Pop, politics and punk fanzines from 1976

Ripped, torn and cut offers a collection of original essays exploring the motivations behind – and the politics within – the multitude of fanzines that emerged in the wake of British punk from 1976. Sniffin’ Glue (1976–77), Mark Perry’s iconic punk fanzine, was but the first of many, paving the way for hundreds of home-made magazines to be cut and pasted in bedrooms across the UK. From these, glimpses into provincial cultures, teenage style wars and formative political ideas may be gleaned. An alternative history, away from the often-condescending glare of London’s media and music industry, can be formulated, drawn from such titles as Ripped & Torn, Brass Lip, City Fun, Vague, Kill Your Pet Puppy, Toxic Grafity, Hungry Beat and Hard as Nails. Here, in a pre-internet world, we see the development of networks and the dissemination of punk’s cultural impact as it fractured into myriad sub-scenes: industrial, post-punk, anarcho, Oi!, indie, goth. Ripped, torn and cut brings together academic analysis with practitioner accounts to forge a collaborative history ‘from below’. The first book of its kind, this collection reveals the contested nature of punk’s cultural politics by turning the pages of a vibrant underground press.

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Punk, politics and resistance

The Subcultures Network is a cross-disciplinary research network for scholars and students interested in the relationship between subcultures (in all their forms) and wider processes of social, cultural and political change. Bringing together theoretical analyses, empirical studies and methodological discussions, the network is designed to explore the relationships between subcultures and their historical context, and the place of subcultures within patterns of cultural and political change. This book is very much a product of the Network's brief and emerged, in large part, from the inaugural symposium held at London Metropolitan University in September 2011. The book is divided into three parts, each with a broadly defined theme. The first of these relates to punk and identity, particularly with regard to gender, class, age and race. The second part looks at punk's relationship to locality and space. In particular, it deals with two overlapping processes. First, the ways in which punk's transmission allowed for diverse interpretation and utilisation of the cultural form beyond local, regional and national boundaries. Second, the extent to which punk's aesthetic and expression was shaped by, inspired and reflected the environments in which its protagonists lived. The third and final part concentrates on communication and reception. From within the culture, the language of punk is brought under discursive analysis by Melani Schröter, who looks at the critiques of 'normality' contained within the lyrics of German punk bands from the late 1970s through to the present day.