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JournalistI'm an FT editor, David Pilling. I've just written a book about the pitfalls of how we measure our economy, and how to correct them - AMA

Jan 26th 2018 by David_Pilling • 24 Questions • 182 Points

Hi this is me Harley Flanagan, some of you know a little about me and my past, you may or may not have read my book and possibly know of my music, this is your chance to ask me what you want ;)

 

From Amazon author description: Harley Flanagan provides a fascinating memoir: a 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 started playing drums for the New York punk band the Stimulators when he was 11 years old; playing at places like Max's Kansas City with some of the most notable names of the punk scene. He then 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."

Of his much anticipated memoir, famed author and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain explains: "Don't even pretend to talk about New York... if you don't read this." "This book is the punch in the face you want and need."

 

Proof: https://www.instagram.com/p/BeLsr0JgJSF/

 

Social:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/harleyfflanagan

IG: https://www.instagram.com/harleyfflanagan/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/harley.flanagan

 

EDIT: Ok, I'm gonna wrap this up now. It was a pleasure talking with you. I'll be playing some shows in the NY area and Maryland. Dates posted on Facebook and IG.

Check out the book, Hardcore: Life of my Own on Amazon: http://a.co/fMbxRSS

Q:
  1. What's your view on the black economy and white economy of India by comparison?

  2. Being a reporter, did you ever land an insider tip for stocks, commodities or such which you could have benefitted highly from?

  3. What do you think about China's economy, is it gonna crash or continue to boom ?

  4. What do you think about the future of Bitcoin?

A:

What do you think caused your hypertension? I'm pretty ignorant to what causes hypertension. Eating habits? Life habits? Drug usage? Smoking? Drinking? Super stressful job? Certain life experiences? At any rate, get well, dude! Glad you caught it when you did.


Q:

I work in Physical Therapy, and as a caregiver, I was wondering if you could give some tips to caregivers as to how you would like to be treated? Any good or bad examples I could learn from?

I did one of my inservices on MG while going through school, but did not learn about your type until I read your AMA today. Thanks so much for sharing so we can all learn!

A:

Do you think John Joseph secretly eats White Castle sliders?


Q:

Hiya, you're really stretching my knowledge here. GDP is bad at grappling with the so-called black or grey economy, which is huge in India. Anything not taxed is hard to measure. Modi tried to regularise this with his demonetisation strategy, but it seems the parallel economy is pretty resistant. That means much of what goes on in India will never be captured by GDP. 2. No, sadly. Just ask my bank manager. 3. People have been saying China will crash for years and years. They've all been proved wrong so far. Don't bet against the folks in Zhongnanhai. Jim Chanos tried it - and by all accounts failed. Having said that, the Chinese leadership have implicitly admitted that lots of their growth was frothy (and boosted by the fact that they didn't account for the terrible pollution that was a side-effect of helter-skelter growth). They're now trying to do something about the type of growth they have - and as a result the economy is slowing. 4. As for Bitcoin, I know less than you I'm sure. Just ask my bank manager (see question 2)

A:

It is an open question. I'm in pretty good shape all things considered. 6'1" 190 pounds, low LDL cholesterol. I drank but not heavily really. No drugs, no really stressful job.

When I was in the hospital, both the kidney and heart doctors were very confused about what was going on. I guess there are around seven causes of malignant hypertension and I don't have any of them. I, like an idiot, suggested genetics but they immediately were like "yea that is part of it but why you and not your sister" who has healthy blood pressure.

My cardiologist is sort of a character. During the first time he met me, he asked me if I had ordered vodka from Ukraine that was possibly watered down with antifreeze. That is how confused they are with why I developed this crazy blood pressure.


Q:

With patience. MG is a snow flake disease so we are all so so different but we are all trying. I once had a PT tell me she didn't think I could have MG cause of the schedule I take my meds on and cause I don't look sick........... I won't go see a PT again.. it hurts when people assume you are faking it.... I know I don't look physically ill but I am very very sick. Last night I had to be carried to my car to go home from an event because my legs did not work. It was humiliating. ( And why I decided to do this AMA). We just want to be normal and treated as such.

