King’s Road clothes shop owned by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood and who embodied the emerging punk style which the shop was busy promoting. She had appeared briefly, with a strikingly anachronistic blonde punk haircut, in the opening scene of Sebastiane as Mammea Morgana, the famous prostitute who ‘has slept her way from Bath to Rome’, and Jarman now wanted to make a semi-documentary film about her and her London

in Derek Jarman
Ecosystem health and the punk poetry of John Cooper Clarke

6 ‘Flowers of evil’: ecosystem health and the punk poetry of John Cooper Clarke John Parham The ‘punk poetry’ of John Cooper Clarke displays a keen awareness of its environment. ‘The Day the World Stood Still’ freezes, for a day, a world of traffic noise, dirt, flies. The curiously named ‘I Travel in Biscuits’ opens with a bombardment of the dirge disharmonies of the city: the sound of the daylight the smell of the urine the rain on the drainpipes the filthy two-two time i should know better how an animal feels;1 Across his descriptions of these ‘garden[s] of

in Fight back
Toxic Grafity’s punk epiphany as subjectivity (re)storying ‘the truth of revolution’ across the lifespan

11 ‘Mental liberation issue’: Toxic Grafity’s punk epiphany as subjectivity (re)storying ‘the truth of revolution’ across the lifespan Mike Diboll1 All that follows below is data Alec Grant (2013) What was I thinking when, in the summer of 1980, I subtitled issue 5 of Toxic Grafity the ‘mental liberation issue’?2 As Matt Worley notes, Toxic featured ‘politically charged collage, essays on anarchy and diatribes against state repression’ in which the music coverage was ‘all but subsumed within a series of nihilistic ruminations on the inanity of work, the

in Ripped, torn and cut

(SWF),11 later acknowledging that ‘syndicalism in this country has not really existed since the early 1920s’.12 Early editions of the Direct Action newspaper had an irreverent style and the cut-and-paste design motif of a punk fanzine, only later adopting a more sober tenor for its industrial reportage. The more high-profile Black Flag newspaper which had been founded by Albert Meltzer and Stuart Christie in 1970 (initially entitled Bulletin of the Anarchist Black Cross, to emphasise its focus on anarchist prisoner support), stood firmly within the ‘revolutionary

in Against the grain
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Countercultural and alternative radical publishing in the decade before punk

-1Doing it ourselves: countercultural and alternative radical publishing in the decade before punk Jess Baines, Tony Credland and Mark Pawson Alternative do-it-yourself (DIY) publishing in the UK is often assumed to have started with photocopiers and punks. However, counterculture and grass-roots movements from the mid-1960s onwards generated an explosion of alternative ‘not for profit’ print and publications, frequently produced by amateurs using basic technologies. Much of this was consciously infused with notions of autonomy and anti-specialism, themes that

in Ripped, torn and cut
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Torino and the Collettivo Punx Anarchici

among youth. We cannot explain punk, for example, by simply asserting a deterministic link between young people and a decaying urban environment. Industrial conurbations, from the post-war years through until the 1970s, offer a common paradigm for urban development in Europe.2 They have provided the setting for many individual and collective destinies, though young people have more typically used popular music as a means of escape than a means to celebrate the environment in which they live. An examination of the Collettivo Punx Anarchici of Torino, meanwhile

in Fight back
The Clash as my ‘true fiction’

144 THE CULTURAL POLITICS OF PUNK 7 ‘The beautiful people are ugly too’: The Clash as my ‘true fiction’ Martin James When, in late 1999, The Clash released their post-split live album From Here to Eternity and previewed Don Letts’s documentary film devoted to them, Westway to the World, the media were invited to a launch party at a private members’ club in West London1 where music critics and record label personnel rubbed shoulders with celebrities, musicians and supermodels. The event offered a clear indication of the huge gulf that existed between the band

in Working for the clampdown
How the Communist Party of Great Britain discovered punk rock

11 Comrades in bondage trousers: how the Communist Party of Great Britain discovered punk rock M atthew Worley Speaking in June 1976, Paul Bradshaw, the editor of Challenge, the newspaper produced by the Young Communist League (YCL), surveyed the state of British youth culture.1 Superficially, he reasoned, things did not look good. The youth movements that helped define the 1960s had fragmented; popular music appeared depoliticised. Although glam rock had briefly offered an interesting challenge to masculine stereotypes, and reggae continued to provide a

in Labour and working-class lives

a platform for all culture. The agitator’s need to find a point of leverage from which to exert influence over current events clearly motivated RAR’s mission, but it also offers an insight into the dispute over RAR’s attitude to the Asian community. Insofar as Asian people shared an enthusiasm for rock music with their non-Asian friends and neighbours they could, and did, participate in RAR. The movement’s activists thus point to the Southall carnival, the presence of large numbers of young Asians at gigs and the organisation’s close relationship with Asian punk

in Crisis music
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Class, locality and British punk

2 Oi! Oi! Oi!: Class, locality and British punk Matthew Worley [What is punk?]: That’s an open question. It always was. You can’t put it into words. It’s a feeling. It’s basically a lot of hooligans doing it the way they want and getting what they want.1 Writing in late 1981, the punk poet Garry Johnson described Oi! as being ‘about real life, the concrete jungle, [hating] the Old Bill, being on the dole, and about fighting back and having pride in your class and background’.2 For Garry Bushell, who adopted the term in late 1980 as the title for a compilation

in Fight back