The Official Cro-Mags Website

E-Mails


To the fans,

I would like to thank the fans, promoters and friends for their immediate response and unanimous support of my statement. I thought sharing them would enhance the importance of the truth to the fans.

I hope you all enjoy the messages below that have been sent to me by Cro-Mags fans around the world.

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Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 15:41:48 -0500

To: parris@mail.cro-mags.com

Subject: Re: End of Cro-Mags

Hey Parris,

I just saw the update on your website and this is hilarious...

"Parris Mayhew had had enough and was even forced to get a court order to stop Harley Flanagan from calling him and leaving violent homosexual rape scenario threats on his voice mail, very gay stuff, which will be available on CD in time for Christmas."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...that is funny shit...good for you man... and good luck in the future...I hope you are able to start a new band ... and continue making music.

Rob

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Date: 11 May 2001 12:58:16 MDT

To: parris@cro-mags.com

Subject:

Hey Parris!

I'm Chris from the Dutch ol'style band #$%^&*()@#

As the main writer in the band and founder of @#$%^&**, I have a slight idea of you must feel. Constantly being screwed by those you once considered to be a friend, you've got my respect for still fighting to keep the name and the legacy of intact in a positive way. I hope to maybe once see in another band then Cro-Mags, showing the people the integrity that the Cro-Mags once had. stay in good health and keep on fighting, HUGE respect, Chris.

Parris,

First of all ,what you're doing is CORRECT, but I'm sure  that I'm not the only one that feels that way!! You can use my letter any way you like!

KEEP IT REAL, Chris Vlug,

P.S. didn't mind my English, it isn't what it once used to be....

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Date: Mon, 14 May 2001 01:32:33 EDT

Subject: to say the least!

To: parris@cro-mags.com

Hey Parris. Very well put and I can't really agree more. I know we started to discuss this at Spa but now I fully understand.

Good Luck.

_____________

Date: Mon, 14 May 2001 01:32:33 EDT

Subject: thanks

To: parris@cro-mags.com

I wanted to thank you for posting this information. I've been a fan since I got into hardcore, but I'm too young to have seen you as the original group so I would have been disappointed to pay good hard earned cash to be misled.

Thanks

Chris

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To: <parris@cro-mags.com>

Subject:

Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 11:13:12 -0400

Parris you rule, fuck the other fake Cro-Mags

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From: "WOPTIME WOPTIME"

To: parris@cro-mags.com

Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 09:45:10 -0000

Hi Parris remember me. I'm the guy who interviewed you in Milan last year. I just wanted to let you know that I respect the Cro-Mags and this is also thanks to your fight against false premises and reunions. What I saw in Milan last year were the real Cro-Mags and the only sad thing is that probably I won't be able to see them again. Keep up the name of the band and don't let anyone fool us (the fans) because, by my part, I believe in what you guys did throughout the years.Ciao, Paolo-WoptimE

TO/HC

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From: "Steffan Chirazi"

Date: Mon, 14 May 2001 23:45:41 -0700

Subject: Hey man

To: parris@cro-mags.com

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read this with interest (and sadness) as i was considering going out to NY to cover a show. as u might remember, i've been a fan since 86 and took as many chances as possible to write about the band pre-early '90s weird stuff.

again, sad to hear this stuff. i always liked harley, sounds like you did too, and am disappointed to hear that it might not be as it appears. i personally want to believe that harley is just having a 'moment', but you obviously know rather more than i do... to think of how many other bands walked through doors you helped open...

ah well. best wishes,

Stefan

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Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 14:53:43 -0400 (EDT)

To: parris@cro-mags.com

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well said. I won't be giving them my money. So is this the end? You should do an album with Rocky.

LIAM

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To: <members:parris@cro-mags.com>

Subject:

Date: Wed, 16 May 2001 23:42:54 -0700

I have to say, it was the lineup of original members of the Cro-Mags that got me to Irving Plaza to buy the tickets. I have seen Soul (Bad) Brains in the past and at first didn't really want to endure the sweatbox. I'm getting too old for this shit, but put the original lineup of Cro-Mags in there and I got the tickets. Well, whatever happens, everyone who walks in the door gets to see the Soul Brains.

Ticket holders are guaranteed an excellent evening regardless of who plays what. This will be the saving grace for those who care.

sailon.sailon...sailonsailon...uhhhwahhhhhhh....oooooh.

