Morning Music: Six Pack by Black Flag

Black Flag - Six PackProbably the most bizarre choice for my video music is Black Flag’s song “Six Pack.” They are (I guess they are back together) quite an interesting band. It was really the Greg Ginn show. He’s a genius. Everyone today thinks of it as Henry Rollins’ band. But they went through many singers before Rollins. And certainly Rollins always saw it was Ginn’s band. And in those early heady days before their first album, they released a few EPs, including Six Pack.

I had never heard it, but I was over at The Last Record Store, going through their $5 or 3 for $10 bin and found this micro-CD with a total of three songs and five and half minutes of music — closer to a single, to be honest. But I was glad I bought it; it packs a punch.

The lead vocalist on Six Pack is Dez Cadena — later a wondering singer and guitarist, most notably with Misfits during the Bush years. He is apparently the third singer that Black Flag had. Henry Rollins took over from him, but Cadena didn’t leave the band; he just switched to rhythm guitar on what is almost certainly their greatest album, Damaged. There is, interestingly, another version of “Six Pack” with Rollins doing lead vocals on that album. It’s similar, but I actually prefer this Cadena cut — not because of the vocals but the purity of the performance.

The subject matter is classic. It’s kind of the punk version of the Merle Haggard (RIP) classic, “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink.” It’s just a guy ranting about how he doesn’t need his ex-girlfriend because he has a six-pack and $35 dollars to his name. I can’t help but think that Greg Ginn was writing from experience.

The following video has the entire EP. “Six Pack” is first, followed by “I’ve Heard It Before” and “American Waste.”

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