Barred For Life: How Black Flag's Iconic Logo Became Punk Rock's Secret Handshake

Barred For Life: How Black Flag's Iconic Logo Became Punk Rock's Secret Handshake


By (author) Stewart Dean Ebersole

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  • Publisher: PM Press
  • Format: Paperback | 328 pages
  • Dimensions: 202mm x 252mm x 22mm | 900g
  • Publication date: 11 April 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Oakland
  • ISBN 10: 1604863943
  • ISBN 13: 9781604863949
  • Sales rank: 451,851

Product description

Cataloging the legacy of the American punk rock pioneers Black Flag, this photo documentary uses stark, contrasting portraits to share the stories of the die-hard fans who wear the iconic four-barred logo tattooed on their skin. From doctors to homeless punks, stories range from the intensely personal to the absurd as each larger-than-life soul mugs for the camera. Adding to the idea that mixed messages can come from one unifying design, each image is highlighted with a personal quotation, a name and bio, and a Black Flag favorites list. Captured during an extensive tour through the United States, Canada, and Western Europe, this collection serves as a visual testimony to the hyper-distilled mythology that the band is more prevalent now than when it was in service, and serves as a soundtrack for those living as self-imposed cultural outsiders. Interviews with former members of the band, tattoo artists, photographers, and other relevant luminaries round out this ethnography and serve to spotlight Black Flag's vicious live performances, forward-thinking work ethic, and indisputable reputation for acting as both champions and destroyers of the punk rock culture that they helped create.

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Author information

Stewart Ebersole is a writer, photographer, freelance designer, and builder who dedicated much of his time to punk rock culture between 1982 and 2002. Jared Castaldi is a professional photographer. They both live in Philadelphia.

Review quote

"The individual narratives collectively suggest that 'the Bars' are larger than Black Flag, symbolizing a punk rock code for standing against the establishment and being true to yourself." --Joshua Finnell, "Library Journal"