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To: <Parris@cro-mags.com>

Subject: Re:

Date: Thu, 17 May 2001 20:57:22 +0200

Hi Parris.

Just checked your statement. I see your point. Good that your sitting on one half of the rights to the name. This way I hope your in the power to put Cro-Mags to rest once and for all before the name's being totally ridiculed. I had heard rumors that Cro-Mags was over n' out! Sad to hear that though. At least I got to see you guys play Copenhagen and Berlin.

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From: Chris Tighe

 

Date: Thu, 17 May 2001 18:31:21 -0400

To: parris@cro-mags.com

Subject: Cro-Mags

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First of all, thankyou for all the good music from the past. Secondly, while I can understand why you would never want to work with Harley again, selfishly from a fans perspective, I sincerely hope you two make amends. After all, you two just produced what was in my opinion your best album ever (which made my top ten list for 2000). Regardless, best luck in the future in whatever endeavors you undertake.

A Longtime Fan

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From: saddam hussein <state_research@yahoo.com>

 

Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 00:33:08 -0700 (PDT)

Subject: THIS PROBLEM...

To: parris@cro-mags.com

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hey parris...

far be it from me to jump on some sort of soapbox about so called "PUNK ETHICS" or anything...but i find this latest fiasco by a less than admirable scalawag to be so symptomatic of the disease that is attacking music nowadays...the cash in. i am sick of bands with less than half...sometimes less...than half of their original members going out and trying to stick their shitty little hands in thepockets of one time fans for the green that they so greedily want. it is fine if you have the desire to play and the want to get out there and be seen...but to do it at the expense of your one time credibility and integrity is foul. and right now the disease is spreading in the PUNK rock circle the hardest. how many more reunion shows and one off gigs are going to turn into full blown horseshit COMEBACKS. I can count one one hand the amount of bands that I wanted a comeback from that did not totally disappoint me when they did. I am also sure that you will be slagged off on as well for bringing up the dirty unpunk rock subject of MONEY. well you know what...MONEY FUCKING MATTERS...and the only idiots that dont thinks so are people with no sense at all and no goals in life they are trying to reach, or rich kids that know when they fail at being punks can fall back into the capitalist bed their parents have made for them. I know how shitty it is to work on something and pour your heart into it...only to have it fucking loom large over your head with the debt that it generated. so in closing Parris...more power too you and keep the people that want to know how this bullshit washes out.

The CRO-MAGS were a huge part of my growing up and to see the name used for such petty dry humping the cash cow is just heartbreaking.

DJ HARMLESS

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From: Pete

To: parris@cro-mags.com

Subject: Fuck that shit

Reply-To: pete@superhelt.no

Cc:

Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 17:32:12 +0000 (GMT)

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Stop whining, call Harley and John, say you're sorry, then they'll say sorry, start rehearsing, and get the fucking Cro-Mags (the lineup from the age of quarrel) going again, kid. It's as simple as that!

That's what the fans want. Don't make me come over there!

Petter - Norwegian Hardcore Dropout

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RESPONSE TO PETE FROM PARRIS

- Pete,

All humor aside, Don't make me come over there. I wish it had been that simple. But it is not. There are limits and they were reached, limits of decency and limits of respect. It is a simple matter, we should have cooperated with eachother. They wouldn't. There is a complicated issue of ego and control that won't allow Harley to help himself. He is an egomaniac with an inferiority complex, he doesn't want to fail and is desperate to stop himself from proving that he is not worth all the praise. So he sabotages himself. It is a common artist's self defense mechanism, unfortunately Harley's is complicated by years of huffing glue and dropping acid. People who say it doesn't destroy your brain have not seen Harley in form.

So I know the fans may want it but I know a lot of fans would see right through it, it is NOT the same.

Parris

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From: Pete

To: parris@mail.cro-mags.com

Subject: Sorry

Reply-To: Pete

Cc:

Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 23:07:28 +0000 (GMT)

Yeah, sorry about the joke and stuff. I understand the problems that you've been facing. I'm a peaceful guy, I've never been into a fight, and therefor I have trouble understanding a guy like Harley you know. All the fucked up stories I've heard about him. Running off at 13 on a fight and fuck tour. I mean what kind of person does that kind of thing, he must be seriously out of balance mentally. That stuff is crazy, but I think that's what the Cro-Mags is about to allot of people. Craziness and fighting, and sadly not your genius guitar-riffs. However, I totally agree that it can never be the same, I respect that. It's just such a shame.

