Friday, June 10, 2011

Dukowski Appreciation

When it comes to Black Flag,a lot of ink has been spilled on which singer defined the band, or on the Ginn vs Rollins tension. Despite all the strong personalities in the band, Dukowski always stood out to me. From reading the My War lyrics attributed to him in My Rules. Every picture of him was pure intensity. 100% commitment. But he never looked some cookie cutter hardcore dude. He was always stood out.
Both Get in th Van and Spray Paint the Walls reinforced my regard for Dukowski as the jewel of Black Flag.
I have worked for a record store for a long time. Early on, I took over our returns department. Near the end of my first month as I was contacting vendors, I realized I would be faxing SST. No big deal in reality, but a real holy shit moment for me at the time. I had the same sensation again and again as I contacted Dischord or Forced Exposure.... Off the fax went. The next day(not surprisingly-this is business after all) a fax from SST came back. I had sort of assumed there was some early 20s nerd like myself at the other end of the phone line, but I was in for a surprise.
The return I requested, was authorized by Chuck Dukowski. I was stopped dead in my tracks. Total business-maybe 3 sentences at most, but a "Hey, Roger.... Thanks, Chuck" Thanks? No, how about thank you!!! HOLY SHIT-Chuck! I had just gotten a fax from one of my heroes-a guy I loved for his workman like attitude was still banging it out in the trenches. I saved this fax for years and it is probably sitting around somewhere in the basement. You can file this under fanboy, dork, nerd, whatever you like, but it was a pretty random and unexpected interaction with a guy I have always looked up to.
Anyway check the pics, he was a beast and he is still playing music.