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Living on The Front Line...???,
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This review is from: London's Burning: True Adventures on the Front Lines of Punk, 1976-1977 (Paperback)
This is a weird one for me..I've read all the others...Englands Dreaming..John Robb...Punk 77..Babylons Burning..and this one is different in that it doesn't seem to use interviews with ths "Usual Suspects"..in fact you could argue that some of the bands and people interviewed..were not exactly "Punk Rock" ...
So..The Radio Stars ....(Martin Gordon and Andy Ellis already had previous careers in bands)....Danny Kustow from TRB..indeed a great guitarist...but I never really had TRB down as "PUNK"..I was a fan of the first two albums..but they were political in a much more intellectual way. ..Rikki and the last days of earth..Masterswitch...??
I certainly remember seeing their singles in the punk/new wave box of the record shop I worked in
So I suppose this is a kind of personal diary type thing ..and people that the author knew..
I found it an interesting read..but a lot of people who weren't around then might get this and think ...what is this about?? and who are some of these people?
Kind of weird also for this to be published in the States...where a lot of the featured bands and artists would be even more oscure!!!
There are some interesting records listed as "Soundtrack" to the time being discussed...a lot of 70's reggae...so I'm ceratinly going to check some of those out
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Initial post: 1 Sep 2009 11:13:50 BDT
Last edited by the author on 16 Sep 2009 17:32:53 BDT
Good points made T about some of the bands featured. And in many ways you are right in your observations...this angle could well confuse yer average Punk reader or as you say a Punk from over the pond... But, I think thats part of what makes the book so different to many others. Danny Kustow a Punk? No not a typical 3 chord thrash loving Kings Road style Punk and certainly not an obvious one...but looking further into this guy and theres plenty of the spirit of Punk in there...his T.R.B guitar playing on Up against the wall has plenty of the energy and repetitive anger of the best of garage sounding Punk Rock. Radio Stars..Punk? yet again not an average Punk band (as we can recall though- almost all so called Punk bands back in the day denied to a man to being a Punk band as such..only nowadays deciding to throw their lot in with the Punk revival circus but thats another story)...Radio Stars Andy Ellison was singer of 60's proto- punks John's Children...Radio Stars singles many loved by a fair amount of young Punk kids...like you say many of these bands singles were in the record boxes of the day (shops and fans)...back then almost anyone with short hair and an abstract sounding name was thrown in the Punk ocean...consequently many many 'not very easily identifiable to Punk' bands and records were snapped up by kids eager to pick up something new sounding and that was part of the beauty of it...you should read about what records me and my mates ended up buying from the cheap boxes of the day in the Our Generation book. You would p*** yerselves laughing. So yeah great and very valid points made T... yer not wrong...but I still love Dave's book as it dares to involve acts who were not actually Punk Rock in the strictest sense but were still a part of it from a different angle. Its this new take on what Punk kids were really listening to and were really like that is refreshing. I know original Punks who loved Fabulous Poodles, Suicide (never Punk but they were there breaking barriers in front of angry pissed off Punk crowds), Stukas, The Table, Ricky and the last days of Earth, Pirhanas etc etc as well as the more commonly known ones... Personally I also liked Punk bandwagon jumpers Squeeze and the Motors for a while..now how unhip were they in Punk circles but I am not afraid to dig em. Even Slaughter and the Dogs went through a period of being very unhip and disliked by the hardcore Punk crowd and we all know the street Punks opinions on The Jam (one of the greatest and most energetic of all the first wave) and when the Clash brought in Sandy Pearlman and their later London Calling Punk departure. Now Masterswitch?? erm not sure about them? but my knowledge is almost non existent of em...I remember Roogalator getting tied in with Punk but never considered them a part of it...but there you go its just our opinions and versions of what was and is Punk!
Read the worldwide aclaimed book Our GenerationOur Generation: The Punk and Mod Children of Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster
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