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American PUNK ROCK in the late seventies and the economics of bootlegging

Obviously, there have been many different PUNK ROCK scenes in
various geographical locations during the post-war period. However, few were as simultaneously focused and expansive as that to be found in Britain during the late seventies. It follows from this that we're unlikely to unearth such fine sources of contemporary compilation material as that discussed in the last chapter. Take, for example, the American garage rock scene(s) of the sixties. While much of this subgenre is now very well documented on various compilation series, such as Nuggets and Pebbles, these platters were put together many years after the tunes they feature were first issued. In the interest of brevity I will now move on from sixties garage rock by simply noting that it forms a major and integral segment of the PUNK ROCK genre. What I want to do instead is look at a broad section of the PUNK ROCK genre in the English speaking world from the late seventies onwards. As I have already pointed out, since PUNK ROCK as a genre has no fixed boundaries, it would be both pointless and counterproductive to attempt to be exhaustive in my treatment of the subject.

The bootleg compilation Feel Lucky Punk? has already been mentioned at the end of chapter one. This record is a fine sampler of archetypal late seventies style American and Australian punk rock, which brings together many of the best tracks to be found on the various volumes of the Killed By Death series. As was the case with the individual who issued the Anarchy In The UK CD, this is another bootlegger who is utterly shameless, and can't really be bothered to hide his identity. The gentleman in question is well known in the record trade for having put together the absolutely best series of sixties American garage rock compilations. Both the sleeve-notes, and the choice of Gonzo Hate Binge Records as a 'cover' for this particular bootlegging operation are obvious clues to his identity. But as with our previous bootlegger, the owners of the copyright which is being infringed are unlikely to enjoy sufficient financial security to take legal action – and what's more, many of them have probably thanked him for reissuing their product!

Simply providing the track listing for Feel Lucky Punk? gives a good indication of the anti-social nature of sneering two-chord garage rock: Rocks – Hanging On; Queers – I Don't Wanna Work; Psycho Surgeons – Horizontal Action; Nervous Eaters – Just Head; News – Tell Me Why; Queers – I'm Useless; Violators – N. Y. Ripper; Hollywood Squares – Hillside Strangler; Lewd – Kill Yourself; Mad – Disgusting; Rocks – Damn You; Unnatural Axe – They Saved Hitler's Brain; Rocks – Kick Her Out; Queers – At The Mall; Nervous Eaters – Get Stuffed; Freestone – Bummer Bitch; Mad – I Hate Music; Nasal Boys – Hot Love; Queers – This Place Sucks; Leftovers – I Only Panic When There's Nothing To Do; Child Molesters – Hillside Strangler; Queers – Kicked Out Of The Webelos.

Yes, the principal concerns are sex, murder and other anti-social acts! In terms of lyrical content the Psycho Surgeons exhibit a typically Aussie PUNK facility for word play, rhyming as they do 'hospital traction' and 'horizontal action' in a speed freak hymn to lust. Likewise, the Nervous Eaters are distinctively American in their singer's up front statement of what's on his mind: 'Just head coz I'm in a rush / Just head that'll be enough.'

Although Feel Lucky Punk? is supposed to be a sampler of '77/'78 era PUNK ROCK, the Queers didn't issue their first record until 1982, and the four bootlegged tracks actually date from 1984, although they're wrongly attributed to 1983 on the sleeve of the Gonzo Hate Binge compilation. The bootlegger justifies the inclusion of the Queers on the grounds that their music hasn't been corrupted by 'shit hardcore' influences, and the band certainly don't appear out of place on the record. It was being bootlegged both here and on Killed By Death that transformed the Queers from complete unknowns into a cult among those who appreciate the joys of 'obscure' PUNK ROCK. This is a good example of bootlegging greatly benefiting the holders of an infringed copyright because in being bracketed with a clutch of collectable punk bands from an earlier period, the Queers were able to break through to an audience who liked their sound but was deeply suspicious of eighties exponents of the genre and related tendencies such as hardcore.

When the group's second album, Love Songs For The Retarded, appeared in 1993, every other record collector I encountered was asking, 'is that the same Queers who are on Killed By Death and Feel Lucky Punk?' There was a certain amount of confusion due to the band having parted company with the singer featured on their 1984 EP and the sound being somewhat smoother. Once it was confirmed that this was the same Queers, there was a steady demand for the group's deleted 1990 long player Grow Up, which was subsequently reissued. While all the band's output is energetic and tuneful, the more recent material lacks the hard-edged '77 style sound of early songs such as We'd Have A Riot Doing Heroin and I Spent The Rent. Like the previous two albums, the group's most recent release, Beat Off, features a Ramones influenced surf-punk sound, or put another way, it's perfect pop music for skateboarders and discerning record buyers of all ages.

