Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Big Frank Harrison - BL'AST! and INK

The mighty BL'AST! break it down

Frank has been in touch with us and is always sending us some cool stuff. We combined a couple things, including a very cool offer on his part. Read on... -DCXX

So the other day I was browsing my local record store and came across a used copy of BL'AST! "It's In My Blood." So I bring it to my tattoo shop and ask the guys if they have ever heard this release. Not only had they not heard it, they had not heard of BL'AST! Mind you, both guys have Sick Of It All tattoos, as do I, but that is a story for another day. So I prepare them by telling them "this is the greatest Black Flag record that Black Flag never recorded," and then I cranked the volume. It is also my favorite BL'AST! record by a landslide. Clifford could match Henry Rollins's intensity anytime they played, and Mike Neider even had a Dan Armstrong guitar like Greg Ginn. Now don't get me wrong, Flag were a great and mighty band in their own right and I have seen both bands at their best, but BL'AST! stands strong on their own. So the cd starts playing and my one commrade says he is reminded of the Co-Mags and Flag, and to be honest I never thought that, but understood where he was coming from. Hell, SST signed them so they knew.

Clifford Dinsmore with BL'AST!

Anyway, this record is solid from start to the finishing track, It's In My Blood, it kills and has stood the test of time, and listening to it again only brings back great memories. There would be shows where you just knew there was gonna be trouble and you were on edge all night. Well, every time I ever did a show with these guys it was a good time, great people all around. One of those bands you always looked foward to seeing and hanging out with. And man could they bring it live. Very comparable to the best live bands of their time, and somewhat under rated or under appreciatted, I don't know which it is. I often would wonder if these guy were from NYC or Detroit, would they have had more street cred? Yeah so Santa Cruz doesn't sound as gritty as some other places...well it spawned these guys and the history of hardcore would be less without them.

I hope Clifford stills surfs, he was a great surfer and a good friend and I am glad I found this gem. I am sure many of you do have it, but for those who don' it out.

Big Frank at Folsom City Ink

Back to tattooing...even before I was into hardcore, there was there a time when I was very little and loved to skateboard, got sponsored, and competed for many years. Fast forward to hardcore in the mid eighties. My way of giving back to skateboarding was by hooking up any pro skaters anytime I was running a show. I hooked up everyone you can imagine: Jay Adams, Jim Muir, Tony Alva, Steve Alba, Tony Hawk, Cab, Grosso, Gonz, Hosoi, and too many others to remember. One time either The Cult or Guns N' Roses played in Santa Cruz and I think I hooked up about 30 skaters, good times.

So now I have been thinking that with all the people who seem to read your site, I think it is time for the updated hookup. As many may or may not know, when I quit working shows I had already started tattooing, and I have been doing this professionally for over 15 years. So, I want to hook up as many people in our scene as possible. Obviously, I cannot do these for free, but if you mention Double Cross and can prove to me serious involvement in the hardcore scene, you will get a great deal. Actually just mentioning Double Cross and being cool will go a long way in getting you a great tattoo from someone who believes in what you believe in and has similar tastes in music and lifestyle. I have always wondered why I don't tattoo more hardcore kids, and I think it's just a matter of exposure and people knowing I am still out here, I'm part of your history, and that I still care deeply.

So anyone out there, old friends from bands, new friends, all are welcome. You gotta be 18 with ID, and I work outside of Sacramento at Folsom City Ink. The number is 916-355-8008. So if you're in the area, call or come by. See you soon. -Big Frank

A sample of Big Frank's work


Bill "Nego" Case said...

I couldn't agree with you more about Blast!, Frank. Amazing band live! I picked up all three of their records on CD used for $2.00 each a couple of years back! The BEST $6.00 I've ever spent!

We need MORE Big Frank post!

D. Sine said...

I agree, more Big Frank posts! He's a good guy. If I'm ever in the area of his shop, I'll take him up on the offer.

Sometimes, there's just not enough Blast! in the world.

Anonymous said...

BL'AST! is unreal!!!!!
Their first release
"the power of expression" is in my opinion their best. Both guitar players had those clear dan armstrong guitars. Those live pictures that you have up have kip from the old hardcore band neon christ playing 2nd guitar.
I heard that the original 5 piece line-up got back together and might play some shows. Please interview cliffor or mike or steve from BL'AST!.
great job on this site.


Anonymous said...

I'm proud to say that I'm one of probably a very few who purchased the Carry Nation 7" from Frank at Zed's. Before ringing me up, he said with a sly smile "you wanna buy that slab, eh?". Good times.

My brother Evan is currently working on a documentary about the O.C. hardcore scene and needless to say, there will be some footage of Frank and the Nation in it that maybe 6 or 7 people on the planet have seen.

Great post, sir.

BOOG said...

I remember hearing a rumor way back that Gregg Ginn said he might as well sign Blast! to SST because it was obvious who they were trying to sound & look like. Who knows?

I love Blast!. Great music to skate to. Anyone remember that Santa Cruz ad with Rob Roskopp doing a method air of a jump ramp and Blast! playing under him?

Redg said...

My question is - are any of the Nemesis releases ever going to be put up on iTunes?

Anonymous said...

there's a great interview with mike neider of blast somehwere in the archives on this page, it was prob 6 months ago but it was cool, check it out

SFader said...

Big Frank and BL'AST. 2 of the scariest things to a 14 year old HC kid in 1989. Listening to those records is like a shock to your spinal cord.
Nice one Frank
I lived in Santa Cruz from '98-'00 and I thought it was really weird that other than a few vague Clifford stories you would never even know they were from there, I guess they were kind of forgotten by then.

Anonymous said...

more Big Frank Harrison & Carry Nation!!!
Big Frank has much more to tell about hardcore,I know!!... and remember,here in South America and your friend Daniel "BigBoss" (Buenos Aires) ..always reminds you that even before Double C.!!!...te esperamos por aqui BF!!..and thank you 4 the logo!!

xpatedgex said...

Not enough attention is put on Bl'ast!. One of the most under-rated bands in the 80's, hands down!!

I know has some stuff still up. I got a rad "It's In My Blood" shirt a few years back from there.

Jason said...

BL'AST! is probably one of the best bands to ever grace the punk/hardcore community! Yes, there is a heavy BLACK FLAG influence but if you dig deeper into the guitar sound of people like Greg Ginn & Mike Neider it actually is more of a classic rock/1960-1970 metal sound mixed with a jazz flux. I know Clifford is currently singer for DUSTED ANGEL and GARANTULA and Mike is in LAB and I believe running RRISE merch I did hear something about the original line-up getting together but I am not sure if it was to actually play again or nothing more than a family reunion. SST SUPERSTORE does still carry all 3 albums as well as t-shirts. The "POWER OF EXPRESSION" original press Lp on Wishingwell Records floats around on EBAY as well as the "School's Out" 7". Wait til the M.A.D. cd see's the light of day!! That will blow you away. For those that dont know that was pre-BL'AST!

Anonymous said...

In My Blood, better than Power of Expression?!?!? SACRILEGE! =P