Cro-Mags Singer Warned of Threats Prior to CBGB Webster Hall Show

Posted on: July 8th, 2012 at 2:07 pm by

This image has been archived or removed.

Photo by Dave Gustav

Two days after the incident, three of the area newspapers converged in their coverage of the Cro-Mags knifing incident at Webster Hall Friday evening. Harley Flanagan was charged with second-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon. Seeing the subsequent beatdown with our own eyes, it’s nice to obtain more of the complete picture behind the band politics animosity.

This image has been archived or removed.

First, Colin Moynihan of the New York Times penned the following, and was gracious enough to quote Bowery Boogie:

“This dude has been a negative thorn in the side of this band forever,” Mr. Joseph [lead singer] said. “I hope he gets what’s coming to him.”

Few bands were as energetic as the Cro-Mags during the heyday of the Lower East Side hard-core scene in the mid- to late 1980s. Their first record, “The Age of Quarrel,” featured an illustration of a mushroom cloud on the cover and driving songs with shouted lyrics about existential fear and the limits of anarchism.

The crowd was waiting for the Cro-Mags on Friday night when Mr. Flanagan darted from the dressing room while yelling something that onlookers could not make out, according to a spectator, Elie Perler.

At almost the same time, Mr. Perler, the co-creator of the Bowery Boogie blog, said security guards yelled, “Get his hands,” and “He has a knife,” as they converged on him. “It took all of those huge guys; he was squirming and flailing,” he said.

The New York Post digs even deeper:

Both men floated in and out of the band over the years — and spent most that time fighting.

To the Cro-Mags, Joseph claims, Flanagan is nothing more than a thief who’s stolen “tens of thousands of dollars” from the band and an agitator who causes problems wherever he went.

At Webster Hall on Friday, Joseph anticipated Flanagan’s arrival because his former bandmate had been posting threats on Facebook.

Joseph warned CBGB Festival organizers that Flanagan wasn’t wanted, but he wound up obtaining a press pass. Flanagan snuck up to their dressing room and was spotted by Joseph’s girlfriend next to the door right before the band’s set at 8:15 pm. Joseph’s nephew ran to get security — but the bassist had already slashed and sunk his teeth into his victims.

And from the Daily News:

He first lunged at one of the men and slashed him twice in the side, the sources said. As the second victim tried to break up the fight, Flanagan bit him and slashed him near his right eye.

Flanagan then turned back to the first victim and cut him again in the right arm and bit him in the left forearm. Both men were taken to a hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries.

Flanagan, who played bass with the band, was charged with second-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon, cops said. A 4- to 5-inch knife was recovered at the scene.

Recent Stories

Mayor Adams Vetoes Bill to Fine Non-Artists Residents in Upzoned SoHo and NoHo

The SoHo/NoHo Rezoning saga took a new turn last Friday when Mayor Eric Adams vetoed the controversial bill (Intro 2443A). The last-minute legislation, introduced by former Councilmember Chin, would levy fines against residents occupying JLWQA units without official “artist certification.” The odd JLWQA acronym isn’t the call sign of some defunct NYC radio station; it […]

Gaia Cafe Planning February Return with New Essex Street Locale

Gaia Italian Cafe, a locals favorite, is gearing up for a return. An early pandemic victim, Gaia shuttered its sub-level operations in the summer of 2020 after nearly a decade on East Houston. Then word came through last July that namesake chef-owner Gaia Bagnasacco signed a lease for the ground floor of 119 Essex Street, […]

‘Be My Baby’ and a Strange 1965 Visit to Parisi Bakery (Ronnie Spector RIP)

Ronnie Spector, the chanteuse who fronted the Ronettes in the 1960s with her signature vocal yearning, died yesterday. She was 78. She passed after “a brief battle with cancer,” according to a statement from her family. In tribute to her life and music, we’re re-publishing the following piece from a few years ago highlighting the […]

The Decimated State of East River Park

It’s full throttle with East River Park demolition. Nothing now stands in the way of the $1.45 billion coastal resiliency project. Tree stumps dot the park from East Houston to Corlears Hook, onetime green space which now resembles the blackened wasteland of a post-apocalyptic novel. In all, some 990 trees are being sawed into submission. […]

How to Help Essex Card Shop Rebuild After Devastating Fire on Avenue A

Monday afternoon, a two-alarm fire ripped through 47 Avenue A, destroying the long-running Essex Card Shop. While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, Saba Aslam, daughter of the shop owner, launched a GoFundMe campaign to help rebuild the business. “Every single corner of this store is burned, damaged, and destroyed,” the appeal proclaims. […]