The Child Molesters provide Feel Lucky Punk? with 'super-dumb sleaze-bag thud' in the shape of their first single, Hillside Strangler, which was both intentionally offensive and very badly recorded. Much of this cult group's output has appeared in recent years on the highly collectable Sympathy For The Record Industry label, some tracks being reissues while other work was previously unreleased. In a similar groove to Hillside Strangler is (I Wanna See Some) Wholesale Murder. However, the Child Molesters' greatest achievement was 13 Is My Lucky Number, a masterpiece of 'bad taste' in which the band detail their liking for young girls, while simultaneously managing to rhyme 'jailbait' with 'statutory rape'.

It is worth remarking here that PUNK transgressions of 'good taste' are an important element of its antagonistic relationship towards the dominant culture. As Pierre Bourdieu points out in his book Distinction: A Social Critique Of The Judgement Of Taste (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London 1984), the notion of 'good taste' is culturally loaded. The 'anti-social' theatrics of PUNK ROCK are in many ways an attack on a key concept in the ideological armoury of 'serious culture'. Unfortunately, PUNK ROCK contestations of bourgeois aesthetics (whose entangled methodology seeks to justify social stratification on the basis of 'taste') are rarely articulated in anything other than, at best, a semi-conscious way. As a consequence, PUNK attacks on elitism can end up reinforcing the hegemonic position of the dominant culture, which knows very well how to defend itself against populism. Poorly articulated criticism can very easily be turned back against those antagonistic towards the reigning ideology of judgement and used as a justification for their continuing exclusion from the various institutions that simultaneously propagate and defend 'serious culture'. Intransigent exponents of 'bad taste' such as the Child Molesters, whose musical development underwent an unfortunate evolution in the direction of jazz, were probably more consciously aware of this state of affairs than other, less 'arty' 'PUNK ROCK' acts.

Another group who impinged on West Coast PUNK circles, and again had a heavily jazz influenced sound, were the Deadbeats. They recorded a Punk Rock classic in the form of Kill The Hippies and very little else, although their live set included songs such as Hooked On Jailbait. Like the Child Molesters, they appear to have had a conscious awareness of the subversive potential of 'anti-social' theatrics. While the Deadbeats and the Child Molesters currently enjoy cult status among record collectors, Burlesque (a British jazz rock band who also attempted to make inroads on the seventies PUNK circuit) remain well and truly forgotten. Again, as with the other jazz influenced bands under discussion, Burlesque possessed an awareness of the subversive potential of symbolic transgressions of 'good taste'. For example, the British band recorded a song in 1977 called Steel Appeal that detailed a pathological love affair between the singer and a wheelchair bound geriatric. The initial impact of all three of these jazz-'punk' groups was severely limited due to their adoption of a completely recuperated musical form. The cult status now enjoyed by the two American bands was initially derived from releases that conformed to the evolving PUNK ROCK format of the late seventies. It will be interesting to see if there is ever a Burlesque revival carried out on the back of the belated success the Deadbeats and the Child Molesters now enjoy among record collectors.

Moving on to yet another bootlegger, Dave Fergusson is so shameless that he not only puts his name on the illicit releases he issues as Destroy Tapes, he even includes his address. But then, as I've already pointed out, it's not as though he needs to lose sleep about infringing copyrights held by people who can't afford to enforce them. In his sleeve notes to the What Stuff compilation on Iloki, Chris Ashford who owns the rights to quite a number of 'obscure' late seventies PUNK ROCK recordings (he ran the Los Angeles based, and now legendary, independent What? Records label) concludes ruefully: 'I hope all you bootleggers out there might just give it up for a while and the rest of you... just enjoy it.'

However, Ashford must know that the small international band of obsessives bootlegging rare PUNK ROCK will continue illicitly reissuing these recordings regardless of his openly stated disapproval. Most of them could make a bigger profit by pirating the likes of Dylan and Springsteen but avoid shit of this type because they are, first and foremost, music fans. Fergusson's operation is so low budget that there's clearly very little money involved, he is simply a long term PUNK ROCK psychotic who is, in any case, notorious for pissing away whatever money passes through his hands. It would be counter productive for even a large corporation to sue someone like Fergusson, he has no money and so it would be impossible to recover the costs of taking him to court.

