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“It is 1981 in New York City: a distant planet, hard to see now. Beastie Boys is just being embryonically formed in a rehearsal space somewhere. Elsewhere, Butthole Surfers, Cro-Mags, Motley Crue, Napalm Death, Run- DMC, Sonic Youth, and Wham! are likewise coagulating.”
- Luc Sante “Beastie Revolution” introduction to Beastie Boys Book (2018)
The history of the Cro-Mags is integral to the history of Hardcore, it’s evolution from Punk and the development of alternative music genres such as thrash, thrash metal, post punk and grunge to name a few. Numerous iconic bands from Metallica to Green Day, and individuals such as Dave Grohl have credited Cro-Mags with having a primal influence on their development.
The brain child of a very young Harley Flanagan back in 1981 (at the time 14 years old) when still playing with the Stimulators, Flanagan set out to start his own band. By 1982/83 he recorded the very first Cro-Mags demos constituting of 4 songs that would become the blue print for the seminal 1986 “Age of Quarrel.” He wrote all of the music, played each instrument and sang. Before long he connected with Parris Mayhew and the two started writing music and auditioning band members.
After several line-ups, 6 album releases (beyond the original demos) and 30 + years of tours around the world, Cro-Mags remains one of the most iconic hardcore bands with arguably the greatest reach beyond the genre.
Currently celebrating the Cro-Mags 30th anniversary of the album Best Wishes (1989-2019) the Cro-Mags, with its founder, Harley Flanagan on bass/vocals, will be touring in the states and Europe to celebrate the show, along with performing the entire Cro-Mags music catalogue.