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A review of existing accounts

3 Explaining punk: a review of existing accounts In this chapter I review a number of theories of punk’s emergence, preparing the way for my own account in Chapter 4. All of the theories discussed shed some light upon punk’s origins but I will argue that, even in combination, they do not suffice. My purpose in discussing them is twofold. On the one hand I want to take what is useful from them. On the other, critiquing them affords me an opportunity to sketch out ideas that I will build upon in later chapters. The focus of the chapter is exclusively upon punk

in Networks of sound, style and subversion
A tale of three cities

8 From punk to post-punk: a tale of three cities Following the moral panic described in Chapter 7 punk became part of Britain’s national consciousness. Everybody knew about it and every city had its own local punk world. Over time, however, the diffusion of punk gave way to opposition and adaptation, in Tarde’s (2000) sense (Crossley 2014). Significant numbers of those who had been mobilised by the energy and DIY ethos of punk began to feel that it was ossifying; becoming uniform, limited and limiting. They wanted to do something different. Les Pattinson of

in Networks of sound, style and subversion
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Broadcast networks, media and moral panics

7 Punk goes national: broadcast networks, media and moral panics For the first half of 1976 the UK’s punk world, as described in Chapter 6, was a network of interactivity involving no more than 100 people and a handful of focal places in central London. By the beginning of 1977, by contrast, every major city and certain larger towns had their own local punk worlds, and these local worlds were connected, forming a national punk world. I discuss three of these new worlds in Chapters 8 and 9 and I discuss the shape and characteristics of the national network in

in Networks of sound, style and subversion
Negotiating acceptable politics in the Dutch fanzine Raket

16 Punks against censorship: negotiating acceptable politics in the Dutch fanzine Raket Kirsty Lohman Punk took root in The Netherlands in 1977, with scores of new bands forming through 1978–80.1 As elsewhere, punk’s mix of spectacular imagery, nihilism and/or radical politics, shock value and a do-it-yourself approach appealed to young people. Also in the late 1970s, the port city of Rotterdam was undergoing a process of deindustrialisation and automation. It was still being rebuilt, both literally and figuratively, following near-annihilation during the Second

in Ripped, torn and cut
RE/Search Publications, the bookshelf question and ideational flow

15 Punking the bibliography: RE/Search Publications, the bookshelf question and ideational flow S. Alexander Reed Since 1980, San Francisco-based RE/Search has published zines, compendia and significant texts of western subculture. These publications contain hundreds of interviews with underground artists, intellectuals, collectors and scenesters, and throughout RE/Search’s history, editor V. Vale (Vale Hamanaka) and former editor Andrea Juno have repeatedly asked these subjects some version of the ‘bookshelf question’: What do you read? When reading lists

in Ripped, torn and cut

10 Vague post-punk memoirs, 1979–89 Tom Vague Vague covers a boring Salisbury–Bournemouth sort of area with enthusiasm. Kris Needs, Zigzag (1980) At the end of the 1970s, as punk rock became post-punk and Margaret Thatcher came to power, Vague fanzine was founded at Salisbury College of Technology and Art (now Wiltshire College) by Perry Harris, Iggy Zevenbergen and me. Perry’s ‘Vague beginnings’ cartoon illustrates the idea’s conception with us saying: ‘Salisbury’s boring. There’s nothing to do … Let’s start a fanzine … What shall we call it? … Let’s base it

in Ripped, torn and cut
The Clash in 1977

RETRIEVING THE MESSIANIC PROMISE OF PUNK 107 5 Retrieving the messianic promise of punk: The Clash in 1977 Kieran Cashell No future It is an ‘uncanny and slightly depressing’ experience to have one’s own past ‘recuperated’ as the subject matter of social history.1 So Simon Critchley laments the canonisation of past countercultural movements as available historical objects. Endorsing Jon Savage’s pioneering exposition of punk culture in England’s Dreaming as inaugurating the paradigm, Critchley inadvertently recapitulates the narrative’s received popular

in Working for the clampdown

10 The small world of British post-punk Music worlds exist on different scales: local, national, international and increasingly (since the turn of the century) virtual (Bennett and Peterson 2004). With the exception of Chapter 7, which examined the way in which punk ‘went national’ as an effect of broadcast media and moral panic, my focus in this book has been upon local worlds. The local was very important to both punk and post-punk in a number of ways. Musicking is always local in one respect: it  happens somewhere, in a particular locality (although

in Networks of sound, style and subversion

7 The evolution of an anarcho-punk narrative, 1978–84 Russ Bestley and Rebecca Binns From its inception, punk, as articulated through its fanzines, was anti-elitist; positioning itself against self-indulgent, outmoded rock stars and the pretentions of rock journalism.1 Pioneering punk zine Sniffin’ Glue ( July 1976) and those that immediately followed2 sought an authentic form of expression to relate directly with ‘disaffected kids’ who comprised the demographic of punk subculture. Against the hierarchical structure inherent in mainstream media, punk zines

in Ripped, torn and cut

5 Micro-mobilisation and the network structure of the London punk world This chapter has two aims. First, to demonstrate how the theory of micro-mobilisation outlined in Chapter 4 applies to and explains the emergence of punk in London during 1976. Second, preparing for what follows in Chapter 6, to offer a preliminary analysis of the social network which underpinned the London punk world. The theory of micro-mobilisation begins with the claim that the collective action generative of a music world requires a critical mass of suitably motivated and resourced

in Networks of sound, style and subversion