Thursday, January 12, 2017

Black Flag - Live '84

Label: SST
Year: 1984

Best live record of all time?
Probably, right?

In 1996 I was working in a kitchen in Athens, Georgia cooking vegetarian food (and sometime washing vegetarian food off of dishes) on a line next to Stephen Tanner and Kyle Spence of Harvey Milk who at the time they were transitioning from the slow motion super bludgeon of 'Courtesy and Goodwill Towards Men" to the boogie thud of 'The Pleaser' (both are triumphs if you ask me). Which meant that the boombox in the kitchen during the shifts we worked together was playing one thing, and one thing only, Black Flag's 'Live '84' cassette (this was before it was re-released on CD in 1998). Run through side A, run through side B, and repeat. Repeat again. Again. Maybe 4 more times until the mop was put away and the slip mats were hosed off. If the three of us were working, it was Black Flag and talking shit. Some cooking and cleaning, but mostly talking shit and listening to this.
And we listened to it loud enough that generally once a night, someone from the front of the house would have to come back and tell us to turn it down as it was interfering with whatever Massive Attack record they were playing in the dining room. Pretty much every time.
Sometimes a Beatles cassette would make it into the mix, but generally it was this. Over and over again...this. And you want to know who minded? Not me.
Opening a set with 'The Process of Weeding Out' and then ripping into 'Nervous Breakdown' to clear the air? So perfect. Everything about this is perfect.


1 comment:

beedub said...

GREAT POST! I grew up in Utah and mowed my parents lawn in the 1980s almost exclusively to a cassette copy of Live 84. I used a walkman, and listened through puffy orange felt headphones. I could barely hear the album over the lawnmower engine. I moved to Athens in 1996 and became an immediate Harvey Milk fan. You're a lucky trucker to have had such an experience. Thanks for sharing.

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