If you’re a fan of the early California punk rock scene, you definitely know who Keith Morris is. Keith was the singer of Black Flag, The Circle Jerks and even the Red Hot Chili Peppers (for at least one show), and is currently in OFF! and FLAG, but there are still a lot of interesting facts you probably don’t know this iconic punk singer.
Test your knowledge below.
1. Before he joined Black Flag, Keith studied fine art and painting at the Pasadena Arts Center while working at his father’s bait shop. One of his co-workers at that shop was Bill Stevenson, who was also a member of Black Flag.
2. He left Black Flag because of creative differences with guitarist and founding member Greg Ginn and went on to found Circle Jerks. His former band mates would later diss him and the Circle Jerks on “You Bet We’ve Got Something Personal Against You!”, the closing track on Blag Flag’s “Jealous Again” EP.
3. He is friends with Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Keith filled in for Anthony for at least one show in the mid-80’s when the latter was off scoring drugs and didn’t show up for the performance. Keith didn’t know many of the lyrics to the songs, so he made up his own to get through the performance.
4. Some of the songs on the Circle Jerks’ 1980 debut album “Group Sex” were written by Keith during his tenure with Black Flag and were originally intended to be on the first Black Flag full-length album.
5. He went to Mira Costa High School, where he met fellow Black Flag founding members Greg Ginn and his brother Raymond.
6. Keith was diagnosed with adult onset diabetes in 1999. Many of his friends held benefit concerts to help cover his large medical bills.
7. He has been sober since 1989.
8. During the Circle Jerks’ first hiatus, which lasted from 1990-1994, Keith was the lead singer of at least two bands: Bug Lamp and Midget Handjob.
9. Keith sang on the Bad Religion song “Operation Rescue”.
10. He narrated the 2007 Gotham Award-nominated independent film “Loren Cass”.
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