HARD-CORE: LIFE OF MY OWN by Harley Flanagan
Harley Flanagan provides a fascinating memoir: a homeless child prodigy and family friend of Andy Warhol and Allen Ginsberg, at a young age he became close to many stars of the early punk rock scene like Joe Strummer of The Clash and was taught to play bass by members of the famed black punk band Bad Brains. He went on to start the notorious hardcore band Cro-Mags.
From the memoir's introduction by American Hardcore's Steven Blush: "Harley Flanagan is not like you or me. Most of us grew up in relative safety and security. Harley came up like a feral animal, fending for himself in the '70s Lower East Side jungle of crime, drugs, abuse and poverty. By age 10 he was a downtown star at Max's Kansas City and CBGB, drumming in his aunt's punk band The Stimulators, and socializing with Blondie's Debbie Harry and Cleveland's Dead Boys. Everyone thought it was so cute, but it wasn't."
Currently an instructor for the famed Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Harley was never shy: making friends with important figures like Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, defending himself in street battles, and, most recently, finding media play and court battles after former band members betrayed their one-time friend and bandmate.