LOS ANGELES, January 19, 2014 — There are tribute bands and then there is BLACK F∆G, the absolutely fabulous tribute to Hermosa Beach hardcore punk pioneers, Black Flag. BLACK F∆G hails from the quaint beach community of Mimosa Beach. In May, Wells On Music spoke with the lead singer of BLACK F∆G, Liberace Morris.
Scroll below the video to read the interview.
Kevin Wells: Where did the idea come from to start BLACK F∆G?
Liberace Morris: I was drinking absinthe on the beach in Puerto Vallarta with our drummer, Robo Simmons, and a bead of sweat dripped off the Black Flag tattoo on his arm. I hallucinated that his sweat droplet turned into a pink bubble and grew to be 10 feet in diameter. Out of it popped Paul Lynde dressed like Glinda the Good Witch with the voice of Dez Cadena. He commanded me to start a fabulous tribute to Black Flag and then disappeared. I turned to Robo, but before I could speak he said, “I saw it, too.”
KW: How did BLACK F∆G form?
LM: When Robo and I returned to our cruise ship, we went down to the engine room and found Cher Dykeowski in a bare-knuckle boxing match with a 7-foot-tall Trinidadian. After putting him down with a brutal uppercut, Cher picked up his loose teeth off the floor and started chewing them like Chiclets. We asked her if she played bass. She said no, but she was pretty sure she could kick the ass of any instrument handed to her, so we said, “You’re in!” and she asked us what the hell we were talking about.
When the boat docked back in Long Beach harbor, Greg Streisand was lifting an overturned apple cart off of a French peasant while wearing a breathtaking Vera Wang gown. The local police inspector witnessed this event and ended up chasing Greg all the way to Paris for some reason, but we caught up to him first. We gave Greg some silver candlesticks and convinced him that we could provide him sanctuary if he were to return to the States and play guitar for us.
So, you know, pretty much the same story every punk band has.
KW: Have you heard from any of the guys from Black Flag?
LM: Ron [Reyes], Keith [Morris], and Chuck [Dukowski] have all offered us some very flattering praise! Chuck is the only member who has seen us perform, though.
KW: Have any of them joined you on stage?
LM: Despite making Henry Rollins very uncomfortable when we invited him to do so, no. It might have something to do with the requirement that anyone who sings with us must dress in drag. But that didn’t seem to bother Mike Watt or Blag Dahlia from putting on a dress and grabbing the mic with us!
KW: You released a CD, how has that done?
LM: We’ve sold them pretty steadily over the years. We only have a few hundred left and we probably will never do another pressing so if you see us selling them at a show you should pick one up before it goes out of print! The real success of the CD is that we donate 10% of the profits to various gay-related charities, so we’ve been able to make small contributions to groups like the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network, the Nation Center for Lesbian Rights and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. Perhaps someday they will erect statues of us in Dolores Park in honor of our unmatched philanthropy!
KW: What has been the overall reaction at your shows?
LM: You know that scene from the end of “Blazing Saddles” when the cowboys burst onto the set where they’re filming a musical and it starts out as a crazy fight and then ends with the cowboys and musical guys getting sweet on each other and then that devolves into a pie fight? It’s pretty much exactly that, but with petits fours instead of cream pies.
KW: What does the future hold for BLACK F∆G?
LM: We’re planning four shows in Southern California in June and for the first time ever we’ll be playing several shows in the midwest in August!!
KW: Is there anything else you would like people to know about BLACK F∆G?
LM: We play very rarely, so if you have a chance to see us don’t waste it!
Kevin J. Wells writes about Major League Baseball and punk rock music. Follow him on Twitter @WellsOnBaseball