38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
If you like first wave English punk, you must read this.,
By A Customer
This review is from: England's Dreaming: The "Sex Pistols" and Punk Rock (Paperback)If, like me, you missed the first wave of punk (hey, I was only born in 1973!), but fell in love with the music later, you gotta read this book.
Savage tells the tale of English punk (with some reference to what was happening in the USA, but as the title says, this is _England's_ Dreaming), starting from the backgrounds of those involved, through to the end of the 70's, after the collapse of the Sex Pistols and the death of Sid Vicious.
As you might guess from the title (which is of course from a line in the Sex Pistols' "God Save The Queen"), it is the Sex Pistols that are the primary focus of all this. But there's plenty here about The Clash, The Damned, The Buzzcocks, and plenty of less famous but essential bands, like The Slits, X-Ray Spex, Siouxsie & The Banshees, etc. And I should add that there is an extensive index with discographies of many, many groups.
I'm not sure exactly what Jon Savage was doing at this time, but he was certainly there and involved. He even appears in one of the photos in the book (police herding punks off the boat after the infamous Jubilee cruise down the Thames, if I recall rightly). His recollections and interviews are interspersed with snippets from his diary from the time. This really is a vivid account, and one that made me curse all the more loudly that I missed the action.
One warning - I thought there was far, far too much about Malcolm McLaren's pre-Pistols activities at the start of the book. This was boring. But fight through it, or skip ahead, you'll really miss out if you get bored and quit in the first couple of chapters.
Also, after reading this book, try to check out Julien Temple's film "The Filth And The Fury" - you'll see footage of a lot of the events described herein.
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Initial post: 15 Jan 2011 21:56:23 GMT
Ĝistein Bergli says:
I loved the pre-Pistols McLaren-part. That was one of my favorite parts, with the description of him walking around in the early 70s-wasteland (or how it appeared to him obviously; in retrospect the early 70s were great - if it was a wasteland, it was a wasteland in the same way the 90s post-Smells Like Teen Spirit were a wasteland, with the underground shattered and forced to reinvent itself, which accounted for some exciting innovations). I think it's greatly written though, and it is also a good way to weave the CBGBs-scene into the story.
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