So how punk were you. anyway? Find out in this simple-to-follow quiz which took us all afternoon to knock up. ‘Are you punk or new wave?‘, they used to greet us at school - usually with bricks in their hands. Here’s the chance to dig deep into your subconscious and find out for sure.

I 1. You are down the Roxy one night in 1977 when the news is broken that Elvis has died. How do you react?

a) With no outward display of emotion at all. as you were flogging speed to Steve Jones in the bogs and missed the announcement.

b) By breaking into a maniacal cackle. declaring that you were going to kick the shit out of the speccy little bastard ifyou heard ‘Pump It Up' once more and asking the DJ to play ‘New Rose‘ to celebrate.

c) You are Elvis Presley. Not very punk or very new wave really. and having been dead for 12 hours. the distinction isn‘t uppermost in your mind.

I 2. The last book you read was. . . a)Judge Dredd.‘ (‘ursed Earth Book Two?

b) First A mng Equals by Jeffrey Archer?

c) England's Dreaming by Jon Savage?

I 3. At a visitation irom New York rock poetess Patti Smith, you spied a hippy lurking nearthe back oi the hall. Did you . . .

a) Engage him in a debate about the works of Rimbaud. Ms Smith‘s favourite poet. and in a roundabout way try to score some dope off him? b) Lure said hippy into the car park on the pretext ofscoring some dope

offhimandthen pulp his headlikean l . ; something by Adamski you can't remember the name of but you can

overripe tomato whilst paralysing him with a fearful a cappella rendition of‘London‘s Burning'. flagellate his corpse with a torn-off car exhaust. kick it three blocks. return to your mates at the gig and hurl the lacerath cadaver towards the stage. screaming. ‘Borstal Breakout! There’s gonna be a Borstal Breakout!".’

c) All oib), plus remember to steal his dope?

I 4. What was sprayed on the back at your leatherjacket? Was it . . .

a) The Clash?

b) A technicolour Grateful Dead emblem that was so beautifully embellished that you couldn't bear to wash it off?

c) Six gallons ofphlegm and spittlc from the fifty guys and gals behind you at the last Vibrators gig?

I 5. Trousers: Just how tight were yours?

a) Circulation-stopping. Left nothing to the imagination. I can tell you. I‘m proud ofmy meat and two veg, or I was till they got gangrene and dropped off.

b) Old school trousers— bit nippy. showed a fair bit ofankle. but they got me mistaken for a Jam roadie once.

c) Luminous psychedelic Ioon pants with gold brocade. But mum converted them into straight-legs on her sewing machine.

I 6. When Sid Vicious died, you became. . .

a) Substance-free?

b) A rabid Sex Pistols fan overnight? c) A television presenter with an unlimited expense account?

I 7. The iirsi records you bought aiter punk went down the drain were. . .

a) By Joy Division?

b) By Theatre Of Hate?

c) ‘Ride On 'l'ime’ by Black Box and

hum quite well?

d) Some amazingly obscure 12—inch disco imports for a tenner apiece and a dozen tatty LPs of Scottish pipe band music for 5(lp from the Oxfam shop?

I 8. Which oi the iollowing statements comes closest to summing up your attitude towards gang violence and youth cult rivalry, specilically the recent Manchester ‘drug wars‘? .

a) Fuck a mod?

b) Other (please fill in)?

I 9) Punk’s biggest contribution to British culture was. . .

a) Dead mods?

b) The Mod Revival?

c) Nigel Kennedy?

d) Big John out ()fGoodbye Mr Mackenzie?

I 10) What iinally made you hang up yoursalety pins?

a) All the original punks signing to major labels?

b) The Stranglers' A urul Sculpture album?

c) Your first hearing of Black Box‘s ‘Ride On Time"?

d) Not having a job?

e) Not having had a shag for four years?


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_ 7


And what excuse have we lorthis binge oi nostalgia? There are a number oi

them. Alter iiiteen years, it’s okay to , talk about punk rock again (unlike the l

; 60s, which have been the prime topic at l ' the chattering classes ever since

Woodstock), and momentum has been building for months with videos, books and CD reissues. The latest compilations to be announced are Generation X's ‘Periect Hits’ and a Buzzcocks Best 0i, ‘Operator’s Manual’. Perhaps best oi all, the iamous bootleg oi the Howard Devoto-era Buzzcocks, ‘Time’s Up’, has at last been granted an otiicial release, on Document Records.

The biggest splash on the literary iront is Jon Savage’s long-awaited book ‘England’s Dreaming' (Faber), which has been touted as the deiinitive work on the subject. it’s a heavy read, butas good as we'll probably get. i Savage, a skilled critic, was on the scene atthetime, and highlights aspects oi the punk era that pundits and l movie-makers have ignored. it‘s i pitched somewhere between Greil i Marcus’s scholarly doorstep “Lipstick : Traces‘, which appeared in 1989, and

l l

Craig Bromberg‘s brand new ‘The Wicked Ways oi Malcolm McLaren’ (Omnibus).Bromberg'sbiographyis _ more downmarket than Savage’s tome, E but eminently readable and very iniormative in its own right. 5

By some incredible coincidence, Jon Savage is also the consultant ior l Channel 4’s iiiieenth anniversary celebration ‘Punk’ (11.15pm—12.1Sam)onFri18. l Seemingly made up largely oi iootage i irom the excellent ‘The Way They Were’ that was shown live years ago (andieaiuringtheiirstTVappearance , the Pistols actually made with ; instruments), it’s iollowed by a screening at ‘The Great Bock’n’Boll Swindle’ (12.15—2.053m) which, according to your point oiview, is either a ilawed masterpiece or a diabolical mess. We iavour the iormer. “Sid And Nancy’, which really is a diabolical mess, is not now being shown, as the Independent Television Commission were too appalled by its strong language. Sunday night brings a documentary called ‘Punks In Prague’ (11.55pm—12.25am) which lollows a Czech punk band and the country’s dritt towards the skinhead movement.

And the reissues keep on coming: The TV-advertlsed new wave compilation ‘The Sound 0i The Suburbs’ sparked oii its own mini-revolution as a generation at insurance brokers and media consultants shocked their teariul spouses by whipping oii the sults and ties they had acquired during the Thatcherlte 80s (boo! hiss!) and pogo-log on the soias during commercial breaks. Punk’s not dead. Or is it?

i l l

12 The List 11— 24 October 1991