Fergusson's Hardcore History runs to six C90 cassettes that retail for £2.50 each, and since the sales on individual volumes are probably struggling to reach the three figure mark, it doesn't take an accountant to work out that there's very little money involved. At the top end of this segment of the market, each volume of something like Back To Front sells a thousand copies on vinyl and a few thousand on CD. Of course, Back To Front is a completely legitimate operation which runs the following statement on its product:

"Thanks to all those people and labels which helped us with info and which gave the permission to put their material on this record. Some addresses have been dated, so we couldn't get in contact with all bands. Our challenge to these bands is: Get in touch with us!"

Likewise, each volume of Killed By Death came out on vinyl in an edition of approximately 750 and these are now being reissued on CD in pressings of a few thousand. The history of this series is rather complex, because the name and concept created by the original bootlegger was bootlegged by two other individuals running their own pirate operations. The Killed By Death CD reissues are rumoured to emanate from yet another source which also deals legitimately in 'sixties-style' garage rock.

However, the small number of units sold in no way negates the importance of these compilations in defining and redefining the boundaries of the PUNK ROCK genre, in which there is, after all, a high premium placed on 'obscurity'. This is a very specialised segment of the record market, and although such modest sales would result in a considerable loss for a large corporation with high fixed costs, it is perfectly feasible for an independent operator to make modest profits on sales of just a few hundred units. Having said this, there are PUNK ROCK records, and bands, whose sales run into at least five, and possibly six, figures. Unlike much chart product, PUNK ROCK recordings may sell comparatively slowly but they do have a long shelf life, with successful titles still being re-pressed many years after they were first issued.

The British PUNK ROCK scene of the late seventies has become, at least among record collectors, a victim of its own success. English PUNK ROCK of the period has failed to appreciate in value precisely because of the comparatively high sales it enjoyed at that time, resulting in a glut of the product. Recently, the trend in high priced collectors items has been towards the rare European recordings of the late seventies and early eighties, made by bands who only began to penetrate the Anglo-American market posthumously. The prices paid for records by bands who were previously 'unknown' to PUNK ROCK collectors generally skyrockets after the group has been featured on a compilation series such as Back To Front. Within Europe, it is the Italian PUNK ROCK collectors who push up the prices, but what they are prepared to pay for obscure records pales in comparison to Japanese obsessives.

Fergusson's Hardcore History strays into the Killed By Death and Back To Front territory of genuine obscurities on volumes 4, 5 and 6, but the first three cassettes in the series feature American bands who will be familiar to anyone with more than a passing acquaintance with the PUNK ROCK genre. The Alley Cats, Avengers, Chain Gang, Crime, Dils, Electric Chairs, Germs, Misfits, Ramones, Randoms, Snatch, Venus And The Razorblades, Weirdos and the Zeros are among the groups featured on Hardcore History 1. Unfortunately, as the title of the series indicates, on later volumes Fergusson has a tendency to stray out of the PUNK ROCK genre and into the hardcore phenomenon.

While the Hardcore History series features material from the East Coast, the emphasis is very much on the West Coast, which is hardly surprising given that the most significant ideological Punk Rock scene in late seventies America developed in California. Rather unfortunately, the SF and LA scenes mutated into hardcore, something that Fergusson likes but which is of no interest to me. I will deal with the way the East Coast is represented on Hardcore History first, largely because there is not a great deal that needs to be said about it. Obviously, the Ramones' first four studio albums and the It's Alive recording of their New Year's Eve concert in Finsbury Park, occupy a place at the very centre of the PUNK ROCK genre. Songs such as Teenage Lobotomy, Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment, Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue, Cretin Hop and I Wanna Be Sedated are classic examples of transgressive PUNK ROCK theatrics given a quasi-Baudrillardian spin. Clearly, one does not need to be acquainted with post-modern theory to appreciate what the Ramones were doing and it is hard to imagine even a 'contemporary cultural critic' taking these lyrics literally, although it would be a mistake to under-estimate the depths to which Groovy Greil Marcus can sink. Given that the present text is not concerned with the 'history' of specific bands, I can finish dealing with the Ramones by referring interested readers to Jim Bessman's book The Ramones: An American Band (St. Martin's Press, New York 1993) which is a typical example of the notoriously dull genre of pop music biography.

