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No Future
May 2, 2012 9:31 AM   Subscribe


 
Yes, yes - we know. Most of you weren't even born until....:)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 9:40 AM on May 2, 2012


I miss punk.
posted by Stagger Lee at 10:00 AM on May 2, 2012


God save her!
posted by Mezentian at 10:01 AM on May 2, 2012


Fun times, kids. Fun times. Fun, angry, violent, gob-drenched times. Ah, to be young again. Then again, maybe not.
posted by Decani at 10:46 AM on May 2, 2012


And every time I witness such self-abasement, it makes me feel once more that patriotism and monarchism are actually the opposite of each other – or at best a duplicitous marriage of convenience, such as the one the heir apparent inflicted on his innocent first wife, rather than the love match they pertain to be.

That doesn't seem like a completely accurate description of the Charles/Diana marriage.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:55 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


That doesn't seem like a completely accurate description of the Charles/Diana marriage.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:55 PM on May 2


I'll say. And so will the marvellous Frankie Boyle (NSF people who buy into the nauseating myth of the Pure and Holy Princess Di)
posted by Decani at 11:07 AM on May 2, 2012


God Save Glen Matlock.

I am no Burchil fan, but this is spot on:

"Being a monarchist – saying that one small group is born more worthy of respect than another – is just as warped and strange as being a racist. Yet no musician would dream of playing a benefit concert for the BNP. When we look at the social composition of the music charts these days, though, it's hardly a surprise that rebellion is off the set list.

Fewer than one in 10 British children attends fee-paying schools, yet more than 60% of chart acts have been privately educated, according to Word magazine, compared with 1% 20 years ago. Similarly, other jobs that previously provided bright, working-class kids with escape routes – from modelling to journalism – have been colonised by the middle and upper classes and by the spawn of those who already hold sway in those professions. The spectacle of some smug, mediocre columnista who would definitely not have their job if their mummy or daddy hadn't been in the newspaper racket advising working-class kids to study hard at school, get a "proper" job and not place their faith in TV talent shows is one of the more repulsive minor crimes of our time.

The hereditary principle being on the apparent rise in every area of life, it makes total – if depressing – sense that the biggest inherited scam of all is going from strength to strength. For quite some time now, the new, self-made rich have been our favourite hate-figures, while the old rich have slipped completely under the hate radar. At a time when disillusion with elected politicians is at its highest ever level, according to a recent YouGov survey, melting into the oceanic embrace of the monarchy seems an enticing prospect to a certain sort of halfwit.
"

The BBC had a page recently which showed how the 7% who go to independent schools make up the majority of judges, lawyers, journalists, armed forces brass etc etc. No future was right.
posted by marienbad at 11:23 AM on May 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


If I could live one year over and over for the rest of my life, it would be 1977. In 1977, I was sure I would never make it to 2012. The year is only half over, so that still has yet to be determined. And 1977 is just a bit more than half a lifetime away. But as Tony Parsons said to Julie Burchill, "Those who are fat and forty, wish they were thin and twenty."

So I will give all of you a little time capsule from my personal archives of 1977. In a shameless act of piracy, an act of Fair Use, I present a 68Mb PDF of Melody Maker magazine, December 10, 1977. Cover: Sex Pistols upcoming gigs. Inside: Buzzcocks, Wire, Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers, Boomtown Rats, and Cliff Fucking Richard.
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:53 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


God Save the Queen is an amazing rock song, beginning with those instantly recognizable opening chords. The Sex Pistols weren't nearly as great overall as bands like the Buzzcocks, but with that one song they really nailed it.
posted by Forktine at 4:21 PM on May 2, 2012


Derek Jarman's 1977 punk film Jubilee.

(for those with subtler tastes, I could recommend 'Blue'...)
posted by ovvl at 4:50 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


That Melody Maker is awesome.
Such richness of prose! Actual record stores!
P**k!
Jazz and folk?

And a story about how home taping is killing music!
posted by Mezentian at 11:40 PM on May 2, 2012


Oh yeah these magazines are awesome, they're worth the immense trouble it takes to digitize and enhance them. I'm using a cheap 5 megapixel digital camera on a copy stand I improvised out of my old darkroom enlarger and some clip-on lamps.

I'll give you another one, I don't have much from 77 digitized yet, so 79 will have to do for now.

NME October 13, 1979 - Better compression at only 35Mb.

Cover: Clash USA 79. Inside: Gang of Four, Sex Pistols, Stranglers, Blondie, Lene Lovich, Tom Verlaine, 999, UK Subs, Undertones, Buzzcocks, and Sammy Fucking Hagar. And an article about the brand new consumer Video Tape Recorders and how Universal and Disney are suing Sony to ban the Betamax.

Be sure to read the back pages, which are way awesomer than Melody Maker.

You will laugh if you compare US and UK charts in these magazines. For example:

#1 UK Album - Gary Numan - Pleasure Principle
#1 US Album - Led Zeppelin - In Through The Out Door
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:43 AM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


#1 US Album - Led Zeppelin - In Through The Out Door

As someone who grew up listening to punk but has never given any attention to classic rock, I'll have to admit that my attention was captured by learning that Led Zeppelin had an album about anal sex.
posted by Forktine at 5:32 AM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I visited relatives in Scotland in '77, and the clan was all abuzz about these loud, snotty punks who had caused a stir by swearing on a chat show and defacing posters of the Queen. This was fascinating to an American teen bored with rock bands like KISS and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

I still love the Sex Pistols. "Holidays in the Sun" is the greatest rock song of the last thirty years: a thrilling, nasty romp through the tacky theme park of post-war Western history, where we've commodified everything imaginable, even genocide. The best of the original punks were very inventive wits.