A:

Lol


Q:

Hi David!

I have two questions, a fun one and a serious one.

1) What role do you think virtual currency might have in an post apocalyptic nuclear war?

2) I see what you mean about GDP being a crude model for modern societies. What would you rather see be used in its place?

Thank you in advance for answering!

Thank you in advance!

A:

By the looks of your skin yes, it almost looks like the guy who was poisoned in Russia. I guess that’s the kidneys. I hope you get better.


Q:

OMG. I'm so sorry this PT said that. It was way out of line and wrong and rude and does NOT reflect how PT thinks of MG. You are definitely not "faking it".

I am cautious not to be an "ableist" a term I was recently introduced to. I always try to treat people with respect and compassion without making them feel less than or small because of their illness--because they are neither!

I have an invisible illness myself so I can relate to professionals acting as if there is nothing wrong...grr!

Thank you so much for answering my question!

A:

Yo Harley,

Huge fan, and I didn’t fully appreciate until recently the incredible life you’ve lead. Here’s my question though: what is more important for the future of punk rock - stylistically following what has been happening or keeping the attitude and ethos while exploring whatever sound you want?

No Harley No Cro Mags


Q:

I take it the one about post-nuclear society is the fun one. You're obviously having a stressful day :) In seriousness, I guess it depends what infrastructure survives. If there's some semblance of government, then an official currency might revive. If there's not, then we'd move into virtual currency territory - but of course you'd need a computer network for that to work. Is that still standing? On 2) I am definitely not arguing that we replace GDP. I'm talking more about being a) sceptical and b) adding to the way we look at the economy so that GDP is no longer the king of numbers. I'd say, median household income, some measure of wealth, some measure of wellbeing and some measure of natural capital (you could c02 as a proxy or some measure using satellite imagery of natural resources). Some of these measures already exist, some are work in progress. But my strong message is that when you hear X is growing by 3 per cent, stop to think what 'growing' means.

A:

that guy with the nuclear poisoning? I wonder if that would explain everything. haha


Q:

Thanks, but it's not your fault. You seem like a lovely person!! I even do things like that myself and I know how handicapped I am. I think it's ingrained into our brains that everyone around us lies to get what they want. And that's a difficult thing to break. Still it's hurtful and all of us need to be mindful of how we treat each other

A:

I think attitude is everything, no matter what genre of music. Hardcore is a way of being, it's not just a style of music or a look. It's the kind of person you are.


Q:

Do you think correcting these pitfalls requires some adjustment to how morality is interpreted via laws (what’s illegal or not)? Thanks!

A:

I wish you the best of luck in your treatment and recovery. Has your doctor discussed CAPD (Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis) with you? CAPD was a game-changer for my father in the early '80s. He went from having to go back and forth to the dialysis center, sometimes in distress due to built-up electrolytes, to feeling good nearly all the time and feeling like he was in control of his own treatment. He sadly received an infection due to a hospital visit resulting from another condition, and the nurse staff were not prepared to properly observe his CAPD protocol. But this was back when CAPD was new -- hopefully you can benefit from it and nurse staffs are more aware.


Q:

My grandmother is 75/just had a myasthenia crisis after a mild heart attack. Is she gonna be ok? :,(

A:

Hey Harley, big fan. I know in the '80s you got a swastika tattoo on your inner wrist. I also know you got it covered up. What did you get it covered up with? Why did you get a swastika? What does the cover-up tattoo mean to you?


Q:

Definitely not. That's a whole other question. In one sense Eurostat's directive to the UK to start counting heroin and prostitution in GDP makes perfect sense. GDP is an amoral measure. We could have a more "moral" one - but of course that would depend on whose morality prevails. My favourite one is Maryland, which adjusts alcohol sales for "binge drinking". It uses academic studies to determine how much alcohol consumption is social and how much is anti-social (ie binge drinking). Instead of adding the latter, it subtracts it. This is very interesting. But as a journalist whose known to have a vodka or two, not entirely reassuring.

