On July 6th the CBGB Fest kicked off with a surreal event at Webster Hall, when Cro-Mags co-founder and former bassist Harley Flanagan lashed out at, stabbed, and bit two people—a current and former member of the band (Michael Cuols and William Berardo). Lead singer John “Bloodclot” Joseph, who escaped his violent outburst, later said, “He’s been telling people that he was going to do this shit. Nobody in the band likes him.” Now Flanagan has spoken out for the first time since the incident, in an interview with New York Natives.
According to Flanagan, who calls himself a "sentimental fool" who just wanted to talk to Joseph about the old days, he was jumped by a group of men when he entered the backstage of the venue, where he claims to have been invited—"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 that no one would see it... and there would be no witnesses and that would be that....and all I could think about was getting home safe to my kids...I wanted to save my life, to protect myself." He referred to the attack as "an old fashion biker beat down."
He says he was dragged onto the balcony, in part by bouncers at the venue who had entered the backstage, and was held down. At this point he says he questioned if all of the men holding him down were bouncers, as death threats were still being shouted at him. Flanagan says the NYPD then showed up—"the boys in blue hallelujah… the cops came running up the stairs… I was like fine, I’m not moving anymore … please cuff me, I stuck my hands out in front of me. At that point I still didn’t know that I had been stabbed, I got 30 stitches in my leg." Oddly, he doesn't talk about how he stabbed two people himself.
The NYPD is still sorting through the incident, and say Flanagan had a 5" knife with which he slashed Cuols twice (he also bit him on the arm), and slashed Berardo once on the left eye.