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Black Flag waving

October 13, 2002

Natalie Nichols' piece on Black Flag ("Black Flag, Unfurled," Oct. 6) was helpful to me, at first. As a 48-year-old knucklehead earnestly in search of punk's eternal meaning and important throbs, I was loving every word until I read "time-warped guitar style," "internal cadences." And, this one was especially peculiar: "deliberately avoided creating an image."

Huh?

Guitar styles have to do with rhythm, technique, guitar-lessons learned -- and passion. Time warps don't pertain unless the guitarist recorded, under the influence of LSD, on Mars. Internal cadences have more to do with tango lessons than Black Flag. As for deliberately avoiding the creation of an image, the report suggests an actual meeting to examine the commercial ramifications of "image."

Here's my educated guess: The guitarist was firmly rooted in the present and had his own idea of style that his bandmates found acceptable -- or even perfect -- for them. Cadences had everything to do with song structure and the crowd, but very little to do with internal moods or the heartbeat of any band member. And the band "deliberately" avoided creating an image just like Muddy Waters and Hank Williams and Neil Young and Jackson Browne and Nirvana did. Which is to say, they simply didn't think about it at the time, because they couldn't have cared less.

I need way more better language, y'all. Don't make me call Henry Rollins for help on this.

Jay Windsor

Ojai

*

Thank you for acknowledging the South Bay's hometown heroes! Seeing them at the "church" they practiced at in Redondo Beach, well, having Henry Rollins spit on you meant you were, heck, special.

Miriam Garber

Los Angeles

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