A:

Yea, PD is a big thing. One of my in hospital doctors was all about it.

I might consider it eventually, but right now I hardly ever feel that rough from my kidney failure. The big thing for me is that I don't want to have to do it every day and I like having two days off in a row. If I weren't peeing out a lot of the electrolytes and felt shit after eating too much salt or something, I think I would feel pressure to try something different. Right now, I don't feel that though.


Q:

I honestly don't know how to answer that.

Hopefully! I certainly always hope so with everyone. Medicine is getting better, a new medication was just FDA approved for MG a few months ago, the first one in more than 50 years. Is she seeing a neurologist? If you want to message me I will get you links to our FB support groups.

My Mg is not controlled well, but this is a relatively rare thing. Today I had trouble walking and had to be carried to my car.

I know people with MG who are in their late 80's, but this month alone 13 people have died because they got sick and then had MG complications. My dad died this time last year from MG complications. Sadly with this disorder, we just never know.

I wish I had better news... What do her doctors say?

A:

In the 80's, all of the Puerto Rican gangs in my neighborhood were covered in Swastikas, all the black gangs wore them as well as the Hells angels on 3rd st So I didnt think much of it, when I was a kid in the 70's, Sid Vicious and the Sex Pistols wore Swastikas. When I got it it was a symbol of shock and I was just a dumb kid, it was not about National Socialism or killing jews, it was just a symbol that got a reaction. I covered it when I got older because I realized how wrong it was to have a symbol that was so hateful to so many people. Thats the long and short of it


Q:

What do you think Brexit will do to the economy?

A:

The benefit to peritoneal dialysis is that it can be done at home and over night using an automated exchange machine and allows you to retain a much better quality of life

Blood exchange dialysis is much harsher on your system and will eventually cause other problems (calcification of vessels being the worst)

I noticed elsewhere you mentioned a fistula placement. These eventually degrade and need relocating or new ones being fitted and can sometimes even block after fitting. None of these treatments are designed to be life long, and I don’t say that with the intent to upset you. They are a poor facsimile of what your kidneys can do and delay at best the inevitable (sometimes for many years)

PD works by having a tenckhoff catheter (tube in belly going in to your peritoneal sack) where fluid is exchanged in and out generally over night. Fluid is then left in during the day (takes much getting used too and gives you a belly) which absorbs much of the toxins your kidneys can’t. It’s much less harsh and is suitable for patients with less “severe” kidney failure. Sometimes even after trying this method it is still not viable for some patients. Even if for some reason your exchange machine breaks you can manually drain and refill using gravity, slower yes, but allows more flexibility in your lifestyle.


Q:

She just had a tracheotomy yesterday. She’s hospitalized and looked really good today. She hasn’t walked since her heart attack.

A:

Hey Harley!

My question is about the music industry.

Currently we are struggling indie artists. Do you think it’s better to stay independent and grind it out DIY style or to sign with a major label and lose some of your publishing and other things to get some capital to kick things off?

I know with the Cro-Mags you guys went through hell with labels.

Much Respect!

Mike


Q:

There's an interesting study that shows Brexit will knock about £350m off British GDP, precisely the same number that Boris put on that bus. Perhaps he forgot the minus sign! I am opposed to Brexit personally, but again the fact that British people voted for it is related to the arguments in my book. We have been taught to believe that the economy is sacred and we should never do anything to harm growth. In a funny sort of way, British voters ignored that. Bill Clinton has turned out to be wrong. It is not always, "the economy stupid"

A:

This is super informative. One of the things that has been kind of hard with this part is that I don't know what I don't know so when people ask me if I have any questions, I feel like I'm content info wise.

I most of this (except that you leave the fluid in during the day) but I felt like I gained context. I will have to think more about it.

