The story of the Black Flag boards

The Rip City Black Flag commercial has been on youtube for a few years, and it always fascinated me. I pictured some scroungy teenagers with a stolen/borrowed video camera and a six pack, so seeing these old guys on screen in the first couple of minutes kind of bummed me out a little. I’ve got nothing against old guys (I am one) but it made me wish I had left it to mystery. It’s a bit slow going at first, but it does end up being a pretty interesting glimpse into Black Flag and the skateboarding “industry” as it was back then. As with a lot of the more interesting tales, Skip Engblom makes a cameo (in the story, not the video). Jordan Schwartz (Co author of We Got Power) and Jim McDowell of Rip City Skates wax nostalgic on Black Flag and skateboarding after the jump.

[Source: Cvlt Nation(sic)] – Thanks to Dr Brad for the tip.

More on the book We Got Power:

In 1979, punk was over… but by 1981, hardcore was born. WE GOT POWER!: Hardcore Punk Scenes from 1980s Southern California, the book by David Markey and Jordan Schwartz, coming August 2012 from Bazillion Points Books.

As teenagers in 1981, David Markey and his best friend Jordan Schwartz founded We Got Power, a fanzine dedicated to the first-generation hardcore punk music community in their native Los Angeles. Their text and cameras captured the early punk spirit of Black Flag, the Minutemen, Social Distortion, Red Cross/Redd Kross, Suicidal Tendencies, the Descendents, White Flag, the Last, the Gun Club, Saccharine Trust, Big Boys, Youth Brigade, D.R.I., the Butthole Surfers, and many others at the height of their precocious punk powers.

In the process, the duo’s amazing photographs also captured the dilapidated suburbs, abandoned storefronts, and dereliction of the early Reagan era—a rubble-strewn social apocalypse that demanded a youth uprising! Never before seen except in crude fanzine form, these detailed and richly narrative photos are now collected to present an intimate portrayal of a uniquely fertile creative moment.

Check out the We Got Power on Facebook.


  1. talentlessquitter on November 16, 2012 - Reply

    “They have like, red stuff in ’em…”
    So the one in the latest Ebay Watch could be a counterfeit, then again, the spray paint story makes sense. Hm.

    • walled eyed glue huffer on November 18, 2012 - Reply

      dime a dozen 80’s pig shape bleeding 6th graderesque monocolored silk screening…i dont know how they could possibly be fake when people a faking davinci’s

  2. walled eyed glue huffer on November 17, 2012 - Reply

    ‘reason for living’ is a dead ringer for one of my sister bitchy girlfriends…weird

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