Former Cro-Mags Bassist Harley Flanagan Claims He Was Jumped First in Backstage Brawl
Former Cro-Mags bassist Harley Flanagan has spoken out about his role in a fight during the legendary punk band's recent reunion concert in New York during the CBGB festival, insisting that he attended the gig on July 6 at Webster Hall with the intention of possibly settling his long-running feud with singer John Joseph. While news sources have since reported that Flanagan attacked and stabbed several current members of the band at the show, Flanagan claims that it was he who was jumped by a group of unidentified men backstage and that he was lucky to get out of there alive.
"When I saw that door get pulled shut, I was literally fighting for my life," he tells New York Natives. "I was afraid these guys were going to kick me half to death, roll me down the back steps, and that no one would see it ... and there would be no witnesses and that would be that."
"All I could think about was getting home safe to my kids," he continues. "I wanted to save my life, to protect myself, and these guys were trying to do me in." As for the knife attack, Flanagan explains that he pulled out a small pocket knife and "just tried to punch the first person that was in front of me with it. I wasn't even aiming for any kind of deadly area." He adds that he used in only "in self-defense to get them f--- off me" and that he himself ended up getting cut and needing 30 stitches in his leg.
Meanwhile, John Joseph McGowen, vocalist of Cro-Mags, refuted Flanagan’s claims, according to The Gaunlet. “He [Flanagan] showed up 20 minutes before [and] hid in the crowd outside our dressing room door with a backpack and a knife,” he said. “Never knocking on our door and saying, ‘Yo, guys … can we talk?’ He was also heard ranting outside that he was putting a stop to us playing his music (his music?). And while sitting outside our door told someone else that said to Harley that he doesn’t care about the beef he attends both Harley's War shows and Cro-Mags shows, that he was just a fan of the music. Harley’s response: ‘Yeah, well, f--- you. Some shit’s about to go down, so if you don’t wanna be involved, keep f---ing walking.’”