Fwiw, it does seem like there are people going through the donation process so hopefully any dialysis choice I make won't be too consequential for too long.


Q:

I would make sure she see's a neuro who knows about MG and also that they check her for a thymoma or thymic hyperplasia. Where is she located? I may be able to suggest some docs.

A:

There are certain benefits to working with big organizations. So, in that respect, giving something up to gain something can be a plus. But, the game has changed a lot and with all the social media and all of the things that are available to the artist, you can definitely be successful on your own if you play your cards right. Whats best is what works for you.


Q:

Hi David. What do you think we can do about the so-called 'expert fatigue' which has fallen out of nationalist uprisings in the West?

A:

dude that sucks. i'm sorry that happened to you. your story doesn't quite add up (not bc of what you said, more like it's a medical mystery). do you still make urine? did anyone say if there is a chance that your kidneys recover? did you get a kidney biopsy to make sure it's not something other than hypertensive nephropathy? kind of weird for a 30 year old white male to fry their kidneys just from high blood pressure, especially if you've had no other previous symptoms. are there plans to use something other than that vascath for dialysis?


Q:

I have no idea .-.

A:

Harley, you're the man!

What's your favorite memory of training at Renzos? Have you ever seen Renzo or Ralph get really angry? Both great guys, but definitely not anyone I would ever want to piss off...

Also, just wanted to say thank you, you gave me my introduction class at Renzos during a really bad time in my life about 3-4 years ago. Since than I've had to move, but train at Serras now and try to drop in at the NYC/Brooklyn location when possible. It's helped me out immensely during trying times these past 4 years. Never really got to thank you enough.


Q:

My book is most definitely not an anti-expert book (despite the occasional jab). In a sense I'm arguing for more expertise. And I'm also arguing for a better-educated public that can be more engaged with what might seem like esoteric debates. Another message of my book The Growth Delusion is that numbers in general and measurements in particular are very political. We only measure something if we care about it. So let's measure the right things.

A:

Lotta good questions! I can handle these one by one. Are you a nephrologist?

do you still produce urine?

Yea. Today I've peed about 1500 mls and drank 2000 yesterday.

did anyone say there is a chance that your kidneys recover?

They thought for a while that I might have had acute kidney damage rather than chronic, but it hasn't really panned out. My creatinine has once gotten below 4 but my gfr has increased since I got out of the hospital but it is still pretty low.

did you get a kidney biopsy

Yea, the kidney they biopsied had significant scaring. That sucked because the kidney got cut during the biopsy and I had to get a blood transfusion with the hope that the cut would just heal itself. It did, I guess.

plans for something other than the vascath

Yea, I had the "vascular access" appointment to build the fistula. I would think they'd have called me by now to set up the surgery since I was cath'd on like Nov 27 and they're only supposed to be in for 90 days. The surgeon told me that if the transplant process is going super well -- as in I have a donor -- she might not have to actually do the fistula. I guess it is possible that this is happening, but I have no idea how far along any of the people who signed up to be evaluated are.

kind of weird for a 30 year old white male to fry their kidneys just from high blood pressure, especially if you've had no other previous symptoms

Yea, this is basically the story for the whole process. Luckily I went to the university hospital when I was hospitalized. None of the nephrologists understood it either. They told me that my kidney arteries haven't shrunk and neither have the kidneys themselves. My main kidney doctor told me once that "the damage to your kidneys doesn't really match up with the lack of symptoms."

I think their best bet is that I just had too high of blood pressure for too much. I never noticed, to be honest. I didn't get headaches, I didn't get nose bleeds, none of that.


Q:

That's okay. It's all new. Feel free to reach out if I can help.

A:

First of all, I'm glad I was able to introduce you to this life-changing art. You have become part of a bigger family by training with Henzo and, now, Matt. My best memories are Renzo and Ryan training together at the old academy, when guys like Matt Serra and John Danaher and all those legends of the sport were all just blue belts. Those are the days I will never forget. It's been a great journey so far and I'm looking forward to what the future of BJJ is going to be like.