I must say that you sound like the only intelligent Cro-Mag member, and obviously the only one with the integrity intact. I appreciate that you took the time to answer my mail. Hope you won't face serious economical problems as a consequence of this situation. You'll probably make some money on the Harley rapist threats CD, now won't you? :) And don't worry about me not getting to see the original Cro-Mags live.

I still've got your albums to listen to.

Regards - Pete

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From: "Out Of Fire

 

To: parris@cro-mags.com

Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 11:09:11 -0000

 

Fuck those who do it for the devil. I thought that things like that donīt take part at all, but know I see that I was just ignorant. Harley and John pullinī shit like that unbeliavable! Iīm not the one to say this, but I think that kind of weird "fuckness" makes me just fuckinī lose my faith to all good that hardcore represents to me! Keepinī it real up my ass, I see! Well Parris at least you represent that real spirit and keep it real deep inside...United we stand divided we fall!

P.S Whatīs wrong with the Alpha Omega record. I think it "rocks" I got to buy it for $8 and itīs been worth it 10000 times!

Peace out

xSampsax

Finland

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RESPONSE TO xSampax from PARRIS

Sampax,

Sorry for the bad news but it real and it does suck.

About Alpha Omega. The situation that is happening now between Harley and myself is almost history repeating it self from the early nineties.

In 1990, after supporting the Best Wishes CD on tour Harley and I had cleaned house of all the problem band members, be it for drugs or obsolescence and we had a new guitar player, Rob Buckley. Who wrote most of the Alpha Omega CD by the way. Rob and I spent a year writing Alpha Omega while Harley sold Pot in Central Park. It was all very productive and positive time even though Harley wasn't involved or maybe because he wasn't involved. We had a new band and a clean outlook at the future.

After we had written Alpha Omega we were inspired. I fired Chris Williamson our manager and hired a big time shark lawyer to get us a new deal and then we took the new songs on the road.

Well, once all the work was done and we had all invested time and emotion in the CD Harley did another of his bullshit ego explosions and was jealous that Rob and I had written almost the entire CD without him. All except the lyrics of course. He decided that we should not credit Rob for his music because "the fans wouldn't like it if they knew he wrote it" so Harley suggested that we credit the CD as all songs by the Cro-Mags. Which I didn't like but I agreed to for the sake of peace. Moreover to just diplomatically keep the momentum of the band going. That was lame but not as lame as how he began acting towards everyone, just a total asshole. First, we demoed the songs. Then Harley went around playing the tapes to everyone on the New York scene and saying "listen to these new songs I wrote." Then people would come up to me and say "I heard those new demos of Harley's new songs, they're great" That kind of thing is just fucked up and to me unfathomable but at this point Harley was irrationally self centered to the point of lying outright.

Harley was carrying around a notebook with pages and pages of scribbled drawings that he said could show the placement in the universe of all the major important incarnations of God, he pointed out Krishna, Jesus, and himself as he played his role in the divine way of the universe.

At this point Harley and I were communicating between us, but he had completely disassociated himself from the rest of the band. Which was par for the course, I had spent the better part of the bands history trying to keep members from quitting because of Harley, a job I would carry out till 2001. Both Dave and Rob complained but Rob received the brunt of the problem, being constantly criticized and razzed by Harley. Harley always picks one person to pick on, last tour it was Pete Hines, before that it was Doug Holland and now it was Rob. I tried to convince him he was pushing Dave and Rob away and this was a bad time to alienate the band. For the good of the band he should tone it down. He agreed but it didn't stop his actual behavior, it got worse.

We then took the new songs on tour for two weeks to test them on the fans. It was great, the fans ate it up and we were having the time of our lives. Harley the first night decided we would not perform certain new songs that we had all worked on rehearsing, just one small link in a chain of non-cooperation, he simply refused.

Rob, Dave Dicenso and I were playing and partying every night. It was really the first time a tour had been so much fun, despite Harley. We were all having fun except Harley of course, who disregarded our invitations and he was on a mission to make everyone else as miserable as he was. One night we were all partying in our hotel room having a great time after the gig, even Harley's girlfriend Rachael and Harley's Hare Krishna buddies had had enough of him and had joined us. Harley called hotel security on us to stop the party. The next day we were in DC, we played the 930 club, it was great, some friends from New York flew down to see us including Michael Alago an A+R man who signed METALLICA and WHITE ZOMBIE, he was interested in buying our contract for GEFFEN. They had offered $250,000 to Profile.

