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Punk Rock Paperback – 9 Aug 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: PM PRESS (9 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604860057
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604860054
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 697,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"John Robb is as punk rock as The Clash." --Alan McGee, record label owner and musican

"Its unique brand of energy helps make it a riot all its own." "Harp Magazine""

"Robb, in an ambitious compendium, with brief forewords by Michael Bracewell and Black Flag's Henry Rollins, provides those who were there and many of us who listened from a distance in time or space the sensation of freedom." www.PopMatters.com"

"John Robb is a great writer . . . and he is supremely qualified, in my opinion, to talk about punk rock." Mick Jones, The Clash"

"Former Membrane John Robb recognized the gap in the tale that appears in any third person telling: the punks didn't get to tell their side of the story in their own words. So he went to work on picking the brains of over 100 first and second wavers and ended up with "Punk Rock: An Oral History."" www.PsychoBabble200.blogspot.com"

"With its brilliant balance of in-depth information and accessibility, this title will be equally at home on academic, public, and personal library shelves. Essential for punk fans and highly recommended for readers interested in firsthand accounts of the growth of new cultural movements." "Library Journal "(December 2012)"

"It takes a punker to write one of the definitive books on punk rock that exploded on the music scene in the mid-1970s before fragmenting into niches like Oi, Hardcore and Two Tone. John Robb (The Membranes) has written such [a] book." www.IBRNews.com"

"From the early pub scene, to the U.K. debut of The Ramones, from the grrrl power of The Slits, to the chaotic saga of The Sex Pistols, from 1977 to the peak of the second wave and beyond. Robb chronicles it all through those who lived through it." www.DonPalabraz.com"

"I'd say it's as close to a go-to tome as you're gonna get if you're looking for a street-level account of the origins of Europe's wing of the punk revolution." "Razorcake" (February 2013)"

Book Description

The story of punk, in all its vibrant glory, told for the first time in the words of those who were there --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was a bit too young( i was 14 in 1977) to fully embrace punk when it reached it,s zenith. The ideology passed me by , as it would seem it did for some of the participants, but i knew i loved the music and the look, though i was far too introverted and lacking in self confidence to ever embrace it myself. But there is little doubt that the punk explosion truly ignited my love affair with music( i can clearly remember reading the Daily Mirror "The Filth and the Fury" headline while doing my morning paper round) and that hearing Never Mind the Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols was a defining moment in my musical education.
That album still gives me an adrenalin rush and funnily enough reading John Robbs excellent Oral History of punk does pretty much the same thing. Taking the views of many of the main participants- John Lydon, Captain Sensible, Rat Scabies, Jake Burns,Howard Devoto, Mick Jones, Brian James,Charlie Harper, Polystyrene, Gaye Advert , Don Letts amongst many others- in a talking heads style the book blasts chronologically from the genesis of the punk movement right through to it,s decline and the legacy it left behind -which in many way is musically at least more impressive than the real thing.
Robb who clearly knows his stuff adds helpful footnotes to guide the less knowledgeable reader through( i include myself here) but only occasionally when recommending albums or very rarely to correct what he feels is a contentious statement ( John Lydons sniffy comments about the U.K. Subs a case in point) does he feel the need to comment on what has been said.
Perhaps more surprisingly the book is also useful in giving pointers to other musical genres.
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Format: Paperback
John Robb is one of the most passionate music journalists - a passion that overwhelmed any flaws in his book on '90s culture (though Oliver Craske's role as editor means less mis-spellings than Robb's 90s tome - we still get Eddie Cochrane rather than Cochran for some reason!)and one that is apparent in this book. Robb, through extensive researching, has collected the memories of many key figures of the punk scene - Howard Devoto, Budgie, John Lydon, Captain Sensible, Don Letts, Siouxsie Sioux etc/their fans (Billy Bragg, Ian Brown) and simply let them tell their story. The stories sometimes contradict each other and seem inaccurate or in the case of Marco Pirroni's criticism of Cabaret Voltaire, get a responding footnote from Robb. There are sections in italics that are similar to Robb's 1990s book - those who dislike or disagree with his opinions will probably think these short sections are about right, personally I'd like to have had more Robb, as he's always got something interesting to say whether I agree or not (there's a bit on The Stranglers' here that makes me want to check out 'The Meninblack'!).
'Punk Rock: An Oral History' is punctuated with lots of great photographs, from Don Letts' looking like the coolest dude in front of his Beatles memorabilia, to the gorgeus Gaye Advert, to The Jam (who get a warranted criticism over some of their apsects) to those art-rock gods Wire. It's all great stuff and a brilliant slice of cultural history - one to file alongside Jon Savage's 'England's Dreaming' as you sit down to watch Don Letts' recent film 'Punk:Attitude.' I won't go on much longer as you really should enjoy it for yourself - I had a browse in a bookshop and found myself reading several pages this Saturday. I had to buy it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Simply the best account of that seminal epoch, by a country mile. Unvarnished, virtually unmediated verbatim accounts by everyone who was anyone between around 1976 and 1984, most of whom were highly articulate then and remain so today. John Robb adds just enough well-considered insight and hindsight to tie it all together, but it's a book that belongs to its contributors and brings it all back like nothing else I've ever read...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
THE best book on punk rock I have read as told through the main protagonists of the day.

How refreshing to finally discover a book on punk rock that acknowledges the importance and relevance of the "second wave of punk", the contribution of the Irish/Scottish bands, the importance of Manchester and other towns and cities outside London, the importance of the lesser bands and doesn't snobbishly ignore the massive contribution made by the Stranglers (yes you Mr Savage) which simply cannot be overlooked in any credible book about the period.

Similarly it seems to only be Messrs Savage and Lydon who don't think that the contribution of bands like the Ruts, the Cockney Rejects and post pounk bands like Killing Joke, Joy Division etc are not important in the overall bigger picture. Noticeable that Lydon disses nearly every band which tells you everything. Superb unbiased account of the whole punk movement and all its variations - highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
What a thick paper back of total 576 pages! Isn't it a Bible? That was my first impression when I got it. And maybe I am only a person in Japan who read it through wearing smart suits and tie in crazy packed Japanese morning trains on the way to work surrounded and pushed by also smartly dressed busy business men. "Punk Rock?" Many people were sneering at 42-year-old. But this is a brilliant book and the most efficient to learn the UK punk history especially from mid '70 to beginning of '80 among some books I had ever read. This book comprises short interviews of total 112 punk musicians, punk journalists, and etc. telling individuals' stories by going back in time. I mean these real voices made me feel the scene in more real and understand the history in more detail than any other punk books. My English is not that good, when I came across obscure English expression I could skip some interviews to others, but it was not a problem. Because this book is not a long novel, but loads of interesting short interviews. UK punk's been part of my life since I was 18 despite the fact that I am now 42 and quite a normal office worker. My treasure is a T-shirt signed by Captain Sensible when I saw him upon my queuing in front of the venue in Oxford in 2002. It reads "Phil Collins must die - Captain Sensible".
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