Cro-Mags attack was self defence
Biker beatdown: Harley Flanagan
Cro-Mags founding bassist Harley Flanagan says the knife attack against ex-bandmates that got him arrested last weekend was self defence.
He insists he was invited backstage and planned to settle his long-standing differences with the outfit he left in 2002 – but instead found himself the victim of a “beatdown” and feared for his life, and wound up stabbed in the leg.
He says the violence spilled out to the VIP area of the Webster Hall in New York during the inaugural CBGB Festival, and that’s when he stabbed current bassist Michael Couls and William Berario.
Earlier this week the Cro-Mags said: “We are truly sorry for the way it turned out – even the ex-member whose family is now affected by his choices. It was his choice to come to our concert with a hunting knife, standing by our dressing room door. He was heard saying he was putting an end to us playing without him.”
Now Flanagan tells New York Natives he was invited backstage and hoped to make peace with his former colleagues – but instead he was attacked. He says: “When I saw that door get pulled shut I was literally fighting for my life.
“I was afraid these guys were going to kick me half to death, roll me down the back steps and no one would see it. All I could think about was getting home safe to my kids.
“I was getting the shit beat out of me. It was like an old-fashioned biker beatdown. I thought, ‘Fuck, their intention is to fuck me up’ – so what I did was defend my life.
“At that point the bouncers managed to get in to room and I ended up getting dragged out to the balcony area, which is where everybody says the melee took place. But the melee took place in the dressing room behind a locked door, where I was getting jumped by myself.”
Flanagan says he made no attempt to resist arrest. “One guy looks at me and says, ‘Motherfucker, I will kick you in your face until you are dead – stop moving.’ I’m like, ‘Yo, I’m stopping moving. Please cuff me.’ I stuck my hands out in front of me. At that point I didn’t know I had been stabbed. I’ve got 30 stitches in my leg.”
The bassist insists he wanted to settle his differences with co-founder and frontman John Joseph McGowan. “I thought that if I saw him face to face maybe it would rekindle some that friendship we had. As much as I talked smack about him and he talked smack about me, I felt he’d say, ‘Fuck it, let’s do the right thing.’”