The only Electric Chairs track featured on Hardcore History is Paranoia Paradise. The band are crucial because singer Wayne County genuinely understood the subversive potential and transformative power of cultural transgression. County began his rock career as a transvestite, and continued it as a transsexual, allowing the public to witness his transformation from Wayne into Jayne. Between 1977 and the 1980 New Year's Eve live set Rock 'N' Roll Resurrection, the lyrical content of Paranoia Paradise mutated and the song was retitled Fucked By The Devil. The live album captures County at her peak, simultaneously exploiting her transsexual status and the past history of the evolving PUNK ROCK genre by covering such as sixties garage rock classics such as Are You A Boy? The singer's transgressive humour is equally evident in original compositions such as Mean Motherfuckin' Man, Fuck Off, Things Your Mother Never Told You, Cream In My Jeans, Bad In Bed and Toilet Love. Interested readers should check out County's forthcoming autobiography Man Enough To Be A Woman (co-written with Rupert Smith, Serpent's Tail, London & New York 1995).

Fergusson doesn't bootleg the Dead Boys or the Dictators so, although each played an important role in the unfolding of the New York PUNK ROCK scene in the nineteen-seventies, I will not deal with them at this juncture. Initially, at least, participants in West Coast PUNK ROCK circles of the late seventies felt they were being overshadowed by events in London and New York. The frustration and sense of rivalry that arose from this situation is plainly evident on recordings such as We Don't Need The English by the Bags and Let's Get Rid Of New York by the Randoms, although this attitude was no doubt also fuelled by hostility felt towards individual British expatriates and East Coast 'Wasps' living in California. However, this West Coast 'particularism' was propagated in positive as well as negative forms, as can be seen from the song Los Angeles by X. It should go without saying that this antagonism was simply one side of a 'love-hate' relationship. British bands, in particular, were viewed as 'cool' by the very people who simultaneously disliked them for their comparative 'success'.

The West Coast scene contained many of the same elements that were prevalent in late seventies PUNK ROCK produced in other geographical locations. The Nuns, for example, had a fixation with theatrical nihilism which was revealed in songs such as Decadent Jew, Savage, Suicide Child and Child Molester. Prototypical PUNK ROCK sleaze-bag humour is equally evident in tunes such as Killer Queers by the Controllers, with its chorus of 'I need a blow job', and Sit On My Face Stevie Nicks by the Rotters which combines an attack on a 'boring old fart' with an upfront verbalisation of the singer's sexual desires:

"All night long I can't get no sleep / Don't know what to do without the taste of meat / It's that smell that gets me high / I love the feel of your upper thigh / So sit on my face / On my face / Sit on my face Stevie Nicks... When I first saw you I had a fit / Couldn't wait to eat your steamy clit / Think it's offensive well stick around / We'll make you puke and vomit like a hound..."

Equally good are the very tuneful and genuinely 'extreme' Dils, whose first two singles I Hate The Rich and Class War were high points of late seventies Californian Punk Rock. However, it wasn't just the 'extremists' who released classic pop product; among the best of the West Coast bands of that period were a bunch of schoolboys calling themselves the Zeros. Sometimes known among PUNK ROCK collectors as the Mexican Ramones, the Zeros recorded a handful of classic songs. Their first single Wimp is the best known of them, although later tunes such as She's Just A Girl On The Block demonstrate that the group maintained their ability to knock out poppy punk classics over the entire span of their five year career. One act who maintained a distance between themselves and the rest of the West Coast scene of that time were the legendary Crime. Hailing from San Francisco, the group are best known for their first single Hot Wire My Heart. They were also notorious for wearing police uniforms on stage and there is a hard to obtain but truly surreal video release of Crime performing at San Quentin jail in this garb to row upon row of seated prisoners.

Another of San Francisco's finest bands of the late seventies were the Avengers, whose melodic songs with titles like I Believe In Me and White Nigger placed them firmly within the subgenre of ideological Punk Rock. The lyrics to tunes such as We Are The One show very plainly the nebulous nature of punk 'politics' and make it clear that it is completely pointless to try and categorise these in terms of a left/right divide:

"We are the leaders of tomorrow / We are the ones to have fun / We want control, we want power / Not gonna stop until it comes / We are not Jesus Christ / We are not fascist pigs / We are not capitalists, industrialists / We are not communists / We are the one / We will build a better tomorrow / The youth of today will be the tool / America's children made for survival / Fate is our destiny and we shall rule / I am the one who brings you the power / I am the one who buries the past / A new species rise up from the ruin / I am the one that was made to last."

