read the spin article you quoted and basically lifted both the news cycle/Eve/Strokes line and the from? It mentions the 2003 reunion, and has a video of the 2011 reunion.

    And the reason I'm "coming at you with a hatchet" is your article makes it pretty clear you know nothing about Black Flag (how could you be a music writer and know nothing about this band? Have you seriously not read Our Band Could Be Your Life) and still say something as idiotic as "they’re not real reunions". Your opinion is invalid, because you don't know what you're talking about. You're coming at this as some sort of dumb pop culture thing, and making bold statements as if you are an authority on the band, which you so blatantly are not. You don't get to say the reunions of a band you know nothing about are not real, as you said in a comment you deleted, having a laptop doesn't make your opinions important, it just makes you a hack.

  25. Dusten Magnus Carlson

    Actually I never claimed to be a music writer (though this article is about music), and if you Google me, I more or less do the celebrity/pop culture angle, hence the focus on Henry Rollins, so I guess I accept that strange accusation.

    The story basically says the band is getting back together but some fans may be disappointed that Henry Rollins is not involved, which is why I called you out on the hatchet. I didn't delete any comments, either.

    But this is clearly more important to you than it is to me, so SORRY I let you down, Brian. I'll do you a favor and never write about Black Flag again.

  26. Dusten Magnus Carlson

    Or, you can mail me that book you were talking about, I'll read it, and coordinate with you on future Black Flag articles if they ever make the news again.

  27. Dusten Magnus Carlson

    Also, did you even get to this part: "Okay, I guess you could make the argument that this is a truer reunion of Black Flag than it would be with Henry Rollins," before you reacted?

  28. Pablo Daniel Andrade-Carranza

    I think that saying Rollins was a fault for the band going in an "awful direction" isn't accurate. Greg was the one running the show and everything and I think he should be blamed more then Hank could for being Hank. Besides, My War and Slip It In were pretty badass albums in their own right and to be Keith will always be the best singer for Black Flag.

  29. Carole Bucci

    Shit, I would see Black Flag no matter who was fronting them. My personal favorite was Dez.

  30. Brian Kelleher

    Dude… Makes sense now. You're a schlock journalist. Sorry, I'm used to reading music news from people who know what they're talking about before making bold statements like "they’re not real reunions", and who are willing to do a bit of fact checking. Basically people who don't just regurgitate stories off spin with whole phrases intact. But you're just a celebrity hack. Aaaaaaaaaaaaah.

    Good luck with that.

  31. Joe Nelson

    Never mind the fact that he wasn't the original singer anyway. Keith Morris was before he left in 1979 to form the Circle Jerks.

  32. Muddyrootsmusic Nashville

    BLACK FLAG has reformed and is in the process of putting finishing touches on a new album with founder Greg Ginn on guitar, Ron Reyes on vocals, Gregory Moore on drums and Dale Nixon on bass.
    BLACK FLAG headlines Muddy Roots Music Festival Aug 31, 2013.

  33. John Kerr

    Very true, without the rock star Rollins additive this would have been just like when Keith Morris formed "Off!" No coverage whatsoever. So in a way, Rollins is a great help to this non Rollins project just by being attached to the story about it.

  34. Jacek Wandzel

    Still, Ginn was responsible for the metalish stuff – Rollins' arrival changed the band's lyrics and themes.
    I'm a fan of Damaged and everything post-Damaged, so my opinion of this is kinda mixed, but we'll see. The best thing they could do is release a "tribute" album with new songs and have Reyes, Morris, Rollins contribute vocals on different tracks. That would be a very cool homage.

  35. Pero Jaxon

    That's an opinion brother. I like the stuff after Damaged…

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