What was meant to be a celebration of some of the biggest names in punk, past and present, The CBGB Festival at Webster Hall in New York City, turned into a dark day for the punk community following two callus assaults at the hands of founding Cro-Mags member Harley Flanagan.
Everything was business as usual at the show as kids began to fill the room for the event, which was set to be headlined by Sick of it All. But it all turned to shit once Flanagan entered. As Feeds reported over the weekend, the ex-bassist and first addition to Cro-Mags had been waiting with a hunting knife to settle the score with his bandmates, who he believes stole his livelihood when they ejected him from his own project. The anger drove Flanagan to stab two people in the VIP area of the venue and bite one of their faces. One of the victims is the band’s current bassist.
The band issued the following statement today:
“We as a band are truly sorry for the way it all turned out in every regard, even the ex-member whose family is now affected by his choices. Our prayers go out to them as well as Mike C. [Michael ‘The Gook’ Couls], and the others who were hurt, but it was ‘his’ choice to come to our concert with a hunting knife, standing by our dressing door. Who knows what his actual intent was! Obviously he wasn’t there with it to cut bread for a peace offering as he was heard saying outside that he was putting an end to us playing without him. Let’s move on now and stop the trash-talking. Keep that PMA — that’s what we are all.”
The organisers of the event have also spoken out, stating:
“We are saddened to learn about the events that occurred 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. Live music can be incredibly uplifting, empowering and positive. We don’t feel the actions of one person should overshadow four amazing days and nights of events that include historic and unprecedented free concerts in Times Square and Central Park.”
Eye witness accounts state that Flanagan tried to leave the venue but was stopped by security, who beat him black and blue. Bowery Boogie was there and even got some snaps of the guy being taken out in a wheelchair.