May 30th, 2011 | Staff Blog

Want to see Reality 86’d, the ultra-rare 1991 documentary that chronicles one of the most influential times in punk rock ever, when Henry Rollins-era Blag Flag turned punk on its head and proved themselves more pivotal than the Sex Pistols and Ramones combined?

Well, under normal circumstances, you can’t!  Unavailable in any distributed format for years, according to director David Markey, the film finally found a home on Vimeo not too long ago where slam-dancers of all ages could see it.  And then this happened:

Sorry! “”Reality 86’d” A film by David Markey” was deleted at 1:49:29 Mon May 23, 2011. Vimeo has removed or disabled access to the following material as a result of a third-party notification by Greg Ginn claiming that this material is infringing: “Reality 86’d” A film by David Markey. We have no more information about it on our mainframe or elsewhere.

We caught up with David Markey on Facebook this week and got his take on why he believes Ginn had the film “paralyzed”:

So… what did Greg Ginn do to your film, Reality 86’d?
He first refused to release the film when I offered it to him. He then refused to let me release the film. He then refused to let Henry release the film. 20 years pass. I post it to Vimeo for viewing purposes only and Ginn has it removed. Like clockwork.
Do you make him look bad in the movie?  Why would he do this?
The film was done with love and respect for Ginn and Black Flag, one of the world’s most important bands, still… even after all of this.  There is nothing in the film to make him look bad that we didn’t already see in Woodstock.
Isn’t this an important portrait-of-a-time film that everyone should see?
This particular era is not very under-represented, although oddly enough Greg did allow footage from this movie to be seen in American Hardcore.  I thought that was weird.
This is one of the few films with footage of Joe Cole, the famed Black Flag roadie whose death inspired songs by Sonic Youth, an album by Hole, and even two books by Henry Rollins.  Why would anyone want to diminish his legacy?
Beats me.  Joe saw the film before he was killed.  At least he got to see it.
Henry Rollins is in the film too.  Does he know what Greg’s done to the film?
Yes.  Very much so.  Henry wants it released. Dukowski wants it released. 5 other people in the film want it released. The fans want it released.
Now that I can’t see the film, it only makes me want to view it more.  What are my options?
I hear it’s all over the net already so perhaps the 20th century way of doing things is already irrelevant.
So, how are you going to make this right?  Will you shoot a third Lovedolls movie and cast Bob Moss as a villainous “Gagg Thin, head of STD Records?”
Probably not, not that it’s not a great idea…

Dan Collins