In 1977 I was 6 years old and there’s an intriguing song on the radio, It’s called Peaches and it’s by a group called The Stranglers. My intrigue is piqued as the BBC have bleeped a word out of the singer’s arrogant sounding vocals. Soon enough I’m hearing stories about this group called the Sex Pistols. My parents talk about them in disturbed dismissive tones. The BBC come to the rescue with the weekly TV show dedicated to the Top 40 hits of the week Top Of The Pops. There’s a few performances I distinctly remember being hugely drawn to. Generation X doing King Rocker in 1978 and Public Image Limited doing Flowers Of Romance in ’81 shortly followed by The Exploited’s Dead Cities, also in ’81.
By this time I’m 11 years old and my elder brother’s been importing Anti-Pasti and Chron Gen 7″s up his jumper into the family home from his pocket money spending trips to Woolworth’s. My parents were terrified of Punk as they believed the media hype that Punk music was ripping to shreds the fabric of society – Hence punk records had to be sneaked into the house. After a while my brother loses interest in Punk and I borrow (inherit) his records and start buying my own. My first being The Stranglers LP The Gospel According To Themeninblack from the discount section of Woolworth’s of course. I love the way these records make me feel. I hate Catholic School and the religious doctrine I’ve been forced into. I have to leave my tartan bondage trousers in the drawer on Sunday’s and put on these “smart” trousers my Mum got me to wear to church. I look like Rupert The Bear.
My American cousin Paul, a few years older than me, comes to visit and he’s a Punk! I’m enthralled. There’s an older Punk down the street from me, Chris, he sells me Crass 7″s when he’s skint. I’m too young to go to gigs but I have a few friends who are also into Punk. Blenky, Boz and Ian. We spend most of our free time in Blenky’s bedroom where he’s painted the Subhumans logo on the wall above his bed. We play records all the time and drink cheap lager.
We live in a small market town where there’s surprisingly a decent number of Punks. The older, original Punks don’t like the young pretenders and we occasionally get beat up by them and those 3 brothers who are massive Elvis fans. It’s Thatcher’s time so I leave school at 16 go on the dole. I sell some of my records to buy cheap lager.
A few months pass and I get a job, I also start getting into other music but the Punk thing is still in my heart. It’s informed me everyday of my life since. I’m 50 now and still a Punk. I don’t look like one but I feel like one.
My first gig was Alien Sex Fiend in 1984.
I am in a band called Volcano The Bear and have our own label, Volucan.
These days I live in Market Harborough in the UK and am married with no children. I work in construction as well as with music. I buy more punk records now than I did when I was a teenager.
Fun punk trivia – I was penpals with Charlie Harper from the UK Subs and on my 14th birthday he sent me a present of a UK Subs bum flap. I was also punched in the face by Rat Scabies after a Damned concert in 1986 – I deserved it.