It can be safely said that, back in 1976 things were pretty much wanting... no jobs, no prospects much, overbearing government - the usual stuff - but, most alarmingly, anything youthful and progressive was in the hands of exploitive record companies, pumping out banal, granny-friendly tunes via radio stations and telly shows firmly bogged into their pocket.
Ah now, come-on lads ... Donnie and Marie? I'll say no more.
Then WHALLOP!! The Sex Pistols ... and ... my gran was right, someone up there does love us - spotty teenagers and all. This new thing from New York was dragged across the sea and blew the shit out of everything ... turning us into noisy (well noisier), irreverent, messy, pogo-dancing, pin-faced yobbos ... and by Christ did we need it.
Punk woke us up - forced us to do things for ourselves: we made our own clobber, mostly other people's cast-offs, the 'made' being mostly ripping them to shreds and stitching them together with safety-pins, we spiked our hair (oh yeah - normal now - but a crime verging on putting a bullet in Mother Theresa back in 1976), we dyed it ... mad colours: greens, and blues, and messed of mixes of colours not even invented, we had permanent pissed-off faces, and drank stuff that we concocted out of other stuff, mostly cider coz it was cheap, we invented a dance-thing that had the convoluted steps of shoving and smashing each other in the face (brilliant), and we looked fan-feckin-tastic - but, most of all, it was the music. Punk bands stripped it down and blew it right out the speakers.
Hundreds of bands, doing their own thing on small, backstreet labels, because the big record executives wouldn't give them the time of day... well not yet anyway, not until the quids started rolling in. You see that was where it was at. If the establishment was going to force rubbish on us, then we would mess things up and start again, and bloody-well start again we did. I don't think anything will ever match up to the nuclear devastation that was Punk ... I was part of that, if they had a badge - an irreverent, distasteful one of course - I'd wear it with the pride of a mother seeing her toddler take his first sit-down shit. Punk ticked all the boxes of teenage rebellion - and then a few thousand more and, for a few short years, it looked like authority-led, mind-conditioning media was a thing of the past. Sadly that never happens, music and social rebellions inevitably become main-streamed ... that is until the next one comes along.
BUT - and this is my point - THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN!
Sure there was a wee bit with Grunge, and Britpop ... but nothing Punk-worthy. After the dust settled from the Punk thing, the youth of the subsequent todays just became nice, docile, unquestioning little purchasers, permanently faced-down, latched to iPhones, rows of brand clones, one eye occasionally flipping up to watch the next, long-awaited instalment of Twilight.
Dutiful boys and girls, fully signed up into watch this, listen to that, wear these, eat and drink those, have no opinions unless we give you them, knuckle down to be the good, little consumers you we want you to be.
Now, I'm not saying we Punks were geniuses, or anymore up on worldly things, but we didn't except what to watch, buy, say, or listen too. We made things for ourselves ... choices and determinations (although we didn't know it back then) that would shape us for the rest of our lives. No, we Punks lived it - still do ... with a nice, healthy distrust for anything corporate, media-based, and/or governmental.
You see, for three and a half decades, we gave the youth of the various todays a chance ... but, sadly, they can't be trusted ... so I say rise up you fifty-somethings, get up that attic and hunt down that pair of tartan bondage trousers, and ripped 'Destroy' t-shirt (incidentally, I still wear 'em anyway) - get out there and revitalise the mad-mentalness we once wreaked upon the unsuspecting populace.
In the words of the lads themselves:
A pretty vacant ...
'... And we don't care.'
My photographer of the moment:
Patricia Gomez; London. A multimedia photojournalist, who has put together a stunning collection about London, taking the standard postcard formula, then tweaking it to create peculiar aspected views of the city's major sites, buildings, and attractions. You can see her stuff at:
Amazon Bestselling Author of The Silver Mist
Information about Martin and his novels can be found at:
The Silver Mist - #1 on Amazon Metaphysical Fiction & #2 Literary Fiction Bestsellers - available in paperback and Kindle/eBook.Suggest a correction