Tag Archives: punk

Kick Out The Tories

UNEMPLOYED IN TYNE & WEAR

Kick Out The Tories – Newtown Neurotics

As relevant now, sadly, as it was when first released in the early 1980s.

Lets kick out the Tories
the rulers of this land
for they are the enemies
of the British working man
and it shows,while that bastard is in unemployment grows
and it shows,in hospitals,factories and
the schools that they’ve closed.

Evil will triumph,if good men say nothing
evil will triumph, if good men do nothing
and it shows, while that bastard is in unemployment grows
and it shows, from Toxteth down to the Crumlin Road.

Lets overthrow them soon
cant you see what they’re trying to do
we’ll all be frying soon
Cant you see what they’re trying to do
lets overthrow them soon
cant you see what they’re trying to do
they just abuse their power
both black and white are being screwed.

Don’t believe every thing that you…

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Almanac – May 02

1551 – William Camden born.  English antiquarian, historian, topographer, and officer of arms.

He wrote the first chorographical survey of the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and the first detailed historical account of the reign of Elizabeth I of England.

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1929 – Link Wray born.  American rock and roll guitarist, songwriter and vocalist.

Building on the overdriven, distorted electric guitar sound of early electric blues records, his 1958 instrumental hit “Rumble”  introduced “the power chord, the major modus operandi of modern rock guitarists,” making possible punk and heavy rock.

Rolling Stone placed Wray at number 45 of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

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1945 – Judge Dread born. English reggae and ska musician.

He was the first white recording artist to have a reggae hit in Jamaica, and the BBC has banned more of his songs than any other recording artist due to his frequent use of sexual innuendo and double entendres.

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Thatcher – Ding Dong The Witch Is Censored

The Wizard of Oz song at the centre of an anti-Margaret Thatcher campaign will not be played in full on the BBC Official Chart Show.

Instead a five-second clip of the 51-second song will be aired as part of a Newsbeat report, Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper said.

Sales of Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead have soared since the former Prime Minister’s death on Monday.

Mr Cooper called the decision “a difficult compromise”.

The song is set to take the number three spot in Sunday’s countdown, according to the Official Charts Company.

Speaking to Radio 1 Newsbeat, Mr Cooper said: “The decision I have made is I am not going to play it in full but that I will play a clip of it in a news environment.

“When I say a news environment, that is a newsreader telling you about the fact that this record has reached a certain place in the chart and here is a clip of that track.”

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Ben Cooper says the decision is a “compromise” but not a “fudge”

I personally doubt that many people over the age of 16 take Radio 1 seriously anyway, and the BBC in general have quite a long record (no pun intended) of banning songs – The Sex PistolsGod Save The Queen” in 1977, The Dead KennedysToo Drunk To Fuck” when it made the charts in the 1980s, Frankie Goes To Holiwood‘s “Relax”, and a whole host more.

Even Noel Coward got banned for “Let’s Dont Be Beastly To The Germans” way back.

Of course, the thing about the particular song in question here is that its not about Thatcher, doesn’t mention her… all the the implied associations are in the minds of the various groups for and against.

Those against it ought to be grateful – it could have been…

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Almanac – January 31

1606 – Guy Fawkes, Thomas Wintour, Ambrose Rookwood and Robert Keyes  executed for plotting against Parliament and King James. Fawkes was the last to stand on the scaffold, his fellow plotters were already hanged and quartered.  He asked for forgiveness of the King and state, while keeping up his “crosses and idle ceremonies“, and aided by the hangman began to climb the ladder to the noose.

Although weakened by torture, Fawkes managed to jump from the gallows, breaking his neck in the fall and thus avoiding the agony of the latter part of his execution. His lifeless body was nevertheless quartered and, as was the custom, his body parts were then distributed to “the four corners of the kingdom”, to be displayed as a warning to other would-be traitors.

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1942 – Derek Jarman born. English film director, stage designer, diarist, artist, gardener and author. Films include Sebastiane (1976), Jubilee (1977), The Tempest (1979) and The Last of England (1988).

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1956 – John Lydon born. Also known by the former stage name Johnny Rotten,  a singer-songwriter and television presenter, best known as the lead singer of punk rock band the Sex Pistols and Public image Ltd.

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1960 – Grant Morrison born. Scottish comic book writer, playwright and occultist. He is known for his nonlinear narratives and countercultural leanings in his runs on titles including DC Comics’ Animal Man, Doom Patrol, JLA, The Invisibles, Action Comics, All-Star Superman, and Batman, and Marvel Comics’ New X-Men and Fantastic Four

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Almanac – January 25

BURNS NIGHT – celebrating the birth of Robert Burns in 1759.  Scottish poet and lyricist,  widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a light Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these his political or civil commentary is often at its bluntest.

He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement, and after his death he became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism, and a cultural icon in Scotland and among the Scottish Diaspora around the world. Celebration of his life and work became almost a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries, and his influence has long been strong on Scottish literature.

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1938 – Etta James born. American singer. Her style spanned a variety of music genres including blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, gospel and jazz

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1949 – John Cooper Clarke born. English performance poet who first became famous during the punk rock era of the late 1970s when he became known as a “punk poet“. He released several albums in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and continues to perform regularly.

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Almanac – January 11

1928 – Thomas Hardy died. English novelist and poet. A Victorian realist, in the tradition of George Eliot, he was also influenced both in his novels and poetry by Romanticism, especially by William Wordsworth. Charles Dickens is another important influence, and, like Dickens, he was also highly critical of much in Victorian society, though Hardy focused more on a declining rural society.

