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Punk’s spirit is broken Transgression has been tamed by fear

'We had few objectives beyond wilful abrasion.' (Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage)

'We had few objectives beyond wilful abrasion.' (Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage)


September 14, 2023   6 mins

Turns out I’m still hated in Liverpool, even though I’m actually a fan of the Scouse. Wandering around Blue Dot Festival a month ago, I stopped to poach a fag off of a gaggle of Liverpudlians sat around the main stage. A young lad started rolling one for me, then asked what I’d come to the festival to see. I told him I was there to read from a book I’d published last year. “Sound, what’s it called?” Ten Thousand Apologies. “What’s it about?” It’s about the band Fat White Family, I replied.

I could see the name registered on some level. So I asked if they knew the band I meant. “Yeah, actually I do know the band. I saw them play in Liverpool a while back, around 2015.” What did you make of them? “I thought they were great, until I noticed the lead singer was wearing this T-shirt with a joke about The Sun on it, and I just thought ‘what an absolute fucking prick’, you don’t come to Liverpool and make jokes about The Sun.”

I think I remember this controversy, I informed him. Wasn’t that T-shirt a kind of satirical mock up of a Sun front page? As in, the headline today is simply “consume more stuff”? “Nah man,” he replied, “and even if it was, in Liverpool, you don’t fuck with that. He should have known better. Have some fucking respect laa.” I’m pretty certain it was an anti-Sun T-shirt, I countered. “Nah man, it wasn’t, seriously.” Oh, I really think that it was. “How’d you know that for sure?” I was the bloke wearing the T-shirt.

This swiftly led to a five-way argument with the Scouse contingent. Seeing as any practical justification I offered up — the T-shirt said “The Sun, keep fucking buying” on it — was swatted away with waspish urgency, I reverted back to form: even if I hadn’t been in the middle of an eight-year bender, I told them petulantly, even if I’d soberly clocked the unfortunate local significance of the thing before taking to the stage, I would still have worn the shirt. They were scowling now. “So, you’re not even sorry?” I don’t want to patronise my audience, I informed them, I’m not going to water myself down for anyone either. There is no conspiracy so sinister as morality, I added, with deliberate pretentiousness. My job is to get you to ask questions. Art isn’t here to shepherd you along to a more positive perspective in life.

But my arguments were evidently beyond the pale. This group of young people couldn’t compute the absence of literalism. I would once have felt quite proud that I had been able to confuse people so permanently by simply wearing a T-shirt. Intentional or not, I would normally find this kind of outrage objectively comical. But there was something in their unanimity that was vaguely inspiring. Where else have people managed to club together and successfully banish that red rag of Murdoch-sponsored hatred? Was I fighting the wrong battle here? Either way, he eventually refused me the roll-up I’d asked for.

When the Fat White Family set out as a band around 12 years ago, we had few objectives beyond wilful abrasion. We saw the music industry — shrivelled after the streaming boom — as primarily concerned with little more than its own survival. Indie music featuring guitars had become so droll, so bitterly inoffensive and stale, that, as fans, it was difficult not to take it personally. The flipside of that — the positive, if you like — was that even through an endless fog of speed abuse, Glen’s vodka and unresolved childhood trauma, it was easy to spot a gap in the market for something genuinely discomforting. Our idols were Lou Reed, The Fall, The Make Up and The Country Teasers — wanton outsiders who turned politics into playdough in lieu of their aesthetic objectives. These people were world-builders, not box-tickers.

I’m approaching 40 now. Life has slapped me down repetitively; it has beaten plenty of moderation into me. My taste for shock tactics has diminished considerably. Today, I’m more prone to dabbling in sentimentality. But for a protracted period during the middle of the previous decade, my organ-grinding little brother and I found ourselves seriously considering anally fingering one another on stage. Even GG Allin, perhaps the most extreme frontman that ever lived, had never committed himself to live incest. I look back on these discussions now as the high-water mark in a take-no-prisoners exploration of the contemporary limitations of the stage itself. I wanted to become the Vito Acconci of rock and roll. One of Egon Schiele’s self portraits brought to life.

When I think of the word “punk”, the first things that spring to mind are mohawks and circles with a capital “A” drawn in the middle. But if we think of punk more generally as an aesthetic of dissidence, a counter to the status quo, what does it mean today? Where can it possibly bloom?

