Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs to Benefit the West Memphis Three

30 Apr

Various Artists
Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs to Benefit the West Memphis Three
October 10, 2002 – Sanctuary Records
Producer Henry Rollins

1. Rise Above – Chuck D, Henry Rollins
2. Nervous Breakdown – Keith Morris
3. Fix Me – Iggy Pop
4. American Waste – Neil Fallon of Clutch
5. I’ve Had it – Cedric Bixler Zavala of The Mars Volta
6. I’ve Heard It Before – Jeff Moreira of Poison the Well
7. Room 13 – Corey Taylor of Slipknot
8. Wasted – Exene Cervenka
9. Jealous Again – Nick Oliveri of Queens of the Stone Age
10. TV Party – Henry Rollins
11. No Values – Hank III
12. Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie – Dean Ween
13. Depression – Casey Chaos of Amen
14. Six Pack – Mike Patton
15. Police Story – Ice T
16. Revenge – Tom Araya of Slayer
17. Thirsty & Miserable – Lemmy
18. What I See – Chuck Dukowski
19. No More – Tim Armstrong & Lars Frederiksen
20. Black Coffee – Henry Rollins
21. Slip It In – Henry Rollins & Inger Lorre
22. Annihilate This Week – Henry Rollins, Kira Roessler
23. My War – Henry Rollins
24. Nervous Breakdown – Ryan Adams

I don’t remember when I got this, but I have to say there are definitely good, and bad things about this compilation. First the positive, the packaging, and sound quality are top notch. And any die-hard Black Flag will love the variety of artists that took time to give the mighty Flag a nod. The bad part of this the variety of artists that took time to give the mighty Flag a nod, meaning by adding some of these people to this compilation drives the album’s value down.

Ice-T? I don’t want to hear a fifty-year-old, who still attends pimp conventions, who continues to bitch about the police. Come on, once you reach a certain financial demographic police aren’t really an issue anymore, are they?

I dig Henry’s new version of Rise Above, Chuck D’s intro brings a new level of intensity to the track. The track smokes. Rollins really stepped up his game, this is the best I’ve heard him in years. And he did it for a great cause.

Also, Corey Taylor of Slipknot does a scorching version of Room 13, not one of my favorite songs, but good just the same. Taylor used to date a girl who lived next door to my Mother, the girl was a porn star, so they used to invite my Mom along to get-togethers and parties, and I’ll be dammed if she didn’t pull out pictures, some time back, of her hanging out with Corey Taylor. He’s not easy to recognize without the crazy mask, but it’s him.

Rise Above
“Jealous cowards try to control
Rise above
Were gonna rise above
They distort what we say
Rise above
Were gonna rise above
Try and stop what we do
Rise above
When they can’t do it themselves

We are tired of your abuse
Try to stop us its no use

Society’s arms of control
Rise above
Were gonna rise above
Think they’re smart
Can’t think for themselves
Rise above
Were gonna rise above
Laugh at us
Behind our backs
I find satisfaction
In what they lack

We are tired of your abuse
Try to stop us its no use

We are born with a chance
Rise above
Were gonna rise above
I am gonna have my chance
Rise above
Were gonna rise above

We are tired of your abuse
Try to stop us its no use

Rise above
Rise above
Rise above
Were gonna rise above
Were gonna rise above
Were gonna rise above.”

Also, read about the West Memphis Three at: http://wm3.org/splash.php. If you can help, do it.

This album should have been condensed a bit further. If you don’t own it, go and pick it up for the Chuck D. and Rollins version of Rise Above.

Rating: ** * two out of three stars

On to the story . . .

Growing up in the 70’s, my mom had some bad luck with cars.

My mom became a single mom at 23. She was left to raise two boys. I’d like to say that we were good, even tempered guys, but I don’t think my mom would agree 100%.

Mom made a conscious effort to stay home and raise us, which meant certain sacrifices. She cared for other children so we didn’t become latch-key kids. It was fun, we always had somebody to play with, and it felt like an extended family.

But in order to do this, she didn’t always have the newest and best of things, mainly her car.

I remember one of our cars died at the beginning of one summer, so she saw an ad for a VW Hatchback, met with the guy and bought it. The first or second time we were out driving it died. She called the guy, he said to climb into the back (of the hatchback) open the floorboard and jiggle the battery cables and it will be fine. We did and it was.

But because of that call the guy thought they were buddies or more.

I came in the house one afternoon, that summer, to eat lunch, my mom had made some kind of lasagna/beef stroganoff casserole dish and I was waiting to dig in. I walked into the kitchen and the car-guy is standing in there eating our casserole. I left the kitchen and went to ask my mom why the hell that guy is eating grub, she said he just walked in and said he wanted to see if the car was running OK. Then headed for the kitchen.

Needless to say, we kept the door locked and didn’t answer for a bit, and then he stopped coming around.

After the VW, one of the dad’s at my school offered to let my mom take his Pinto for a week, if she liked it she could buy it. On the second day it stopped working; he came over tinkered with it and said everything was fine. On the 101 heading toward Calabasas one morning it started acting funny again, and right at the off-ramp it died. She called the dad and said, basically, the car is dead; it’s parked off of Calabasas Parkway you can pick it up.

Over the decade that was the 70’s, my mom owned two Oldsmobile 98’s. Huge cars, with enough room inside for, at least, seven people. When she got an opportunity to buy a newer model she decided to sell the older 98. My mom’s best friend at the time had a sister who was married to a car “salesman.” The salesman was a guy named Frank. Frank was a hustler; he sold cars on the side without ever signing paperwork. He’d take your car, sit on a corner and within a half an hour it would be sold and the new owner may or may not register it. When he couldn’t sell a car he’d “accidently” fall in a grocery store and live off the settlements for a bit.

Anyway, Frank came by, he said he wanted to take the car for a test drive, and then afterwards he would see if he could sell it. Frank took the test drive and then came back, gave my mom some money and said he sold it. We weren’t ready to sell it, just yet. My mom’s tapes were still in the car, some of my brother’s sports equipment and my mom had a gold bracelet in door jam.

My mom took the money and told Frank that we needed to contact the buyers to get our stuff back. He shrugged and said he had no idea who they were. I’ve always wondered if he didn’t just keep the stuff.

Years later I heard that Frank went to prison for acts with a minor, possibly his own child.



Life Won’t Wait is out now, grab a copy today: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb

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2 Responses to “Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs to Benefit the West Memphis Three”

  1. 1
    Eddie Cook Says:

    Mike~ love the story! ~Eddie

  2. 2
    Mike Essington Says:


    As always, thanks for reading!


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