Happy Birthday to Chuck Dukowski – born Gary Arthur McDaniel; February 1, 1954 | Chuck Dukowski

Chuck Dukowski (born Gary Arthur McDaniel) is a Californian punk rock musician, best known as a founding member and bass player for Black Flag. Dukowski wrote some of Black Flag’s most popular songs, including “My War,” “What I See,” “I’ve Heard It Before” and “Spray Paint.” He left the band before the release of My War, and afterward served as Black Flag’s manager. Dukowski was also the co-owner of SST Records until 1990, after which he served as “Head of Sales” until leaving the label in the late 1990s.

After Black Flag, Dukowski continued to play in Würm, SST “supergroup” October Faction, and formed his own band SWA in 1985 with Merrill Ward of Overkill.

Dukowski has a new band with artist and musician (and his wife) Lora Norton called The Chuck Dukowski Sextet. They released their debut album, Eat My Life, on Dukowski’s own Nice & Friendly Records in 2006. In 2013, Chuck launched Flag with former Black Flag members Keith Morris, Bill Stevenson, Dez Cadena, and Descendents/All guitarist Stephen Egerton to perform the music of Black Flag.

He appeared in the documentaries The Decline of Western Civilization, Open Your Mouth And Say… Mr. Chi Pig, We Jam Econo, Urban Struggle: the Battle of the Cuckoo’s Nest and “We Were Feared (Clockwork Orange County)”.

Early years

Dukowski was born and raised in a self-described middle-class family in San Pedro, Los Angeles, California where Chuck’s father worked for TRW. Dukowski attended San Pedro High School and later Chadwick School, where he played football. After graduation, he went to college to study psychobiology.

Name origin

Dukowski’s birth name is Gary McDaniel, but he has used the name “Chuck Dukowski” professionally for many years. According to Dukowski, the name originated from a Zippo lighter with “Chuck the Duke” inscribed on it that he found while searching for change. Feeling that the name “Chuck the Duke” sounded macho, he wanted to add a Polish sounding last name, as Poles were frequently picked on. He turned “Chuck the Duke” into “Chuck Dukowski”. Dukowski was credited under his real name on original pressings of Black Flag’s Nervous Breakdown EP as well as in film The Decline of Western Civilization and its companion soundtrack album. He is credited as “Charles Dukowski” on Black Flag’s Damaged LP.


Black Flag

  • Nervous Breakdown EP (1979) – bass
  • Jealous Again EP (1980) – bass/vocals
  • “Louie Louie” single (1981) – bass
  • Six Pack EP (1981) – bass
  • Damaged (1981) – bass
  • TV Party EP (1982) – bass
  • Everything Went Black double LP (1983) – bass
  • Slip It In’ (1984) – guest backing vocals


  • Your Future (If You Have One) (1985) – bass
  • Sex Dr. (1986) – bass
  • XCIII (1987) – bass
  • Evolution 85–87 (1988) – bass
  • Winter (1989) – bass
  • Volume (1991) – bass/vocals

Chuck Dukowski Sextet

  • Eat My Life (2006) – bass/guitars
  • Reverse the Polarity (2007) – bass
  • Haunted (2012) – bass


  • Wurm – I’m Dead EP (1982) – bass/vocals
  • Wurm – Feast (1985) – bass
  • October Faction – October Faction(1985) – bass/vocals
  • October Faction – Second Factionalization (1986) – bass/vocals
  • Chuck Dukowski/Paul Cutler/Bill Stinson – United Gang Members CD (1994) – bass/vocals
  • Bl’ast – For Those Who’ve Graced The Fire! single (2015) – bass (as guest)
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