Maybe it was an excess of freedom that brought it on, but we seem now to live in an era of taboo-building, of rapidly expanding moral expectations, but one that refuses to offer people anything sensual in return. In essence, punk entails a certain amount of aesthetic juvenilia. Where punk is concerned, problem and solution are often one and the same: a lack of restraint can often prove the key to authenticity. A project defines itself by going too far. Until it has gone too far, it quite simply isn’t. It is transcendence in the wrong direction — it is only by painting yourself into a corner that you are forced to paint yourself out.

Apparently, this mode of cultural production now causes more agony than it’s worth. With an ever-tightening fist of critical rigidity, well-meaning purveyors of carefully cultivated static carry the day. Artists are now expected to live comfortably with the fetid anxiety that, at any moment, their already paltry livelihoods might be stripped away from them on account of some antiquated faux pas on Facebook. Maybe some new media ecosystem will coalesce around the mainstream, where young people can get things gloriously wrong for a spell, but I doubt it.

The problems are too fundamental. The birth of social media has lumbered us with an apparently fatal dose of accessibility, of democratisation: everyone in charge of their own little publishing house, their own micro-judiciary, each one a captain of industry at the infinitesimal scale. There aren’t enough shadows within which groups can get fungal. Everything is out in the world before it’s had a chance to properly malform. Meanwhile, the space separating self from all the rest has been obliterated. The upshot of this suffocating proximity? Alienation, and fear.

Back when I was utterly broke, trying to get into music, I got scouted by a modelling agency. This agency had me cycling all over London chasing fantastical sums of money in exchange for a few hours pouting. I didn’t land a single job. The only “work” I ever managed to land was unpaid, for a Japanese fashionista in east London. There was no money, but the agency assured me I had to build my portfolio. I spent four hours in front of a mirror being rendered in full geisha make-up, then had my photo taken incessantly wearing a piece of linen before being cast out into the weekend.

The garb brought another me to the surface, a new kind of tenderness that Friday night. And two years ago, I made a video for the DIY acid house side project I front, Decius, in which I decided to resurrect that geisha alter ego. The video budget amounted to around ÂŁ70, as chipped in for by me and the bloke cooking the beats, all of which was spent hiring a young make-up artist I’d found online. The song is called “U Instead of Thought” (Watch the video: you’ll be able to see for yourself that she did an incredible job.) The whole project is an exploration of my masochistic tendencies, an aestheticisation of my will to subjection.

Days after, the artist in question got back in touch with me to remind me to credit her when the film dropped. Of course, I replied. A day or two later, she decided she didn’t want her name on the thing, that maybe the video constituted an act of cultural appropriation. I was a little bemused at this — a great many little Algerian boys dream of growing up to become geishas — but fair enough, your call, I replied. Then she changed tack again; actually, she did want the credit. Then, days later, she made her final decision: it was too risky, the video constituted some vague kind of harm and she didn’t want the association after all. That only around 500 people were ever likely to see the thing didn’t matter.

I brought up Flaubert’s comments on plagiarism, who regarded his own work as always nothing more than a bouquet of other people’s ideas. There are only two types of art: good and bad. Of course, good art can be put to bad ends; Leni Riefenstahl made great films for the worst people. I asked the make-up artist what she made of the blues? The bedrock of pop music. Should a barrier have been erected between black and white? She responded with a viral video of a young Asian guy attributing the racist attack he had endured on the London Underground to the prevalence of Kung-Fu thematics in Western pop culture.

Such moral urgency has supplanted spontaneity in the arts. As much as I found the make-up artist’s extreme prevaricating humorous, I recognised enough of myself in it. The endless doubt that now accompanies every outrĂ© aesthetic choice I make. Above all else, I felt sorry for her. Sorry for all of us. Are we slowly denying ourselves access to the architecture of self-knowing? As artists, are we really expected to choose between impotence and extreme marginality?

If one takes into account the serious critical acclaim heaped upon Harry Styles, it seems so. If one takes into account the even more serious journalism that props up The 1975, all is surely lost. I’ve seen the future; it is an eternal corporate skid-mark of pseudo-personality and pragmatic hypocrisy. Where provocation for provocation’s sake is concerned, the stakes are unbearably high, the competition non-existent. The orgy of self-censorship that is our historical portion thus ends here: in screaming silence.