After the 930 gig Harley was being such a baby killjoy that we, myself, Dave, Rob, our friends from New York and even Harley's girlfriend Rachael piled into the T-shirt van to drive back to New York, leaving Harley alone on the tour bus. We all preferred being cramped in a van than being on a luxury tour bus with him another moment. It was a fun ride. When we arrived at L'amour in Brooklyn and it was a sunny day so we took out a box radio and began blasting music. It was the Beastie Boys "License to ILL" and the infectious nature of that CD had everyone singing along. There were some kids who had shown up early to the show and they joined in. In the thick of the fun, the tour bus pulled up. Before the bus had come to a stop Harley was pounding on the door of the bus, then the door opened and Harley jumped out and looked around at all of us with complete contempt. We all had smiles on our faces and were rocking along, but that came to a complete stop. He walked up to the box radio and said "who put on this fucking Jew music?" and turned it off with the blade of his fist hammering down on the controls. I stepped forward and said " I did, why can't you let people enjoy themselves, we all don't have to be miserable like you" then I turned the music back on. Harley, face as red as a tomato in a rage, screamed at me "And you're an asshole too!!" and stormed down to the dressing room and smashed all the mirrors and locked the door.

That was the definitive moment of the band when Harley and I had finally butted heads. I knew it was over at that moment. How unreasonable can someone be, but Harley has always felt the need to prove how important he is to the band by behaving like as much of an asshole as he can to show everyone else that they HAD to put up with it. He was wrong, I didn't have to any more. Harley told our tour manager he "would not perform tonight or tomorrow" the last night of the tour. Our tour manager said in a panic " Parris you have to talk to him, he's got to play, what are we gonna do?" I said "I'm done catering to that baby, I'm going into the city, I don't care if we play or not but I'll tell you now. He'll play, he just wants you to beg, or me to beg, then he'll feel he has the upper hand. He does this to have a little show of control, like a little kid. You won't play with me, then I'll take my toys home"

Rob and I walked off and discussed starting a new band with all the new songs we had written. It was set in motion. But I was still not convinced, I wanted it to work out as I always tried to make it work out whenever Harley created some kind of problem, but this time Harley had seen fit to ignore all convention of decency and respect.

Needless to say we performed that night and it was strained. I can honestly say that, that was Biohazard's show hands down, we just weren't on point. The show was miserable actually and when it was over I walked downstairs and locked myself in a small dressing room to be by myself. A few minutes later I heard screaming and things breaking as Harley destroyed the dressing room, until finally he was pulling on the door of the room I was in, he finally kicked the door repeatedly until it smashed open with splinters of the doorframe flying. He walked in and sat down on the bench next to me and didn't say a word. I waited a minute or two, stood up and walked out.

We also performed the next night in Pennsylvania. That show was intense but I knew it was the last Cro-Mags show. I wasn't sad, I felt liberated, after years of struggling with irrational, vain, baby shit, egomania and insecurity. "No Harley you are great, really" so he wouldn't throw a tantrum, was getting tired and so was I.

A few weeks after the tour I found out that Profile records had no intention of selling our contract. I guess when they saw Geffen sniffing around they thought twice. That along with Harley's public lies had synched it for me, I wasn't going to deliver another CD to those bloodsucking Profile records assholes, EVER!

Harley had been telling everyone who walked and talked that he had written all the new songs and that was pissing me off, considering I had called him every day when we were writing the music to get him involved but he was too busy dealing drugs to participate. He also condescendingly said "don't you guys get all involved in writing songs we won't end up using, I have a whole album written already and it will break new ground in Rock music" needless to say he had nothing written and all my and Rob's songs were all there were. Except "Apocalypse Now" which had been written just after we recorded BEST WISHES. Harley did write that.

Harley had been calling me for a few weeks. I avoided him, then finally I saw him at a bar called KING TUT's WAH WAH HUT and told Harley I was out and Rob was coming with me. Harley began to cry. He said "I can't believe you are going to leave me, I can't believe it." I said "Harley I never wanted to quit the Cro-Mags but you pushed me away" He immediately said " So you will stay and we'll get rid of that asshole Rob." I said no, I gave you every opportunity and I warned you, now it is too late" He said " will you do me a favor?" "What?" "Don't tell anyone you quit just yet, because this is a big blow to me and I will be embarrassed to have people know I was such an asshole that Parris had had enough. As a friend, please do me this favor." I said "ok, and you can have the name Cro-Mags I don't care. I decided to leave so if you want, you can go with it" He said "No, I won't, I'm not going to drag the name around like Lemmy does with Motorhead" and I walked away, thinking how dare you diss Lemmy with a statement like that, don't you ever learn to shut the fuck up?

