On Friday night, two people were stabbed and one person was bitten at Webster Hall during the Cro-Mags and Sick Of It All show for the CBGB Festival. Police arrested Harley Flanagan, former bassist and founding member of Cro-Mags, for the attacks; he's been charged with assault and criminal weapons possession. It seems this fight was the culmination of decades of bad blood between current and former band members: “He’s been telling people that he was going to do this s--t,” lead singer and band co-founder John “Bloodclot” Joseph told the Post. “Nobody in the band likes him.”
In the video below, taken just after the stabbing, Joseph explains to the Webster Hall crowd why the show was cancelled: “You can all thank Harley Flanagan for ruining the night for everyone.”
Joseph told the paper he and Flanagan started the band together in the early '80s, but Flanagan continually takes all the credit for himself—Joseph claims it was so bad, Flanagan pocketed every cent from their 1986 tour: “That caused me to lose my apartment and be homeless in 1987,” he said. “I lived hand to mouth.” In general, Joseph describes Flanagan as an out of control character, stalking the LES looking for fights or threatening fans with a baseball bat.
Joseph added that Flanagan had been posting threats on the band's Facebook leading up the show, and he warned CBGB Fest not to let him in, but he ended up getting a press pass: “He shouldn’t have been at that show. He showed up at the show with a knife. It shows intent." Flanagan is accused of stabbing Cro-Mags current bassist Michael Couls, who was cut on his arm and stomach, and William Berario, who was slashed above the eye and bitten on his cheek.
“This dude has been a negative thorn in the side of this band forever,” Joseph told the Times. “I hope he gets what’s coming to him.” Flanagan's lawyer, Sean Parmenter, said his client was acting in self-defense and was “jumped” in “retribution” by his former bandmates.
As for the future of the group, it doesn't look like Flanagan is wanted back: “You could offer me $100,000; I wouldn’t do it. I hope his ass goes to Rikers with his swastika tattoo,” Joseph said.