Lias Saoudi is the frontman of Fat White Family and the Moonlandingz, and the co-author of Ten Thousand Apologies: Fat White Family and the Miracle of Failure

FatWhiteFamily

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J Bryant
J Bryant
9 months ago

I really enjoyed this article. It was worth reading just for: “There aren’t enough shadows within which groups can get fungal. Everything is out in the world before it’s had a chance to properly malform.”
I’m old enough to remember the original punk movement, Johnny Rotten and all. To be honest, after the initial novelty wore off, I didn’t like it. Whatever they might have started out trying to say soon got lost in plain old anarchy. Good luck to them but it was boring to watch after a while.
What the author of the article didn’t tell us (no reason why he should) is whether there is still a market for punk? Are there still young people out there eager to give the finger to society, especially to the moral scolds who now dominate the performing arts? If such people exist, who are they? Are they drawn exclusively from the rough edges of society or, like in the 1970s, are many from a solidly middle-class background who want the chance to let their hair down once in a while, attend a concert and give society the middle finger?
I’d like to think youthful rebellion still exists, but the forces of conformity are almost overwhelming nowadays.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
9 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Whilst i’d agree with that, i think the author almost makes a caricature out of what “being an artist” involves. He doesn’t speak for artists in general, only the type of young person who looks to music (in particilar) to make an impact.

It’s as wrong to make “shock value” a necessary aspect of artistic endeavour as any other type of impact emanating from artistic activity. Revolutionary work doesn’t have to be accompanied by the sound of a thrashed guitar; Egon Schiele is not the only aesthetic.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
9 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Youth rebelling against society today would involve eschewing the tattoos, piercings, neon hair dye, physical flabbiness, and virtue-signaling mind hive platitudes of elementary school teachers and middle-aged librarians.

Nardo Flopsey
Nardo Flopsey
9 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

The trubble with anarchy is too many filthy club restrooms with nobody ever bothering to replenish the loo roll or the hand sanitizer.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
9 months ago
Reply to  Nardo Flopsey

I dearly hope that such nightclubs still exist for the young to enjoy; but I fear that they do not and nor might they wish to even if they did.

Zaph Mann
Zaph Mann
9 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I wish I’d got to this article earlier – i played Fat White Family on my show because the music was good, but I’m very disappointed to see him churning out the same old “there’s no good ‘_____’ music anymore” trope. There is GREAT punk and post-punk (New Wave) music being made all over the world – there are probably 4-5 examples in my latest show alone – people pump out this nonsense because they never hear the good stuff – often because as they get older they don’t put in the effort – naming insubstantial popular artists proves nothing – these types are always there – pushed by the big players, and so below is all the great, energetic, insightful, edgy music if you care to look or listen

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
9 months ago
Reply to  Zaph Mann

So says you in your rather elite bubble! You don’t give any examples.

If no normal kids have heard of them, it makes no difference whether they exist or not!

“All over the world” is interesting. I wonder if that tends to exclude the Anglophone woke one….

Jane Powell
Jane Powell
9 months ago
Reply to  Zaph Mann

People tend to put labels or badges or categorise art because they have an interest in flogging it
 art is totally subjective and a ‘good’ tune is a good tune wherever in the world it comes from
 who on earth wants to listen to the same sort of thing all the time and discount anything because it has a different ‘badge’ (of course as in “we don’t need no stinkin
)? Oooh, hang on, I remember now why rave put us out of business
 the fascist beat
 lol lol lol.. I guess it all depends on where you find your ‘new’ (could be ‘new’ old) music to listen to
 anyway, ‘punk’ was all over bar the shouting by the end of 1977, although the ethos lives on in old punks like us for whom ‘anarchy’ means something very different to what it’s come to represent in the popular vernacular
 apropos of nothing: we went to see the Damned earlier this year and I can hand on heart say it was the worst gig we’ve ever been to

So, in other words, yeah, what you said
 Could you resend a link please, it didn’t arrive on here so maybe it can’t be done
 in which case perhaps just tell me what to shove in google so I can find it myself? Thanks âœŒâŁïžfrom South Wales

Mike SampleName
Mike SampleName
9 months ago

I’m a metalhead, rather than a punk, but the same problem persists here. A band will drop a member at the first murmur of a vague suggestion of impropriety. The running joke in the older community is that the latest hit band is “Rage In Favour Of The Machine”. No more “f**k you I won’t do what you tell me”, it’s all “yes sir I will do what you tell me!”
I miss the independence, the rebelliousness, the “don’t give a f**k” attitude that’s been replaced by a need for safe spaces and bland inoffensiveness. Even the big icons are careful of their steps now, carefully managed to ensure they don’t put a step wrong whilst still desperate to retain their relevance.

