Black Flag gave voice to an anti-authoritarian, non-conformist message that deeply resonated with and inspired skateboarders in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Rising up from the streets of Hermosa Beach, California, with a Do It Yourself, against the grain approach to underground popularity, Black Flag emerged like a chain saw on vinyl, as though it were skateboarding’s sonic counterpart. Their first single even contained the lyric “I had a skateboard … I was so heavy man, I lived on the strand”. Henry Rollins, the band’s most provocative lead singer, began skateboarding in the 1970s and even appeared in an Independent Trucks ad in Thrasher in 1982. It seems only natural that Black Flag music and attitude would provide the soundtrack at all the contests of the era, and for many influential skate videos to follow that would become all-time classics.
Photograph Glen E. Friedman 1983