Legendary hardcore band CRO-MAGS was forced to cancel its concert Friday night (July 6) at Webster Hall in New York City as part of the CBGB Festival after the group’s former bassist, Harley Flanagan, assaulted two people, including at least one current member of the band.
The CRO-MAGS have since released the following statement on the matter:
“We as a band are truly sorry for the way it all turned out in every regard, even the ex-member whose family is now affected by his choices. Our prayers go out to them as well as Mike C. [Michael ‘The Gook’ Couls], and the others who were hurt, but it was ‘his’ choice to come to our concert with a hunting knife, standing by our dressing door. Who knows what his actual intent was?! Obviously he wasn’t there with it to cut bread for a peace offering as he was heard saying outside he was putting an end to us playing without him. Let’s move on now and stop the trash-talking. Keep that PMA — that’s what we are all.”
According to the Daily News, William Berario, 45, was slashed above the eye and bitten on his cheek, and Couls was cut on his arm and stomach during the incident, which happened around 8:30 p.m. Flanagan was seen in photographs posted on BoweryBoogie.com being wheeled from the venue by EMTs. He was reportedly taken to Bellevue Hospital to be treated for a broken leg and was charged with second-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
The organizers of the CBGB Festival later released a statement, saying, “We are saddened to learn about the events that occurred at Webster Hall.
“Our primary concern is always the safety and experience of New Yorkers, music fans and the general public. Naturally, we will fully cooperate with law enforcement while hoping for the speedy recovery of those injured.
“Live music can be incredibly uplifting, empowering and positive. We don’t feel the actions of one person should overshadow four amazing days and nights of events that include historic and unprecedented free concerts in Times Square and Central Park.”
In a 2010 interview, Harley stated about CRO-MAGS singer John Joseph, “The guy has been pretty much a bullshit artist since the old days . . If John EVER actually has the balls to back up all the shit he talks, to step up, I’ll beat his ass. Again… That is if he EVER has the balls to actually step up to the hundreds of times I’ve called him out, e-mailed him, called him, etc. . . Me and him both know the truth and we both know he’s a fraud. A really fake motherfucker and all that ‘spiritual’ shit is just another smokescreen.”