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
9 months ago

Metal in the West has been overwhelmed by Homo Reddit. The blubbery, balding, tattooed androgyne who longs for an Emperor reunion would have reviled them in 1993. They’re genuinely offended by the antisocial antics of musicians and expect the most underground ‘extreme’ bands to be as squeaky clean as boybands (!) Why they listen to this sort of music is a mystery.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
9 months ago

It’s hard to explain to people who weren’t affected by punk, or to later generations. They see music as a mere pleasant consumerist item. But I still remember, very clearly, the first time I heard “Boredom” by The Buzzcocks:
Like pissing on an electric fence (er, don’t), only a few songs hit you that way. Suddenly, at last, the music of your tribe; and the future was dizzy with possibility.
The underlying message? If we can do this, you can do this. DIY. You no longer had to listen to drippy, passive songs that didn’t speak you. You no longer had to cover up parts of yourself. You started to feel agency, and possibilities, passing to you.
That taut, willfully un-musical chacka-chacka-chacka guitar sound (Pete Shelley had bought a cheap guitar in Woolworths and then improved it by sawing it in half so that a couple of strings were missing) and the puritanical bassy energy of it. The cry of working class defiance. The swagger of it. The yearning.
Offhand, only three other songs ever hit me like that:
The Undertones‘ “My Perfect Cousin“; around the same time. Couple of years later, the deadpan cynicism of The Fall‘s “Totally Wired” and the shimmering decay of Joy Division‘s “The Eternal“.
Back then, that early punk sound – short and sharp like the best ’50s rockers; pulsing with energy and defiance and that scabby, rising-falling, buzz-saw two tone noise – defined me like a second skin – and it still goes to my heart.
Years later, it pissed me off when well-heeled, clueless, English and Southside Dubliners would dust off their lazy, undergrad, classist cod-anthropology and, from behind the white picket fences of their cocooned minds, sympathise with “how awful it must have been”.
Eh?! The 1970s in the North of Ireland was a deadly (all puns intended) place to be a teenager – there was so much to question; and all the structural issues and mayhem created a paradoxical sense of exhilaration and of possibilities in the structural interstices.  As a young person in the 70s and 80s, I had freedoms that are today unimaginable for young people, who to me seem mainly to sit in their rooms and curate their pixels. The state, the Troubles, the churches, the prevailing societal and parental mores – I had major issues with all of them; and suddenly, out of nowhere, this music that pulsed with energy and that howled its defiance. To a shy 11 year old, punk provided a necessary external validation and helped inculcate an attitude that you should and could kick out the jams, wherever you encountered them and whatever form they took. Suddenly, I was no longer unsure or confused; I was now in the vanguard and all those dead-head adults were blinkered relics who understood nothing 

This attitude – question, question, question and think and act for yourself – became part of your identity. Of course, personalities are what they are; and some of that development would have taken place anyway. But there’s no denying that punk was a serious catalyst for many of my generation.
Popular music is often dross in any era. But the 4 decades from the 50s through the late 80s were leavened with unruly pop music insurrections that were pure gold. The 90s saw a slow decline; and, in this century, as Bowie foretold, in the social media and resurrected pop svengali age, pop music (once more reduced to the status of adornment), as a serious counter-cultural force is dead.

Zaph Mann
Zaph Mann
9 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

I’m with you until the end – where you’re just wrong – there are dozens of great new bands and acts – you need to seek them out like you did when you were young*. There is no decline – although I’d agree that the stifling masses of dross have increased. *If you don’t have the time/means listen in to my show and many like it, we’ve done the hard work eliminating the crap.