Among PUNK ROCK cognoscenti there is one West Coast band who, in terms of cult status, now stand head and shoulders above all their Hollywood rivals of the late seventies. They are the Germs. I do not want to give a detailed history of the Germs because something approximating that can be found in the booklet accompanying the posthumous Cats Clause ten inch album on the Munster label. Likewise, anyone interested in the wider West Coast scene of the late seventies is referred to Hardcore California: A History Of Punk And New Wave by Peter Belsito and Bob Davis (Last Gasp, San Francisco 1983). It has been suggested elsewhere that the Germs album GI was the first 'hardcore' record. Obviously, given my understanding of genre as something that is continuously evolving, and which consequently has flexible boundaries, I cannot concur with such a view. In any case, the Germs output sits more easily within the Punk Rock genre at its present stage of historical evolution than within the discourse known as hardcore.

In terms of PUNK ROCK aesthetics, the Germs most significant contribution to the genre is the auspiciously premature 1977 What? Records single Forming. On this the band clearly don't care whether or not they're ready to make a record, they are simply gonna do it anyway! The result is a brilliant example of raw and primitive Punk Rock that cuts through all the crap concerning professionalism that is put about by the corporate music establishment. As with most of the Germs product, it's the attitude that counts and this is considerably more impressive than the lyrics. It's the group's front that makes their music a quintessential example of ideological Punk Rock.

Exerting almost as seminal an influence as Forming on the ongoing development of the Punk Rock genre is/was Germicide, a live recording of the band's debut at the Whisky in LA which dates from June 1977. After introductions by Kim Fowley, Rodney Bingenheimer and Belinda Carlisle (who blurts 'the reason I'm not in the group anymore, because they're too dirty for me, they're sluts'), the Germs grind their way through Forming, Sex Boy, Victim, Street Dreams, Let's Pretend, Get A Grip, Suicide Machine, Sugar Sugar, Teenage Clone and Grand Old Flag, only just managing to hold the sound together. The complete 'incompetence' of the musicianship is both disarming and charming. During the cover of the Archies bubblegum classic Sugar Sugar, the Germs had instructed their friends to pelt them with food, and photographs of the performance show gunk dripping from the band. Three years later, singer Darby Crash transformed himself into a Punk Rock legend by overdosing on smack, an event that led fans to emblazon their leather jackets with the slogan 'THE GERMS WILL NEVER DIE'.

Given that notorious music business hustler Kim Fowley promoted the Germs 'first' concert allows me to unite East and West Coast PUNK ROCK, while simultaneously returning to the issue of Louie Louie and the fact that Dave Marsh failed to deal with the majority of 'important' PUNK ROCK versions and variants of the tune in his book on the song. Fowley, known to fans as 'the Dorian Grey of rock 'n' roll', has been involved in pop music for a very long time and he pops up on the first volume of the garage rock series Pebbles with his hippie cash-in novelty item The Trip. Fowley also turns up on another sixties punk compilation series called Girls In The Garage, this time as Althea And The Memories doing a version of Louie Louie with new lyrics ('Do you think there's ever been a dance called the wheelchair / You do it sitting down...') that he's retitled The Worst Record Ever Made. Quasi-Sorelean notions of myth play a major role in the propagation of PUNK ROCK, and here's how the liner notes to Girls In The Garage describe the recording of The Worst Record Ever Made:

"The genius of Kim Fowley deserves greater recognition than we have room for here, but let's close with an incomparable example of his work from the Golden Age of record producing. Picture this scene: Kim has rented a studio for an hour, filled it with session musician friends (probably all big names like Sandy Nelson, P.J. Proby, Mars Bonfire or Skip Batlyn) and sets them to jamming on the Louie Louie riff. Then, dashing into the street, he grabs some girls walking home from school, throws them into the studio, and tells them to sing backup, while he proceeds to improvise for two minutes. Then he realises the whole thing is out of control and tries to stop it, but nobody's listening to him. Released on Rubbish Records in 1966. Try to find it!"

