SLUG: Is there anyone who hasn’t signed on that you would like to get involved?
Ebersole: Principally, I am a documentarian. I want to document it all. Rollins and Ginn, well, their testimony would be amazing but I won’t let their lack of signing on ruin the book. This is a book about a band that changed a lot of people’s lives. As a punk, if I were either of them, I would like to have my say, you know?
SLUG: Why did you feel like this was a story that needed to be told?
Ebersole: There are a lot of people out there with the bars. You know that there was this old statement that punk blurred the boundaries between band and audience. Well, blurring would be overstating it, but punk did confuse the boundaries. This documentary basically lays out the legacy of Black Flag from the eyes of the band and the tattoos of the fans.
SLUG: How has the photo tour been going so far?
Ebersole: So far so good. We are averaging eight subjects per shoot, and they are of all ages, sexes, sexual orientations, and subcultural stereotypes. We have some college professors, some gutter punks and everything in between.
SLUG: Have you noticed a large age range of people rocking the Black Flag bars?
Ebersole: Unfortunately, older people are reticent to come out to the shoots. Whether they are jaded or just think that this is a stupid project remains to be seen. However, if you snooze you lose your chance to relate your experience to the book. I don’t really care who comes out to be photographed, just as long as their hearts are in the right place. I don’t want people running out to get the bars just to be in the book but, well, I don’t want somebody who has the bars on them in stick-n-poke to think that his/her tattoo isn’t worthy either.
Although Ebersole still lacks a publisher for Barred For Life, he hopes to release it sometime next year. At the time of publishing, Ebersole had already hit 20 cities for photo shoots, stopping at record stores, bars, tattoo shops and a handful of private residences. On Sunday, Nov 8, Ebersole will stop in Salt Lake City at Nobrow Coffee and Tea. If you have the infamous Black Flag bars on your body, Ebersole wants to photograph you, regardless of your age, race, gender or the quality of your ink.