Jane Powell
Jane Powell
9 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

As an artist who lived through punk and was immediately sold (haha) on the ethos
 DIY is not quite the same as work with what you’ve got
 if you don’t get the differential nuance, well
 DIY is seeing something and thinking “f**k me, I could do that” (not particularly creative) whereas “work with what you’ve got”
. Whoever put the DIY moniker on punk should be shot, lol
 Where did you get it from? Interested of South Wales âœŒâŁïž

Last edited 9 months ago by Jane Powell
Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
9 months ago

Very much enjoyed that, particularly as it echoed two firm beliefs of my own; namely that all new ideas are recombinations of old ones and that there are only two kinds of music: good and bad. Back when I was fighting the Punk Wars it was all about taking chances and getting stuff done in the knowledge that no one was going to help you. It was never about cider, mohawks and the anarchy logo. Until it was. Then there was the (fairly successful) attempt to co-opt the whole thing by RAR and Red Wedge and we had the hilarious spectacle of twenty thousand people in Victoria Park, eyes downcast, nervously mumbling “Sing if You’re Glad to be Gay” at the exhortation of Tom Robinson. We only went to see The Clash. If punk (in the white heat of its inception) had a political stripe it was surely, if anything, libertarian.

Harry Phillips
Harry Phillips
9 months ago

Lol – I remember that.
I also remember how the ANL and RAR moved in en masse and as you say, co-opted the whole thing – complete with placards, posters, annoying middle-class f-c-s and excruciating “anti-racist” bands.

Paul K
Paul K
9 months ago

‘Everything is out in the world before it’s had a chance to properly malform.’

That is a cracking line.

Nardo Flopsey
Nardo Flopsey
9 months ago

This article reminds me of Anthony Bourdain, both in terms of excellent literary wheelies, and as a cautionary tale of the eventual tummy ache which results from eating too much candy. In Bourdain’s case, realizing that he had become a caricature of a New York punk rock rebel, forced to persist in the act of being the ultimate anti-tourist tourist. Rebellion, like sushi, can be incredibly exciting when fresh; but it has a brief shelf life.

Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
9 months ago

I’ve been hearing all this stuff about rebellion and transgression all my life but it only ever goes one way and there’s never any cost, only validation. One of the few genuinely transgressive moments in music that I can remember was when Gary Newman came out as a tory in the 80s. He was a dead man to the music press and media after that.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
9 months ago
Reply to  Paul Devlin

I’d forgotten about Gary Numan coming out as a tory. It’s true but he had little to lose as he was an “untouchable” to hipsters already. Musicians with conservative leanings had long known to keep their gobs shut (yes, Rush, I know
) but I wonder if Gary – with his ASD – simply spoke without thought of consequence. Heart-warmingly he’s hugely popular again; touring and making great new music that sounds exactly like Gary Numan and is loved by plenty of young ‘uns.

Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
9 months ago

This is it, Simon. If you have the courage to stick to your guns and not follow every fad and whim of the young, sooner or later you’ll emerge triumphant

Nanda Kishor das
Nanda Kishor das
9 months ago

Well… the author clearly has a point: we need art that challenges conformity. But I certainly don’t agree that morality is just a conspiracy; it’s actually a necessary part of what it means to belong to a community. The current enemy of artistic freedom is an obsession with political correctness, even if this correctness is completely immoral by any standard. But the antidote won’t come from performing acts of depravity on a stage, fueled by substance abuse. Transgression and artistic value are two different things.

N Satori
N Satori
9 months ago

Transgression and artistic value are two different things.

Very true – but it is amusing to see ageing youthquake bores (of whatever era) waxing nostalgic as they settle into a comfortable state of armchair rebellion – forgetting, in the process, how creatively limited their musical heroes are once the rebel veneer is stripped away.

starkbreath
starkbreath
9 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Bingo. All the ‘transgresiveness’ is just cheap, juvenile theatrics to hide that there’s nothing underneath. Punk rock is shite.

starkbreath
starkbreath
8 months ago
Reply to  starkbreath

‘We’re so pretty
Oh so Pretty Vacant
And we don’t care!’
Kinda says it all right there.

Douglas Redmayne
Douglas Redmayne
9 months ago

Punk celebrated being offensive and considered this to be a freedom. Offending sensibilities in Liverpool about the Sun ( albeit inadvertently) resonates with that tradition, although if you believe in freedom of speech then be prepared for those whom you offend to verbally attack you any way they like on social media by the same token .

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
9 months ago

Good point, but i think the author, in highlighting the case of the “offended Scousers” seeks to show that the offence taken was as a result of wilful misinterpretation, or “offence taken for the sake of being offended” which is prevalent in today’s cultural discourse.

Last edited 9 months ago by Steve Murray
jane baker
jane baker
9 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Actually it sounded to me like they were just very stupid.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
9 months ago

Wish people could see their way to avoid things like ‘cooking the beats’.

