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3.7 out of 5 stars
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3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 21 November 2001
Punk is an over-priced, over-designed, wholly black and white book full of previously seen photographs and quotes culled from a bunch of magazine and books already previously published. There are some original quotes in here, but they're few and far between and not strictly relevant . Punk in the UK lasted for about 18 months and then became assimilated into the mainstream and stopped being the inspiration which the marketing men responsible for this poor book claim it to be. If you really want to know what happened, go to the sources the 'editors' of this thing clearly did: Jon Savage's England's Dreaming, Glen Matlock's I Was A Teenage Sex Pistol, the Clash documentary just released on DVD etc...
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on 5 April 2002
This book was bought as a gift for me. My initial thumb through made me think that it looked tawdry and slight. No real text - just a lot of bundled together quotes, albeit with some nice pics. Then I started reading it and found to my surprise that it was an enjoyable read as I raced through it. It gave real insight into the original punk being a combination of trendy London scenesters (stand up Philip Salon) who abandoned it as soon as it became mainstream and genuine political and social unrest. Punk changed my life at the time and its influence can be seen around us to this day. This book is recommended if only for the story about Reginald Bosanquet the newsreader (anyone under 35 ask your Dad) and the prostitute.
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on 22 November 2001
Yet another dull repetition of the McLaren-authorised version of Punk history, this time with more pics than Jon Savage's England's Dreaming. This book is about as definitive as the boring CD compilation that goes with it. McLaren was never manager of the NY Dolls, he hung around them trying to get to klnow them (see any number of Johnny Thunders interviews, NME, Sounds etc). He didn't bring back the idea of punk to the UK, he cottoned onto somethiung that was happening naturally and made himself the voice of it. And as for all the rubbish about the Velvewts being the originators, well, why did Johnny Rotten mime to Alice Cooper to get in the band? The Pistols never covered any Velvets songs, they covered the Monkees! Joe Strummer was an R&B and Dylan fan, Mick Jones was into Mott The Hoople and Stones, Paul SImonon was into Reggae. Glen Matlock was into the Faces (Cook and Jones were into Sabbath and Status Quo!). They'd not heard much of the Velvets, and all learned to play punk-style from the Ramones' first album. This book is full of has beens unable to let a minute in a small spotlight go unnoticed, bolstered with some well-thumbed, well-known quotes from other books and sources. At this price the book has to be big, but Savage's book is far more definitive, and Mark P's Sniffin Glue anthologies much more redolent of the age. Really, though, who cares?...
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on 29 November 2001
Very disappointed with this book.
It's Pistols,McLaren,Pistols,McLaren,Pistols,McLaren,all the way through as usual.
It wasn't like that at the time.
By the time the Pistols album was released (finally) people were sick of McLaren's media manipulation and the Pistols had become a sideshow of freaks and attention seekers that only latecomers to the scene were interested in.
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on 27 December 2001
The comment above was right. This recollection is 90 percent Pistols, Maclaren, Westwood-- as if the rest were merely accidents, as if punk's true essence was about pharmacological and sexual debauchery. Apparently, its authors were gunning for the shock value of it, hence lots of Rotten and Vicious.
Appreciated the attempts to link the punk aesthetics with the Beat, Dada, Surrealist ancestors, though. As well as the short but seemingly speculative reference to how dub and reggae seeped into the movement. Excellent packaging and design. Good thing I got this one at really ridiculously discounted rate.
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on 22 October 2001
This book represents everything that the original spirit of punk was against. Compiled by the marketing director of Saatchi's and the founder member of Blue Rondo A La Turk (who professed to hating punks back then), it is a facile, glossy glide through the mists of poorly recalled memory featuring 'anedotes' of those who were nowhere near the heart of the event but feel brave enough now to pretend that they were. Punk was an idea that had its time and then passed on to post-punk and then died. Exploiting it twenty five years later is a poor substitute for not getting that idea - which was always about originality and freshness. That the book was designed in predictable style by the same people who gave us the ultimately useless Beatles book should tell you al that you need to know about this overpriced, over-fattened tome. Avoid unless you enjoy warmed over puke for breakfast.
