I moved to Los Angeles in November of 2012, sort of. I moved to Redondo Beach, a small isolated beach suburb nestled in a little magical bubble referred to as “The South Bay” where nothing dark every happens and there are only smiles always. While still in Los Angeles County, this is a little shelter where all of the kids think the public transportation is dangerous and if something is two miles away that counts as far. This is why I had a bit of trouble believing that the legendary hardcore band Black Flag came out of this white washed seafoam town.
There was no visible music scene in the South Bay, and after consulting some friends at Lo-Pie.com , there was not much of any music scene at all. This fact today accentuates what made Black Flag so important for their time. Not only were they spot on in the forefront of the American Hardcore sound blossoming in the late 70’s, but the band members were extremely proactive in creating scene.
The music scene in the South Bay 35 years ago seemed to be similar to what it is now, with some pseudo classy comfortable mainstream cover bands and whatnot. DIY punk culture was seeded in its roots, the anti everything vibe held by Black Flag and their contemporaries persisted in blossoming a tight knit timeless community. We see the residue in epic grassroots venues like The Smell in DTLA, where of the shows are all ages, or The Gilman in Berkeley, where Green Day got their start and you can be a board member as long as you volunteer your time. Black Flag is a staple in the intense culture of Punk Rock
Strange how a movement with its infrastructure based on anarchy can create such a strong community. Behind the tight cloths, piercings and tattoos are sign’s that say “No Hate Allowed”. Looks are deceiving, and from the outside looking in it can be hard to see what these hardcore and punk musicians do for the community besides scream rooms full of people. But if you actually put the effort into becoming a part of the community, there is so much more to find. If we look today the only band I can honestly say I found holding down for the South Bay still are the STD's. Check them out, still raging keeping the punk heart of the South Bay subtly pulsing.