When Profile found out that I had quit they said "well if Parris isn't involved then the working half of the group that is functional is lost and the rest is not worth dealing with. We'll release Cro-Mags free of charge. Under one condition. That Parris and Harley don't ever reform as Cro-Mags." Profile was offered $250,000 to buy us as a team and gave us away free when I walked. That says something about the way this band worked.

So, after all was said and done, a year of buyout offers, writing an entire album of music, firing our incompetent manager and getting the band set up for success Harley ruins it all with his behavior drives me out and is rewarded with the Cro-Mags name free and clear of the record label that had stonewalled our career. If karma is real, I have seen no evidence of it. About two weeks later Zowie from Leeway came up to me and said "Parris, wow, I'm sorry to hear about you getting kicked out of the Cro-Mags." I said "what are you talking about? I quit and now there is no Cro-Mags?" He said "Harley told me he kicked you out and he is making a record." Foiled again I thought, but no one believed it and I didn't care anyway, I was free and I had already met with an A+R person at Atlantic that wanted to sign me and Rob. Harley then got a record deal with Century Media using the demo of the songs Rob and I wrote most of, called John Joseph and Doug to make it look more like the Cro-Mags and recorded Alpha Omega. The songs Rob and I wrote were stolen and we were uncredited. The liner notes read "ALL SONGS BY HARLEY FLANAGAN AND THE CRO-MAGS."

Not a lie, but not the truth, a tactic Harley employs relentlessly. Deceit by omission. It sucked, a year of songwriting lost, stolen by my friend. The friend who asked me for one last favor, "Just don't tell anyone", because it would embarrass him. Actually so he could tell his own more personally flattering story, typical. Because with Harley you are with him or he is against you, there is no middle ground. I had become his enemy by not putting up with his crap anymore and he did everything from that moment on to cause me trouble and he began a campaign to erase my role in the history of the band, with the help of John Joseph who was happy to completely disregard the historical facts and cast himself in the co-founding role in my place. Harley's treachery turned against him when his new band members mutinied against him and toured to support Alpha Omega without him.

It is a twisted little chapter of Cro-Mags history and is followed by Harley's failure driving him to drug addiction, infighting and betrayal by Harley's new Cro-Mags and ultimately the ugly public demise of the band, but that is another story.

These details may shed some light on why and what I feel about the Alpha Omega CD. It symbolizes a very ugly time and ultimately Alpha Omega is truly NOT a Cro-Mags CD, it is a mistake of circumstance. That is why it is not in our discography. If you enjoy it, that's cool, to you it is just a CD in your collection. To me it is a year of my life stolen and the end of my band.

Unfortunately this kind of thing is repeated all through out our history. It amazes me to even recall it because it is so fucked up and unbelievable. What is more unbelievable is that it is happening again, in the same way as if time hadn't passed. First Harley is an unbearable ass, I kick Harley to the curb again, he runs back to John again. Now there is only to wait to see them turn on each other again.

When Harley and I got back together to play again we never discussed the Alpha Omega CD. We simply sidestepped the issue as we did allot of Harley's past transgressions, embracing the rational that we are adults now and hindsight is 20/20 etc, etc, blah, blah, denial, except when we were to tour, he asked if we could play some songs from Alpha Omega. I said flatly "NO" and I didn't need to discuss it, it was self-explanatory. We never discussed it again.

Parris

 

From: swissman@

To: parris@cro-mags.com

Subject: Well Written

Parris,

I know how you feel, you think they are your friends because they are there when it is time to cash in but when the time comes to pay, they are nowhere to be found. They also don't seem to see the sentimental value in Cro-Mags. I haven been listening to old school New York Hardcore since 1987. Remember Warzone, Cro-Mags etc. Keep on fighting man.

Patrick - CrawlNoise

Switzerland

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RESPONSE TO SWISSMAN FROM PARRIS

Swissman,

Thank you for the good words. I'm glad you understand. For some of us this is more than just a vehicle for our own ego, it is music and a ppractical way to live a life making it.

Parris

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Thanks again Parris

 

Click here for the History of the Cro-Mags.

Click here to purchase CD's.

parris@cro-mags.com