Q:

Hi David. What do you think we can do about the so-called 'expert fatigue' which has fallen out of nationalist uprisings in the West?

A:

You said your blood pressure at the time of admission was 210/145.... what was your regular blood pressure like in the past?


Q:

What would you say had been the biggest challenge about living your life with GRMG?

A:

Harley,

Do you recall ever practicing with the band 108 with you playing drums? What do you remember about the experience?


Q:

Realise that I never got to your last question. No, as I've written elsewhere on this thread, there is no single number that could replace GDP. But we need measures of: distribution (ie inequality) sustainability wellbeing one quick example from America: it's economy is booming, but life expectancy has fallen for two straight years. What on earth is going on? You're never going to find the answer by looking at GDP

A:

That is the mistake I made -- I don't really know. I hadn't been to the doctor for 7-8 years probably before this happened. It was never really a problem in college or high school. Unclear when the hypertension developed or exactly how high it was.


Q:

Umm, there are actually quite a few things... 1. I have had to have open heart ( for lack of a better term its pretty much the same procedure) surgery twice now to get of a MG related tumor called a thymoma... That was extremely difficult. 2. Feeling the loss of independence I have felt over the past three years since being diagnosed. 3. I think the most heartbreaking and difficult thing is/was the only person who really understood what I was going through die from RgMG ( my dad also had MG and died at 46, a year and a week ago). Even though they say it's not supposed to be hereditary. It was in my case.

A:

I have no recollection of practicing with them. I've heard about this before.


Q:

Hi David, how are tech companies impacting these pitfalls? Thanks!

A:

I hadn't been to the doctor for 7-8 years probably before this happened.

This is one of those things I don't understand. I say this as a 29 year old man who has nearly always at least done a yearly checkup but doesn't have any chronic medical conditions (that I know of).

I can understand if you don't have insurance, but it bewilders me how every guy my age, including the ones with good jobs/insurance, seems convinced going to the doctor is something you only need to do if you're concerned you might die if you don't go.


Q:

Weird, seems like some text books need to be re-written if both you and your dad had an ultra rare "non-heriditary" disease

A:

Alright- one more!!

Do you still have all your records and tshirts? Is there anything you wish you still had?


Q:

Look at Wikipedia: all human knowledge (well a lot of it) available to everyone (well anyone with access to a computer). An incredible addition to human wellbeing. It's contribution to GDP? Zero

A:

I think it happens a lot. What can I say? I deffo paid the price for it.

also, I didn't even think I was going to die when I first went to the doctor and my blood oxygen was 81. I just thought I had some acid reflux.


Q:

There are a few families I know of with MG through my support groups. Not many but a few

A:

I have a good amount of them. Of course, some things got stolen and lost along the way.


Q:

I completely agree about GDP being a crude model for modern societies. What can an ordinary (non-economist!) person do to help bring in a new system?

A:

Sorry if this sounds really insensitive, but is it true that dialysis can cure a hangover?


Q:

If it's your immune system that's causing problems, wouldn't giving yourself AIDS cure it?

A:

Were you a trouble kidd? Judging by the tattoos taken in a young age and punk lifestyle. (Not judging. A punk myself)


Q:

Question the numbers you're given, realise that measurements are political. Educate yourslef. Oh - and buy my book :)

A:

so the very first time i had dialysis I asked this. She said that it makes you throw up. However, I have gone to dialysis once while hungover (the monday after new years) and I guess it kind of helped. You get some iv fluids when the process is happening so I imagine that was most of it. Also, I guess any residual junk in blood from drinking would get filtered out.

However, the big thing is drugs. I've had like 5-6 warnings about drugs. Don't put drugs into my chest tubes (fucking lol at the prospect of doing that) but also they told me that if you are high on something or are an active drug user for some drugs, dialysis can intensify the withdrawal effects of some drugs. I guess. I don't know much about the drug part.