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on 20 September 2002
Unlike many of the people who look back on the Punk phenomenon vicariosly I was actually there.For once a book has been written that tells it how it was .Many attach all manner of political and social hyperbole to the whole shooting match but really and truly if you want to check the real deal then this is the book. From the originators The Velvets, Dolls , Stooges ,Ramones to the Clash ,Pistols and the Damned all is covered .Many may think Punk carried on for a lot longer but it didn't it lasted about two years-by its own definition it had too die young and anyone who doesn't agree just does not get it.As they say" Too fast to live too young to die" . This book is the dogs b******s told in the words of the people who created it . The whole book is an oral history in the style of 'Please Kill Me' but with better and more pictures.I bought it last year but having thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it am now going to buy more as presents for my younger brothers who really need to know.- A brilliant book.
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on 14 November 2001
The book is the definitive work on punk having been gleaned from over a hundred personal interviews with everyone the likes of Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols ,Jayne County and Paul Simonon of the Clash all of whom pprovide a fantastic ,evocative oral history of the period. Beginning with the Velvet Underground and the Andy Warhol Factory of New York in 1965 it traces the expansion of the form via the MC5 ,the Stooges , the New York Dolls, etc.It takes an in depth look at the clubs CBGB'S and Max's Kansas City as well as the New York punk scene of the early to mid seventies featuring everybody from Televivsion to the Heartbreakers and Patti Smith even profiling the not so familiar ,but eminently influential Jonathan Richman.The importation of the form to the UK by Malcolm Mc Laren is clearly stated ,he having, prior to the Pistols looked after the Dolls in some capacity ,he then forged what he had learned in New York onto his new band. THe early days of the Pistols are in detail as wel, as the shops Sex and its clothing. The British boom is followed after the Anarchy Tour ,the punk dalliance with reggae,the Roxy club ,punk going overground the abhorrent New Waveand its eventual demise.
The book is full of great pictures most never seen before and full of anecdotes never heard. I was up all night reading it and will do again-a great book!!!
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on 15 November 2001
"Time Flies Time Crawls like an Insect, Up and Down the Walls', sang Mr Howard Devoto of seminal art punk outfit Magazine. And, the recent hefty tome PUNK: by Stephen Colegrave & Chris Sullivan is the best effort by two obvious scions of that brief explosive era to put names & places to the protagonists who where there at punk's moment of birth.
It was a brief fleeting scene, and to those not touched by it's righteous anger and ire, Punk Rock might be regarded as ephemeral and superficial. But, even today, society and fashion are still experiencing the fallout from this pivotal sub cultural phenomenon. A phenomenon that knocked fashion, music and 'the establishment' for six. It could never happen today, as whatever's regarded as cutting edge, 'urban or 'street' is quickly assimilated into the high street shops be it music or fashion. A 'stylist to the stars' snaps up some original statement of clothing or dress style and it ends up in next weeks Heat magazine on the back of Billie Piper or Victoria Beckham.
The book is indeed hefty & lovingly put together with over a hundred contributors and a raft of previously unseen photographs that are a testament to Colegrave & Sullivan's research skills and extensive address books.
The book is only concerned with the years 1975 to 1979. After that, the punk ideal and 'message' became diluted and the sponentaety creativity and genuine anarchistic enthusiasm had given way to reactionary punk dress codes (bikers jackets and off the peg bondage trousers). With yobs spitting over one another at so called punk gigs, the 'moment' became just another facile 'movement' and quickly became self parodic. Subsequently the real movers and shakers distanced themselves from the tabliod-esque pantomime punk had quickly begun.
25 years on the idea of a large coffee table book is something of a paradox. But really, that's only if you see punk through the myopic eyes of a snivelling middle class crusty anarchist.
PUNK reads like a fast paced diary of the speed fuelled exuberance of that era,, like drama with all the attendant characters you'd find in any history book or work of fiction. It's riveting to read it, once you get beyond staring at the beautiful B&W photos.
Punk rock celebrates it's 25th anniversary in 2002. Buy this for any early forty something ex-punk and watch someone return to a time when anyone could belong to the Blank Generation. Smashing.
Nigel Buckland
15 11 01
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on 15 October 2001
This book is a refreshing suprise in that it does not limit itself to certain people, topics or places. Punk has a much broader scope. It doesnt just focus on the likes of the Sex Pistols, but talks with the whole range of people who made this era into what it was (it actually starts with Andy Warhol in New York).
Visually it is a real treat for the eye. The photo's and lay out are beautifull.
One of the things I liked most was the authenticity of the book. As Punk consists of the original interviews, I got a very good feeling about what it was like to be there and be part of it.
An extra bonus, was the inclusion of the fashion style during the Punk era.
I absolutely recommend Punk to anyone interested in the punk movement. It's going to be my x-mas presents to those friends who dont have it yet!
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