The online success of the Bombsite fanzine, has allowed the Myspace and Blog site to become a gathering place for punk enthusiasts from all over the world. The stories have led me into some great conversations with some interesting individuals. So, in a move away from my conventional blogging, I have decided to mix things up a little, and add the following commentary as a different viewpoint of the 77 punk story. Originating from Americas tough city of Detroit, Punk Rocker and vocalist for ASD, Vern Obnoxious or Vox, discusses his ideas about 1977, US v's UK historical punk development or migration. These guys have been around since 1987, and have something of a UK punk sound, with a harsher edge. Check them out here
Yes, our hangout in 77 was a place called Eric's in Liverpool. We were amongst the first 100 members. Last Saturday the BBC did a I hour special about the legendary club. The link to the broadcast is on the site [top right]. For me it was a special show, as many of the bands interviewed were friends and people that I hung out with. It is an interesting show if you are into the roots of Punk rock. Later, I watched "The Future is Unwritten" Joe Strummer bio.
So Saturday night was a bit of a mid-life-ish night.
Kick ass thanx. When we map out our next tour with Social Schism from Essex. I 'll let them know. They know of some good venues around that area. They book everything in England. I book Ireland and Scotland, actually Oi Polloi helped us out last time and will book for us in Edinburgh.
As far as what I am into, my favorite music to listen to is classic punk, 80's UK anarcho movement (Crass, Conflict, Subhumanz etc), 80 's American hardcore which influenced us to start a band when I was 14 but anyone who listens to us and all the reviews always identifies our strong early UK anarcho influence. And I love crust. I love music and I am a history buff. I am actually going back to school to teach history. But, I retraced and defined exactly how punk rock came to be and it's indisputable, even though the Brits will never agree. The fact is the 60's garage bands on the Nuggets comps inspired bands like the numero uno first punk to actually lived a nihilistic lifestyle was Iggy Pop. I am confident to say, that the early 70's Stooges albums and MC5 from Detroit influenced the Ramones, who I credit as the true first punk band. Malcolm Mclaren was in the States hanging out trying to sign bands like Television. He got to see the amazing high energy shows from CBGB's with the Ramones. After being denied to manage Television, the Ramones put out there first record then went to London and killed them. There was probably 50 bands that formed after their UK appearances. Ramones put out there first record in 75. So, to say the Damned put out the first album and the Buzzcocks put out the first single is true only in England. After the Ramones got back from London, the Clash recorded "White Riot". Listen to that song close, and tell me it ain't a direct rip off from the Ramones. Don't get me wrong I love the song, plus all the bands. But, it was the Ramones who kick started the punk rock bands in England. I do give credit for the official punk rock "Movement " that was started by the urban youth of England. Then Malcolm manufactured the Sex Pistol's which is a combo of Television and the Ramones in my eyes. I loved the "Anarchy" album, who don't. But, they were cash cows for Malcolm. The Sex Pistols get credit for the first punk rock album but the Buzzcocks and Damned album came out before them. "Anarchy" wasn't put out till late 77 nearly 78.
You will be surprised with my feedback. Personally, I did not know the Ramones and many of the US bands, but we could feel something was ready to happen, the pub rock thing was our street rock and roll. The 101'ers, The Stranglers, Dr. Feelgood, Eddie and the Hot Rods. Not quite there, but something was brewing, revolution was in the air, as the unemployment lines grew longer.
But, I actually agree with your time-line. I was part of it, wandering up and down the Kings road in 76, drinking at the Man-in-the-Moon, and the Hope and Anchor. I actually wrote a blog on my site that dove tails into this social history. The social political part of punk in the UK is the tough piece to untangle or explain today. Because both countries have moved so far away from that time. Furthermore, 17 year old teenagers today [UK and US] don't seem to care much about unemployment lines and balance of payments, or state control or even freedom and civil rights. We honestly did, we would have debates about it. If you watch the Clash's "Rude Boys" you will see that teens were arrested for no reason as they walked the UK streets. Cops would get you inside and beat the shit out of you. Keep you overnight and boot you out in the morning. That does not happen now [so much]
Most of America was happy and prosperous in 1977, and the UK was a frikin social political disaster zone. I find it interesting that the manufacturing downturn here today, and how it os effecting the overall economy is much how things were in Liverpool/Manchester/Glasgow during 75-82. Check out Strummer's squat years in "The Future is Unwritten" movie. The prosperity here was part of the reason that the Ramones, Iggy, MC5's, the Heartbreakers, Dead Boys, Pere Ubu and others failed to take off with a bigger audience in the US. As their sound mixed with the other ingredients in London, it exploded throughout the UK. Rock and Roll thrives in poverty..! And that is the part that many of these debates often overlooked and is the missing link .. Here is my 77 UK punk economy blog
http://whycontrol1977. blogspot.com/2007/12/why-control-1977-englands-glory. html
There is a 5 min documentary link at the bottom about 1980 Liverpool. The profile looks like Detroit/Cleveland today.
Liverpool in 2008 is the European City of Culture, said another way it is a boring tourist trap and a Disney version of the former city, now littered with coffee shops and smoke free zones. The slums, street gangs and tear gas are now all gone. The real story today is Detroit/Toledo/Cleveland with broken economies and urban slums.
The good news is that maybe there will be a rock explosion out of the mid-west U.S now, today... If so, it will be similar to what we have seen before but with a twist.. As the culture will always change slightly.
Sorry for going on, we should have just done this over a beer. ;-)
Anyhow you are a cool band, and are obviously very passionate about your music. I love it all too. Kids getting out and doing something anywhere in the world, making a difference.
I absolutely agree, all those bands you mentioned are my go-to records when I wanna jam, Eater, The Stranglers, X Ray Spex, Vice Squad, UK Subs , The Vibrators, Damned , Buzzcocks and of course the Ruts are all time favs. I agree socially, and politically back home it was this junkie cheque scene with the Ramones at the top of the New York scene . But they didn't sing about politics. It was shit like, "Now I wanna sniff some glue", or "Beat on the brat". The punk rock movement or methodology definitely was spawned on the streets of London as well as the fashion. I don't care what any punk says, Anti fashion. Bullshit. I seen a postcard from London of a buncha punx with Mohawks, and still wear the same gear today. It most certainly a fashion. To me it's just my own personal way of flying my colors. In 77 America we had Jimmy Carter I believe in office , everyone was wearing khaki's cardigan sweaters and dipping into fondue bowls. They new nothing of repression of youth on a economical level. I never been more convicted in my politics as a anarchist who is leaning more and more to a constitutional-ist. They were the true working class rebels that said fuck you, were not living under a thrown, were gonna sail away to a unknown land and set up shop. Gotta have a lot of respect for that. I am a historian though. I would much rather live in Amsterdam than here in the US. From the Netherlands down to Italy we have a large fan base that will pay us 350 earos which is like 600 dollars. In the UK they do not pay out of town bands shit. Ireland, Scotland and England. We were just thinking, why go to Europe when we can take this money and put out 5 7"s and a few LP's. We are looking forward to coming over hopefully in fall and it will go Dublin/Liverpool/Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Essex, Netherlands/Rotterdam/ Amsterdam then Belgium all the way down to Italy. We need to hustle a shitload of music!......Good talking to you. I like the conversations.
Yes great stuff..
Would you see a problem if I put this discussion in blog form on my blog space? Its a shame to waste it, as I think it would make a good read for lots of 77 enthusiasts. I don't think their is anything incriminating ;-)
I will catch up with you for another blogview sometime..
My life is a open book, i would revel in posting a column in that blog. I am not worried about incrimination of anything. I am always willing to stick my neck on the chopping block.