Q:

Ummmmm. No lol

A:

Yes, I guess you could say that. Read my book, all the answers are there. I started young.


Q:

Hi David! Sorry, don't think I have a question related to (the topic of) your new book. Hope you like to answer on other subjects as well!

You're the FT's main man in Africa, right? I work in Asset Management and before that I worked for one of the world's biggest utility companies. In both jobs I see/saw it happen that we see opportunities in Africa, but ultimately decide against investing there for two main reasons: lack of infrastructure and political instability. When I was young and naïve I expected this to be a very temporary thing and was sure that Africa was going to be the next China/India. But in all those years (about 12 years now), I really don't see a change in this respect. This always fascinates me somehow. When talking about Africa, I exclude South Africa, BTW.

  1. Is Africa really hardly making any progress at all?
  2. What exactly is refraining Africa from entering the world stage as a "serious" player?
  3. Do you foresee a better future for Africa or will things remain the same in the short to medium run?

Thanks for answering!

[edit] typo

A:

So is there no silver lining at all?


Q:

How would you rate your pain on a 1-10 scale, and how much does it vary day by day?

A:

Who are the hardest dudes in hardcore besides (alongside?) you and why??? Let’s get some raw stories!!


Q:

Thanks for the question. It is related to my book by the way, which incidentally has a whole chapter on Africa. Here's a quick go:

  1. You're right that infrastructure in most African countries is lagging. (Remember there are 54 countries so it's dangerous to generalise.) It's related to GDP because by that measure some countries have been doing very well. Until the crash in oil prices, Nigeria and Angola in particular had been growing at spectacular rates. Angola at 10 per cent annually, year after year. But if you'd have looked at wealth accounts - which GDP doesn't measure - you'd have seen that, while natural assets (namely oil) was going down, there wasn't a compensating increase in produced assets (namely infrastructure) or in human capital (horrible term, but basically health and education, skills etc). So some form of wealth accounting - of the sort the World Bank is now working on - would have blown the whistle on the fact that all that growth wasn't what it was cracked up to be. GDP only gives you half the picture at best.
  2. These are very young countries, with borders that were drawn by colonialists with very little knowledge of realities on the ground. They were horribly exploited. When the British left Zambia there were only a handful of graduates in the whole country. So I don't think it is surprising that many countries have struggled. You can't blame everything on colonialism, of course. There has been some terrible leadership and lots of corruption too. But you do have to understand where most African states were coming from.
  3. There are many encouraging signs. Much of Africa today is doing far better than it was 20 or 30 years ago, on a variety of measures. There have been very few wars between African nations, there are fewer and fewer despots for life or coups and many African leaders are rejecting aid dependency and trying to build their own strategies. Developments in southern Africa in the past few months show just how much can happen: Mugabe, Dos Santos and Zuma all replaced (as party head) and at least the semblance of a new dawn. And growth rates - however imperfect that measure is - are pretty high in a number of African countries from Ivory Coast to Ethiopia. I think by some reckoning six of the top ten countries in the world in terms of gdp growth are in Africa. Though be warned: some of that is population growth. It always makes much more sense to look at GDP per capita!
A:

lol no not really. its pretty annoying and has put a pause on a lot of the stuff I had going on. But, there is nothing I can do so there is no reason to focus on those parts.


Q:

I have lupus as well so physical pain tends to be from that. MG itself does not cause physical pain in most cases. Emotional pain varies from day to day.

A:

The hardest people I know fight in cages for a living or are deployed serving their country.


Q:

Damn man, I’m really sorry. At least you’ve come to terms with it, somewhat

A:

What about the older BHC; SSD, Gang Green, Slapshot?


Q:

thanks. you also can't even drink beer when you have kidney failure lol

A:

I wasn't a huge fan but I appreciate what they contributed to Hardcore, musically. I do, however, think that those bands had a lot to do with the divisions that started to happen to the scenes on the East Coast and that was a definite downside to it. I talk about it in my book.


