Whose culture? Fanzines,
politics and agency
The impetus for starting a (punk) fanzine was often clear enough. Writing in
the first issue of Sniffin’ Glue (1976), Mark Perry bemoaned the weekly music
press’s failure to understand ‘this thing called “punk rock”’. ‘The weeklys [sic]
are so far away from the kids that they can’t possibly say anything of importance’,
he complained: ‘why don’t they stick to Queen and all that trash that drive
around in expensive cars’.1 For Tony Drayton, communicating from the edge
of Glasgow in November 1976, Ripped
shock involved in moving from the street communities to the
new mid-rise ‘crescents’.
Contemporary musicians and artists who were children in
Manchester during this period and, in particular, those who came from
the Hulme and Moss Side districts, remember this migration within
Manchester as a time of unqualified trauma. Bernard Sumner, a
member of Manchester’s legendary post-punk band Joy Division, sees
this laying-waste of his city as the inspiration behind the band’s
sublime, but uniquely despairing, music:
Everyone says Joy Division’s music is gloomy and heavy
, nor their core
fanbase, have access to cars.
The song’s chorus refers to the tedium of this ludicrous motorised paradise more explicitly, repeating the number ‘nine’ five times. The addition of
two more nines to an emergency phone number offers the suggestion that
even the emergency services may be too lethargic these days to pick up. The
idea of ‘burning with boredom’ resonates through a larger corpus of late
seventies punk. The quest to make boredom excitement, or rather to celebrate nervous potential energy derived from a frank acknowledgement of
one-of-a-kind poster for the lost horror film London After
Midnight (1927), which sold for $478,000.
In terms of Goth popular music, the artwork on associated
posters was intimately connected with a Punk aesthetic (appearing in the
late 1970s), which rejected the lush psychedelic visuals of Rick
Griffin, Roger Dean and Alan Aldridge.
Whilst acknowledging the graphic art linked to the early
Madchester may have been born at the Haçienda in the summer of 1988, but the city had been in creative ferment for almost a decade prior to the rise of Acid House. The End-of-the-Century Party is the definitive account of a generational shift in popular music and youth culture, what it meant and what it led to. First published right after the Second Summer of Love, it tells the story of the transition from New Pop to the Political Pop of the mid-1980s and its deviant offspring, Post-Political Pop. Resisting contemporary proclamations about the end of youth culture and the rise of a new, right-leaning conformism, the book draws on interviews with DJs, record company bosses, musicians, producers and fans to outline a clear transition in pop thinking, a move from an obsession with style, packaging and synthetic sounds to content, socially conscious lyrics and a new authenticity. This edition is framed by a prologue by Tara Brabazon, which asks how we can reclaim the spirit, energy and authenticity of Madchester for a post-youth, post-pop generation. It is illustrated with iconic photographs by Kevin Cummins.
belonged to a new wave of local
cultural policies targeting young people. In the same period, the hardcore
punk scene was taking shape, with bands often singing in Italian, embracing
DIY culture and adopting tactics of political and civic resistance.6 This new
breed of Italian punks would come to the attention of quite a large audience
on the occasion of The Clash show in Bologna.
This chapter deals with the Bologna concert, its organisation and its
aftermath. We are interested in ‘setting the scene’, where the performance
by The Clash does not work as the ‘main act’ but
This book argues that music is an integral part of society – one amongst various
interwoven forms of social interaction which comprise our social world; and
shows that it has multiple valences which embed it within that wider world.
Musical interactions are often also economic interactions, for example, and
sometimes political interactions. They can be forms of identity work and
contribute to the reproduction or bridging of social divisions. These valances
allow music both to shape and be shaped by the wider network of relations and
interactions making up our societies, in their local, national and global
manifestations. The book tracks and explores these valances, combining a
critical consideration of the existing literature with the development of an
original, ‘relational’ approach to music sociology. The book extends the project
begun in Crossley’s earlier work on punk and post-punk ‘music worlds’,
revisiting this concept and the network ideas underlying it whilst both
broadening the focus through a consideration of wider musical forms and by
putting flesh on the bones of the network idea by considering the many types of
interaction and relationships involved in music and the meanings which music has
for its participants. Patterns of connection between music’s participants are
important, whether they be performers, audience members or one of the various
‘support personnel’ who mediate between performers and audiences. However, so
are the different uses to which participants put their participation and the
meanings they co-create. These too must be foci for a relational music
This book demonstrates how the personal became political in post-war Britain, and argues that attention to gay activism can help us to rethink fundamentally the nature of post-war politics. While the Left were fighting among themselves and the reformists were struggling with the limits of law reform, gay men started organising for themselves, first individually within existing organisations and later rejecting formal political structures altogether. Gay activists intersected with Trotskyism, Stalinism, the New Left, feminism and youth movements. As the slogan of the Gay Liberation Front proclaimed, ‘Come out, come together and change the world’. Culture, performance and identity took over from economics and class struggle, as gay men worked to change the world through the politics of sexuality. Throughout the post-war years, the new cult of the teenager in the 1950s, CND and the counter-culture of the 1960s, gay liberation, feminism, the Punk movement and the miners' strike of 1984 all helped to build a politics of identity. When AIDS and Thatcherism impacted on gay men's lives in the 1980s, gay politics came into its own. There is an assumption among many of today's politicians that young people are apathetic and disengaged. This book argues that these politicians are looking in the wrong place. People now feel that they can impact the world through the way in which they live, shop, have sex and organise their private lives. The book shows that gay men and their politics have been central to this change in the post-war world.
Rock Against Racism (RAR) operated between 1976 and 1981, and was a mass campaign that combined anti-racist politics with popular culture. Throughout this period RAR used the medium of concerts featuring black and white musicians as a focus for, and practical demonstration of, its politics of 'inter-racial' unity. This book deals with important theoretical issues that are particularly pertinent to the party's relationship with RAR. It covers three areas: the theory of state capitalism, the relationship between the party and the working class, and the united front. The book then examines the state of the Socialist Workers Party - formerly the International Socialists (IS) - during the mid- to late 1970s. The youth cultures with which RAR most closely identified were contested between political tendencies and music industry interests before RAR appeared on the scene. Punk had emerged as a significant, if somewhat ambivalent, radical phenomenon in its own right and reggae was implicated in the politico-cultural struggles between black people and the British state. Furthermore, it is clear from the testimony from the far-right that black culture was not immune to co-option by forces opposed to the kind of multiculturalism that RAR espoused. The book also looks at some of the political and social influences on the organisation's politics. It argues that RAR's approach entailed a rejection both of the Communist Party's Cold War-inflected point of view and of those theorists who despaired of any attempt to break the grip of bourgeois ideology on the working class.
The metafictional meanings of lycanthropic transformations in Doctor Who
At first glance, werewolves seem to be thin on the ground in Doctor Who . In 1981, a year after the vampire tale ‘State of Decay’, and eighteen years after the television series began, the incumbent producer, John Nathan-Turner, reported that he ‘would love to see a werewolf story in the programme’.
Even so, it took another seven years for the punk lycanthrope Mags to menace Sylvester McCoy's Doctor in the ring of the Psychic Circus in ‘The Greatest Show in the Galaxy’ (1988–89). And for an