Unfortunately, punk's legacy seems limited to fashions like spiky hair and ripped T-shirts. Musically speaking, punk is now just the loudfastmusic that's been stripped of its wit and irreverence by bands like Green Day and used to sell apathy and soft drinks.
posted by Fritz Langwedge at 2:35 PM on May 3, 2012


Everyone thinks the 70s was the era of Classic Rock, but it wasn't like that at all. You really have to understand the music of the time, to understand why punk happened. The best way I can explain it:

Billboard Top 100 Hits of 1977

01. Tonight's The Night (Gonna Be Alright) - Rod Stewart
02. I Just Want To Be Your Everything - Andy Gibb
03. Best Of My Love - Emotions
04. Love Theme From "A Star Is Born" - Barbra Streisand
05. Angel In Your Arms - Hot
06. I Like Dreamin' - Kenny Nolan
07. Don't Leave Me This Way - Thelma Houston
08. (Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher And Higher - Rita Coolidge
09. Undercover Angel - Alan O'Day
10. Torn Between Two Lovers - Mary MacGregor

The third link in the FPP claims that God Save The Queen would have been the #1 hit on the UK charts, but they manipulated the results to avoid embarrassing the Queen so Rod Stewart got #1.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:37 PM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


That NME is stunning. I always preferred the NME to MM but I got what they had. Even the ads are interesting. And there's a fab pic of Strummer in a garage on P39 I'd love to get a print on. I'll have to see if they're sold.

I bloody love Lene Lovich too.

punk is now just the loudfastmusic that's been stripped of its wit and irreverence by bands like Green Day and used to sell apathy and soft drinks.

Aye. Until I started delving into it I had no idea how rich punk was, or what an amazing album 'Never Mind The Bollocks' is. I grew up thinking it was all loudfastmusic with attitude. I might blame Discharge unfairly for that.

One of the twins from "punk band" Good Charlotte is on the Australian version of The Voice.
I don't mind Green Day's American Idiot, and there's one or two GC songs I don't hate, but seeing him on that show voice coaching an R&B singer on that style of singing would have had me using their vinyl for decorative ashtrays -- if I owned any.

And my first *real* punk memory is of The Goodies Go Punk.
posted by Mezentian at 12:06 AM on May 4, 2012


You really have to understand the music of the time, to understand why punk happened.

Yes, but you also have to understand the economics. Promoters were starting to realize that the most reliable return on investment was by booking bands into stadiums and racetracks, but that only worked with acts that had a big following already. Mid sized clubs suffered as a result. The only place new bands could get work was in pubs or small venues where the audience didn't have to pay a fortune to see the acts and the club owners didn't have to pay them a lot to play.

Also, the acts that blew through once a year on their big stadium tours were wealthy tax exiles who increasingly seemed remote from their audience. Bands like The Who and Led Zeppelin, their heyday long since past, couldn't relate to the punks except as celebrity drinking buddies. Musically, the old guard ignored the changes in the music world as obstinately as they ignored the economic problems that the average joe faced.

The punks were at least more realistic than the 60's rock bands in admitting they had one or two great records in them and then calling it quits. The ones who kept at it got a little pathetic: think of The Clash soaking their fans for drivel like Sandinista! and stupid novelty songs like "Rock the Casbah." Considering how little they raked in the first time around, I figured the Sex Pistols deserved their first reunion tour. But enough already.
posted by Fritz Langwedge at 2:53 AM on May 4, 2012


There are other important aspects of the economics. Punk could only have broken out in a smaller, compressed market like the UK, where a small run of singles could become a hit. My understanding of the birth of punk is that a lot of it happened around Manchester because there was already an existing infrastructure of extremely small LP production houses that did small runs of soul and disco records. Even a bunch of starving punks could scrape up enough funds to press a few records.

Also note top headline on the cover of the MM issue I posted, "Musicians Must Pay To Play." The Pay to Play problem shaped that music scene, and punks already had a hard enough time finding venues to play. Even though I have never been in them, never even been in the same country, I know the venues that developed the music scenes, like The Roxy, Hope & Anchor, Marquee, etc.

And then there was the economics of guys like me, stuck in the midwest with no access to the emerging new punk media except through expensive imported tabloids like the NME. Cover price $1.50, actual price more like $2.50, that's the equivalent of $9.46 in 2012 dollars. And I bought those magazines every week (usually more than one), read the reviews, and special ordered import records. No wonder I was working like a dog and still living like a pauper.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:59 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


My understanding of the birth of punk is that a lot of it happened around Manchester
posted by charlie don't surf


Sure did. We have to admit that it started in London (I'm talking Britside, CBGBs oldsters) , but Manchester was really quick to get in on the act and my God, they did it well.
posted by Decani at 9:59 AM on May 4, 2012


Even a bunch of starving punks could scrape up enough funds to press a few records.

Absolutely the most significant revolution of the punk era. Once bands figured out that records weren't pressed in some magic netherworld somewhere, the floodgates opened for independent, underground rock. Anyone who still wanted to grovel to the ripoff artists at Arista and Epic was welcome to 'em.
posted by Fritz Langwedge at 10:17 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyone who still wanted to grovel to the ripoff artists at Arista and Epic was welcome to 'em.
posted by Fritz Langwedge at 6:17 PM on May 4


Now you have me nostalgic for my long-since-destroyed "If it ain't Stiff, it ain't worth a fuck" T-shirt... oh god, we old punks are so sad.
posted by Decani at 10:26 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


My understanding of the birth of punk is that a lot of it happened around Manchester

As the song says:
Manchester, so much to answer for.
posted by Mezentian at 4:42 AM on May 5, 2012




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