CRO-MAGS frontman blasts former bandmates, says he was ‘respected’ while on Rikers Island

CRO-MAGS founder Harley Flanaganwho in 2018 filed a lawsuit against his former bandmates Jean-Joseph and Mackie Jayson regarding the ownership of CRO-MAGS name, say Erin Micklow in a recent interview he contacted several times joseph and Jayson on a possible reunion of the classical formation of the group.

“Those of you who have been following my social networks for a while, you will see that I have done a lot attempts over the years to try and get all these fucking guys to come to the table and have some kind of conversation,” he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

“The truth is, everyone in this group got screwed; we all stiffened up. That’s a big part of why everyone started tossing around. When you didn’t nothing and you get ripped off and robbed and fucked, it’s, like, desperation makes people desperate. You start fighting for crumbs; you start thinking that everyone gets over it.

“I tried to bring these guys to the table, see if we could have done some sort of show or at least get along and maybe try to fight the legal battle together to try to get the albums back or this and that “, he continued. “And you know what? It got to a point where none of these guys wanted to try; no one really wanted to put in the effort or even try to be friendly.

“I tried. I can’t force other people to agree. And me, I just want to play music, I want to tour. That’s what I do. And if these guys don’t want be involved, I can’t force them. And after a while, it’s kind of insulting, when you offer people an olive branch over and over. They say, “Fuck you.” is, like, ‘You know what? Damn you, man. I’m finished. I’m pretty happy without you. I feel like my life has improved since you left. So it’s, like, ‘Good. Don’t let the door kick you in the ass.'”

harley also referred to the July 2012 incident when he was arrested in New York for attacking several members of the CRO-MAGS during the CBGB-Festival. Flanagan, who had participated in one of the seminars of the event, would have tried to attend the concert of his former group. The fight saw Flanagan stabbed and arrested after being jumped at Webster Hall. This led to charges of felony assault and criminal possession of a weapon, as well as a brief stint in New York’s most notorious prison, Rikers Island, before those charges were dropped.

“They invite me backstage and have these fucking fake thugs, like seven of them, jump on me,” harley said. “I ended up putting three in the hospital. I got stabbed. I had about 40 stitches. And then they tried to sue me for screwing them up. And then fucking Johnmy friend John, goes to the newspaper and says: “He’s a skinhead”. He’s a Nazi. He hates black people. He’s a snitch. This motherfucker is putting a target on me. I’m, like, ‘Man, I’m in this fucking Rikers Island. Basically, you say, ‘Hello everyone. Go get that dude.” So I got that black dude, Smoke, he enters my cell, he hands me a newspaper with me inside and says: “Is that you? And I’m, like, ‘Yeah.’ And I read all that shit. I’m, like, ‘Damn, John. Not only did those bastards jump on me because you were too dumb to put your hands on me yourself. So now this shit’s failed, and you wanna try and get some fuckin’ fuckin’ hike to fuck me up so they can get some clout? ‘”

Asked about what happened during his stay at Rikers Island, harley I have been respected. Everyone knew what I did. Everyone saw me on the news. I was respected.”

In April 2019, joseph and Jayson reached an agreement with Flanagan on the rights of CRO-MAGS Last name. At the time, it was announced that in the future, joseph and Jayson would work like CRO-MAGS JM while Flanagan would manage to use the CRO-MAGS name for his own version of the group.

When Flanaganwho founded the CRO-MAGS at the age of 14 and toured with the band for about 20 years, sued band members for allegedly using the CRO-MAGS name without his permission, he claimed that CRO-MAGS was his idea when he formed it in 1981. Flanagan filed a lawsuit against the band’s most recent lineup – including joseph – in part for copyright infringement, claiming he trademarked the “Cro-Mag” name for recording in 2010 and for merchandise in 2009, and again in 2017.

According to the New York Post, harley asserted in the lawsuit that the other members of the CRO-MAGS took over the group around 2002 when “Flanaganthe first son of was about to be born… and Flanagan had to stop touring to help with the baby.”

A decade ago, joseph say it New York Post him and Flanagan started the band together in the early 80s, but Flanagan continually took all the credit for himself. McGowan claimed that the situation had become so bad, Flanagan pocketed every penny of their 1986 tour. “It caused me to lose my apartment and find myself homeless in 1987”, John said. “I lived hand to mouth.”

In a separate interview with The New York Times, joseph says that Flanagan “has been a negative thorn in the side of this band forever.”

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