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

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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.

Publication Date Feb. 2013

    • Weight
      1.9930 lbs
    • SKU
      BOOK-H007
  • Artwork by
    Jared Castaldi
  • Author
    Stewart Dean Ebersole
  • Binding
    Perfect Bound
  • Cover
    Paperback
  • Illustrations
    Black & White
  • Pages
    322 pages

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Customer reviews
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5.00 (Votes: 8)
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  • Dec 14, 2016, 01:33:17 PM
    "How 'The Bars' signify not only Black Flag's relevance three decades after their career, but the impact of punk upon those who in this collection were usually far too young to have seen a gig, makes this photographic and journalistic anthology compelling."
  • Dec 14, 2016, 01:32:57 PM
    "This sleek heavy tome is a perfect combination of art and politics, beauty and truth, gift and emblem of history."
  • Dec 14, 2016, 01:32:35 PM
    "The black and white photos that adorn Barred For Life create an honest appeal that sets this book apart from other tattoo focused publications. The interviews add another dimension to it as well, one that adds a personal touch."
  • Dec 14, 2016, 01:32:17 PM
    "It’s amazing that four simple sticks can capture such a comprehensive story, but much like Black Flag did for the punk scene, Barred For Life ties it all together."
  • Dec 14, 2016, 01:31:51 PM
    "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."