I keep getting an image of Jamie Oliver, and it’s only 8.45am

Last edited 9 months ago by Dumetrius
O. M.
O. M.
9 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

hmm.. that’s on you that the word “cooking” does that for you.. or actually, there is nothing wrong with you feeling certain discomfort in this situation..but expecting that people will adjust expression of their culture to make it more comfortable for you – I’d say that’s plain disrespectful – in a good old-fashioned way, disrespectful..

Robin Whittle
Robin Whittle
9 months ago

I copied and pasted “There is no conspiracy so sinister as morality” into the text of my bookmark for this article. I will shout this with conviction in the hope of fomenting a split second of flummoxary next time I am mugged.  
I was told by a friend in Amsterdam that “Does your mother know you do this?” had proved useful in such circumstances – but I forgot to use it when I was in fact held up at knife-point, in broad daylight, exactly where he said was most dangerous. Multiple “Drop the passport! You don’t need it!”s worked when the junkies were walking away.

Android Tross
Android Tross
9 months ago

“Indie music featuring guitars had become so droll, so bitterly inoffensive and stale, that, as fans, it was difficult not to take it personally.”

Amen to that.

J Dunne
J Dunne
9 months ago

A great, if depressing, article. Surely we have to find a way out of this pompous sterility that is forced on us all?

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
9 months ago

In this day and age being a straight, white, conservative, Christian male makes me happily counter-cultural.

Phil Trum
Phil Trum
9 months ago

Check out Bob Vylan. I saw them supporting “Generation Sex” a couple of months ago. All started well until the lead singer properly starting baiting the audience (“punks” in their 60s). It was the most uncomfortable I’ve felt at a gig in decades (maybe ever) and it was great.

Sonny Ramadhin
Sonny Ramadhin
9 months ago

Stopped reading after his charming discussion with his brother.

starkbreath
starkbreath
9 months ago
Reply to  Sonny Ramadhin

But they’re artists!

Steve Hall
Steve Hall
9 months ago

Punk was just another manufactured youth fad draining off embryonic political energy into harmless posturing. This has been the norm since the late 1950s, when youth with disposable income (often gifted by parents) became a major marketing target and radical politics took its cultural turn after the horrors of Stalinism were revealed in 1956.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
9 months ago
Reply to  Steve Hall

Sure, McLaren was a rat, but at least the Pistols were honest about the money. But the point you is that punk was a catalyst, and a very short-lived one at that. We kids who had our lives enabled by punk used it as a nudge towards agency and a DIY attitude that still directs anything I do in life. I have no respect for established anything, and I always reckon I can do anything. I trace that 2 fingers attitude back to punk.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
9 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Great comment. Very much seconded.

Steve Hall
Steve Hall
9 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Well, I’m glad you found it useful on a personal level, Frank. You might be doing yourself an injustice, though, because you probably enabled yourself. I have the same attitude, but I ignored punk – then again, I ignored all youth fads. But we’re both being anecdotal. Most of the former punks I knew became insurance salesmen, bureaucrats, that sort of thing, so maybe punk didn’t promote the spirit of independence amongst the majority.

Jane Powell
Jane Powell
9 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Yep, what he said! Or as my husband said in one of his more sardonic moments “when I was jumping around to “No Future”, little did I know it was gonna turn out to be true”
 lol

There’s something about punk as a “youth movement” that has made it particularly mythologised doncha think? My husband Mark years later working with Mick Jones and a mutual friend said “Mark was at ‘Screen on the Green’ “ To which Mick replied “If everyone who claims to have been there was ACTUALLY there, we would have filled Wembley Stadium” (or something like that, can’t remember exactly, but you get the point) Mark was also on the front page of the News of the World (or was it the Sunday People?) along with the headline ‘Look What Pop Kids Do Now’
 he’s had an ALMOST unhealthy distrust of journalism ever since, lol
 now excuse me while I just see if he has any objections to anything I’ve written before I press âŹ‡ïž

Benedict Waterson
Benedict Waterson
9 months ago
Reply to  Steve Hall

Yes Something Else by Sid Vicious is a case in point

Shale Lewis
Shale Lewis
9 months ago

So, does the protagonist eventually get the fag he is desperately seeking, or what? The suspense is killing me.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
9 months ago