Now, while certain individuals have used Punk Rock as a springboard to pop stardom, genuine Punk Rock stars ought to be nothing less than born again losers. It should go without saying that genuine exponents of punk rock never become teen idols because even if they succeed in racking up a one hit wonder, mentally they never manage to leave the garage. One individual who, like Darby Crash of the Germs, epitomises the persona of the Punk Rock star is Stiv Bators. While Bators is best known for his work with the Dead Boys and the Lords Of The New Church, what must simultaneously be considered the high and low point of his career came when he was working as a solo 'artist', and it was Kim Fowley who instigated the incident that formed its basis. Forget about the Dead Boys arriving in New York from their native Cleveland to carve out a reputation as that absurd media creation 'the American Sex Pistols'. Jamie Reid and Johnny Rotten never wrote sneering punk lyrics along the lines of 'Look at me that way bitch / Your face is gonna get a punch' or 'Write on your face with my pretty knife / I wanna buy your precious life'. Nevertheless, the theatrical nihilism that typified much of Bators' career is inconsequential when compared to the fact that it was his destiny to remake The Worst Record Ever Made. Greg Shaw of Bomp Records tells the story in his sleeve notes to the posthumous LA LA CD of rare and unreleased Stiv Bators material:

"I still recall, vividly, the moment of frozen horror when Jim Mankey called sometime in the middle of the night to let me know that the studio where Stiv was supposed to be recording his new single had been invaded by a horde of refugees from Hollywood's closing hour, led by none other than Kim Fowley. I knew with a sinking feeling that they'd be there for hours, nothing useful would get done, and I'd have to pay the bills... On hand was an army of hangers on, including BeBe Buell, and various members of Sham 69 and the Runaways. Also along was Fowley protégé Tommy Rock, who helped throw together the songs and arrangements that ended up being put on tape, instead of the planned single... LA LA rewrites Louie Louie as a kind of exegesis of Stiv's Hollywood experiences."

In other words, with a chorus of 'LA LA, I'm on a Hollywood high,' and a motley crew of backing singers, Fowley got Bators to re-record The Worst Record Ever Made. Add to that the fact that Bators went on to die in a hit and run accident and you have the stuff of PUNK legend.

Fowley, being a prototypical punk himself, had many other brushes with the genre during the seventies. The master's best shot at commercial success during this period was with the Runaways, a 'novelty' act consisting of five teenage girls. Songs such as Cherry Bomb and Hollywood are schlock classics, although the group is heard to best effect on the Marilyn CD Born To Be Bad, allegedly recorded five days after they'd been formed with Fowley getting it all down on a Roberts reel-to-reel tape recorder. Another Fowley creation, Venus And The Razorblades, turn up on Hardcore History 1 with the tracks I Wanna Be Where The Boys Are and Punk-A-Rama. Fowley's 'there are no depths to which I cannot sink' attitude makes Malcolm McLaren look like a provincial bore.

Before abandoning, for the time being, the subject of American PUNK ROCK, I want to reiterate that to some degree my starting point is arbitrary. It should be clear from the preceding pages that it would have been just as useful to focus on sixties garage rock, of which there are scores of compilations to assist in a delineation of that particular PUNK ROCK subgenre. Alternatively, I could have begun in the eighties with the Mystic Records series Sound Of USA Cities. The first Mystic Records volume is dedicated to Washington DC and the track listing features many archetypal aspects of the PUNK ROCK genre: Motor Morons – Too Many Girls; Phlegm – Charlie's Secret; The Thing That Wouldn't Leave – King Kong Bundy; The Platinum Slugs – Easy Mark; Receptacles – No; Bad Vibes – No One Knows Who They Are Or Where They Come From; Asbestos Rockpyle – Captain Blue; Roadside Pets – Inside You; Sybil – I Am TV; Madhouse – Wardrobe; Painkillers – I'm Living On Bulk Food; Pure Evil – Frustration; Christian Nightmare – Hate; Sarcastic Orgasm – Forum Letter.

The point I am making is that to understand this genre we have to immerse ourselves in its musical products and once we are orientated within the tradition it becomes easier to make sense of its shifting boundaries. I've already said that it's not only pointless, but counterproductive, to attempt to produce a definitive account of the subject due to its flexible parameters. I have no intention of utilising the list as an organising principle within this text and many PUNK ROCK records that are personal favourites of mine remain uncited. Nevertheless, it is necessary to cover a broad range of material, most of which is not going to be treated in any depth, because rather than wasting my time with either a populist chronicle of a given style of music or an abstract account of the genesis of cultural formations per se, I am providing a concrete description of one particular musical genre.

Previous: Chapter IV: Relics From The Past

Next: Chapter V1: Descent Into The Maelstrom

Cranked Up Really High contents

Cranked Up Really High second cover
UK 2nd edition

Cranked Up Really High cover first
UK first edition

Cranked Up Really High Italian cover
In Italian

Cranked Up Really High by Stewart Home Spanish cover
In Spanish

Cranked Up Really High by Stewart Home in Italian, 2nd edition
2nd edition in Italian