The Boy Looked at Johnny: The Obituary of Rock and Roll Paperback – 1 Dec 1987
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It also includes some Sex Pistols experiences. It is a very short and easy to read book.
It was hard for me to get my copy and I keep it for its nostalgia.
The amphetamine-fuelled vitriol of Julie Burchill and Tony Parsons not only skewers those overpaid and overhyped acts whose smug complacency inadvertently inspired the punk ethic, but also reserves its greatest savagery for many - no most - punk artists themselves.
No one is safe on this scabrous roller coaster ride. Just about everyone, from late sixties proto punks the MC5 ("a fumbling mating of screeching headbanging Heavy Metal and fashionable politico platitudes") to The Clash ("When po-faced Joe (Strummer) could be coaxed away from the microphone, Mick Jones chanted stray battle cries like a harassed housewife"), cops it in the neck.
Burchill and Parsons don't give a tinker's cuss about the sensitivities of their audience. Each word is written for maximum - and often hilarious - effect.
Although it does all seems a bit juvenile all these years later, there's no denying that "The Boy Looked At Johnny" has a scattergun, cynical power. The only acts who emerge even vaguely unscathed are Talking Heads, Polly Styrene and The Tom Robinson Band. Pretty much all of the other punks and their predecessors are gleefully gunned down without mercy.
Despite the relentless put downs, there is actually method to the madness. Burchill and Parsons' thesis is that punk sprang out of a bloated music industry obsessed with commercial success at the expense of the iconoclasm, energy and attitude that made rock and roll great in the first place. There can be no arguments on that score. But, according to our correspondents at least, punk itself then grew to be all about the image and the money as well. Exhibit A in this regard is of course The Sex Pistols, who were always refreshingly open about their pursuit of a few quick and dirty quid while they still could.
Burchill and Parsons took punk's ethos and applied it in their writing - everything was a target and was begging for a good bollocking. Nothing was sacred.
This is not a book to be taken too seriously. Any right thinking fan of rock and roll will take issue with many of the subjective judgments therein. I, for example, am still vaguely offended at the extended, withering attack on the "snobbish and fey" Television. But it doesn't really pay to take this kind of thing to heart.
Written over a few days and first published in 1978 at the height of the punk movement, "The Boy Looked At Johnny" is a searing, snotty faced relic of the times. It's endlessly challenging, controversially entertaining and drips with venom. Every home should have one.