19 September 2007

Punk 1976-2007

 id=Punk – the once genuinely exciting musical revolution(1) that transformed a generation of loon-panted, pot-smoking, tree-hugging Genesis fans into bondage-trousered, speed-freaking menaces to society whose idea of fun was sticking a safety pin through a granny whilst listening to he Sex Pistols' God Save the Queen – has finally admitted that it has been clinically dead for some years by announcing that those very same Sex Pistols are reforming to "celebrate" (and shamelessly market) the 30th anniversary re-release of Never Mind the Bollocks.

Despite being inspired by American garage bands of the 60s and the New York Dolls and the Ramones in the early 70s, Punk’s parentage was claimed as an immaculate conception by boutique owner Malcolm McClaren – a man whose self-belief and marketing nous were matched only by his ability to claim credit for the invention of everything from sliced bread to the safety pin. Although the Sex Pistols were formed in 1975, Punk first gobbed on the public’s consciousness in 1976 when the Sex Pistols toured Britain – causing more chaos and destruction than the Three-Day Week and giving the tabloids a near-fatal attack of shocked headlines.

For the next three years bands such as The Damned, Buzzcocks, The Clash, X-Ray Spex and Arthur Mullard and Hilda Baker provided great music for disaffected teens across the nation and front-page news for the red tops.

By 1979, though, it was all over. Punk gave way to New Wave, No Wave, Wave Punk, Post-Punk Post-Wave and, finally, No Punk At All – as, in 1982, The Damned's Captain Sensible reached the top of the charts singing Happy Talk from Rodgers and Hammersteins' celebrated anarchist musical South Pacific.

Although Punk was, by this time, stiffer than Stiff Little Fingers it refused to acknowledge reports of its timely demise, claiming to live on in the spirit of mildly rebellious teenagers from France visiting London and hoping (mistakenly) to catch a glimpse of Johnny Rotten in “le Carnaby Street” and, most importantly, Spit the Dog, who (quite literally) single-handedly gobbed his way from Tiswas to summer seasons at Bridlington – keeping the punk flame flickering dimly for many years past it’s sell-out date.

Even the Sex Pistols Filthy Lucre tour of 1996 (with Sid as competent as ever on bass and vocals, despite his demise) failed to alert a gullible public to the decaying corpse of Punk, held together with safety pins, phlegm and John Lydon's willingness to do that starey-eyed thing that so frightened the powers-that-be in '76 ... despite the fact it now bore all the threat of a sloppy kiss from an ageing aunt.

The ailing spirit of Punk dragged on into the 21st century as tearful middle-aged men and women gathered in small groups to recite the Punk liturgy – the sacred text of Bill Grundy’s infamous interview with The Sex Pistols – that they’d just learnt by heart after watching it on YouTube at work while they should have been preparing that Powerpoint presentation for a three-day marketing conference in Birmingham.

So it was with the news that the Sex Pistols were hoiking up one last greenie with a concert at the Brixton Academy that Punk went to join that great three-chord, two-minute, one-note vocal, no-guitar solo in the sky.

Punk will be buried at St Sid Vicious's Church of The Great Rock 'N' Roll Swindle. The service will be conducted by the Reverend John Lydon and the congregation will sing Ever Get The Feeling You’ve Been Cheated? from the forthcoming musical God Save The Queen… No Really…! (Music by Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Lyrics by Ben Elton). Mourners are asked not to send flowers but to gob on the casket as it is lowered into the ground.

Punk is survived by Malcolm McClaren.

(1) in fact 45 revolutions ... per minute on 7” vinyl


David said...

Yawn! Heard it all before mate - highly unoriginal and tiresome, and written with all the panache and wit of a Holocaust denial. Either way and in case you hadn't realised, this is not the first time the Pistols have reformed (or was it okay then... just not now?).

Stif Rossics said...

Blimey David, you're a grumpy old sod aintcha. The standard of this blog is exceptionally high and that includes this obit.It does mention the Pistol's previous reformation anyway.

What were you doing up at 4.10am anyway? Dole bludger?