Q:

I’m ordering it today. Thanks for doing this. What kind of music do you listen to currently? Like, if you’re driving around, what’s playing on the radio?

A:

I have such a wide range of musical taste. I could go on and on and on. Before we started this, I was listening to Black Uhuru and Marvin Gaye, but I could've just as easily been listening to Type O Negative, Sex Pistols or Bad Brains. I listen to different things all day.


Q:

You will coming back to Europe this year?

A:

We will be there this summer, probably July and August.


Q:

What do you feel is most fake? JJ’s PMA bullshit or his hair? Him calling his cover band “Cro-Mags “ is insulting to everyone who has been a fan of your music

A:

That's more than one question lol...if the PMA was real, we'd all be discussing a reunion right now instead of fighting. That's all I've got to say about that.


Q:

Hey there, Harley! Have you ever tried Marmite?

A:

Nasty shit lol.


Q:

My understanding of the "Near Death Experience" record is that it's a bunch of tracks leftover from the "Alpha Omega" recording sessions, so the lineups on both records are the same. However, I spoke with Gabby recently and he mentioned that JJ had got AJ Novello to re-record guitars for "Near Death Experience", so it wasn't really Gabby playing on the "Near Death Experience" record we all heard. Can you shed any light on the personnel and general situation around the "Near Death Experience" record? Thanks!

A:

It seems like you got a lot of that right. AJ also played some of the bass tracks on NDE but, again, I wasn't involved with any of that. Once John got involved with Alpha Omega, all kinds of things started going on behind the scenes that I wasn't aware of.


Q:

Much respect Harley. Have been a Cro Mags fan for a long time and know you’re the sole reason the band ever existed. Also just read your book and it was fucking great. You couldn’t make up a crazier life. I recommend it to all my boys. Couple questions. Are you still vegetarian and do you drink at all? And do you still live in NYC?

A:

I am still a vegetarian. I did eat chicken when I was briefly in Rikers, I do what I have to in order to survive. I do drink from time to time, I think anything in excess is a bad idea but I will have a drink with a friend once in a while. And yes, I do still live in the city.


Q:

Have you ever been to Forest Hills?

A:

If you mean Queens, hell yeah! My aunts went to high school with The Ramones.


Q:

Why don't you mention in your book that you got a swastika tattoo?

A:

There's a lot of things I don't mention in my book. I could write a whole 'nother book on what I didn't talk about in this one. It wasn't a political statement.


Q:

Would also like to know if you have the copyright for the Cro Mags name, why can't you take JJ or Mackie to court for performance / merchandise royalties?

A:

It's all a little too complicated to get into the details in this forum but things are happening as we speak.


Q:

What's the deal with Rick ta Life? I only recently found out he's really despised in hardcore scene. I loved the music but never got into the inner politics. Any insight on why?

A:

I don't know anything about the scenes, drama and soap operas. As far as I know, they all used to be friends with him and now they're not. I can't say why. I don't give a fuck about scenes or the dramas that play out on them. I'm an adult and shit like that doesn't mean anything to me.


Q:

What would you say has been more lethal to your health; drugs or crazy women?

A:

Nothing has been lethal since I am still alive and kicking lol. Whatever mistakes I made in the past; however bad they were, somehow got me where I am now, which is a great place.


Q:

Yo wat up Harley! Would you consider taking bitcoin for your merch, records, gaurentee, etc...? It's the way of the future and I think it could really help the hxc punk community progress!

A:

I'll take bitcoin when I start taking cans and bottles as well lol.


Q:

Any chance of Crush The Demoniac making it into the setlist for the next tour?

A:

It's always possible.


Q:

When did all the Oi bands records start to become available in NY/US. Its interesting that NY bands didnt start to label themselves "Oi" until late 80s?

A:

I was getting my hands on all that stuff as it was coming out, places like Bleecker Bob's and a couple other stores used to get their hands on a lot of that stuff.