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Cro-mags gig cancelled after former member attacks band with knife

By | Published on Monday 9 July 2012


A show taking place as part of the inaugural CBGB Festival in New York this weekend was cancelled after two members of the group due to play, hardcore punk outfit Cro-Mags, were attacked with a knife by one of the band’s founder members.

Relations between the two founder members of Cro-Mags, John Joseph and Harley Flanagan, have been acrimonious for a long time. Joseph left the original incarnation of the influential hardcore outfit in the late 80s, and Flanagan led the group through to its 1993 conclusion, and was also involved in a late 1990s reunion which led to the 2000 album ‘Revenge’.

But then in 2008 Joseph began performing again under the Cro-Mags banner without Flanagan. And tensions between the two men over the use of the band’s name seemingly came to a head on Saturday night ahead of a gig at the CBGB festival, when an angry Flanagan went on the rampage after storming into the group’s dressing room.

Two of Joseph’s more recent collaborators in Cro-Mags, William Berario and Michael Couls, took the brunt of the attack, both suffering knife wounds, and Berario also being bitten by his band’s co-founder. Harley was subsequently brought down by security at New York’s Webster Hall, and seemingly broke his leg in the altercation that followed.

According to the Horns Up Rocks website, one bystander said: “I talked to him [Flanagan] outside minutes before it happened and I knew something was going to go down. He was like a lunatic outside. Next thing I know he’s in the VIP area stabbing people!”

The New York Post reports that Berario, Couls and Flanagan were all subsequently taken to New York’s Bellevue Hospital, while Joseph explained to fans at the gig that the show was cancelled and that “you can all thank Harley Flanagan for ruining the night for everyone”.

Flanagan was charged with two counts of second degree assault and a weapons charge. Meanwhile a spokesman for the CBGB Festival told reporters: “We are saddened to learn about the events that occurred last night at Webster Hall. Our primary concern is always the safety and experience of New Yorkers, music fans and the general public. Naturally we will fully cooperate with law enforcement while hoping for the speedy recovery of those injured”.