While Hardy wrote poetry throughout his life, and regarded himself primarily as a poet, his first collection was not published until 1898. Initially therefore he gained fame as the author of such novels as Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1891), and Jude the Obscure (1895).

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1906 – Albert Hofmann born.  Swiss scientist known best for being the first person to synthesize, ingest, and learn of the psychedelic effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).

Hofmann was also the first to isolate, synthesize, and name the principal psychedelic mushroom compounds, psilocybin and psilocin. He authored more than 100 scientific articles and a number of books, including LSD: My Problem Child.

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2007 – Robert Anton Wilson died. American author and polymath who became at various times a novelist, philosopher, psychologist, essayist, editor, playwright, poet, futurist, civil libertarian and self-described agnostic mystic.

Wilson described his work as an “attempt to break down conditioned associations, to look at the world in a new way, with many models recognized as models or maps, and no one model elevated to the truth”. His goal being “to try to get people into a state of generalized agnosticism, not agnosticism about God alone but agnosticism about everything.”

Among Wilson’s 35 books, and many other works, perhaps his best-known volumes remain the cult classic series The Illuminatus! Trilogy (1975), co-authored with Robert Shea. Advertised as “a fairy tale for paranoids,” the three books–The Eye in the Pyramid, The Golden Apple, and Leviathan, soon offered as a single volume—philosophically and humorously examined, among many other themes, occult and magical symbolism and history, the counterculture of the 1960s, secret societies, data concerning author H.P. Lovecraft and author and occultist Aleister Crowley, and American paranoia about conspiracies and conspiracy theories.

Wilson and Shea derived much of the odder material from letters sent to Playboy magazine while they worked as the editors of the Playboy Forum. The books mixed true information with imaginative fiction to engage the reader in what Wilson called “guerrilla ontology” which he apparently referred to as “Operation Mindfuck” in Illuminatus!

The trilogy also outlined a set of libertarian and anarchist axioms known as Celine’s Laws (named after Hagbard Celine, a character in Illuminatus!), concepts Wilson revisited several times in other writings.

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2010 – Mick Green died. English rock and roll guitarist who played with Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, Billy J. Kramer with The Dakotas, and from the 1970s with reformed versions of The Pirates, a band well able to give the young guns of Punk a run for their money.

His ability to play lead and rhythm guitar simultaneously influenced a number of British guitarists to follow, including Pete Townshend and Wilko Johnson.

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FUCK THE SILVER JUBILEE TOO…The Birth Of A Republican – 2

So fast-forward half-a-dozen years to the summer of 1977. I’ve just left school,  a move that neither party had any regrets about, and change is in the air, personified by the nascent Punk music, which I’d just arrived at via Dr. Feelgood and Eddie & The Hot-Rods. And the old order was in mortal combat with the new in the shape of the Silver Jubilee versus the Sex Pistols’ “God Save The Queen”.

One thing you need to know about 1977 is how few conduits for infomation there were. The idea of the internet would have been in the realms of science fiction along with holidays on the Moon, and it would be another 3 years before we even got a telephone at home. We had to walk the best part of a mile to the nearest pay phone…but then, most of the people I’d have called didn’t have a phone either. And no, children – we didn’t have mobile phones back then either. Deprived upbringing ? My dears, you have no idea…

Three TV channels and no option of satellite or cable, four BBC radio stations [the nearest commercial station was over 40 miles away and could only just be picked up, and we were on the wrong side of the country to receive Radio Luxembourg].

Punk fanzines were in their infancy, you had to know where to find them and, in any case, by their very nature they tended to chronicle events that had happened, rather than breaking news. The mainstream media was then, as now, firmly in favour of the status quo and therefore wasn’t considered a trusted source of information.

That just left the music press, basically Sounds, NME and Melody Maker, on the newstands every Thursday. I always favoured Sounds, because it tended to cover the kind of stuff I was getting into. NME always seemed a bit too much up its own arse, if you know what I mean, and MM just wasn’t a contender at all.

With that in mind, you’ll appreciate that it was often necessery to piece together what was happening in non-mainstream circles from a number of fragmented reports and rumours. At best, we were usually a week behind.

So, Mrs Windsor versus the Sex Pistols. History records that in the week of the Silver Jubilee celebrations, “God Save The Queen” peaked at #2 in the official UK charts kept off of  #1 by Rod Stewart’s  “I Dont Want To Talk About It”…an ironic title, as ever since plenty of people have wanted to talk about it.

I ought to point out that the record charts were far more important than they are today. Kids used to take radios to school on a Tuesday, when the new chart was released, so as to be the first with the news. Every Punk single that forced its way into the MOR-laden Top 20 was therefore a small victory in an on-going war. Or so it seemed at the time, anyway.

I think the rumours of dirty deeds in the chart compilation office were circulating almost immediately [as pointed out, “almost immediately” then meant “within a week or so”]. Had the BBC doctored the charts so as not to cause offence to Mrs Windsor ?  Had the palace actually applied a bit of pressure to BBC executives who might have half an eye on a knighthood for services rendered ? We didn’t know, but we knew what we thought

The story that I heard later – and I’ve no idea if it’s true, but it at least seems plausible –  was that the chart compilers suddenly changed the rules – sales of records would no longer be counted if they were from a record label’s own stores.

Of course, this made no difference at all to most record labels, because they didn’t have stores. But Virgin, the Pistols label, did. And bearing in mind that many record outlets refused to stock “GSTQ”,  Virgin stores must have accounted for a large proportion of sales.
Although presumably they also sold a fair few elsewhere just to make #2.

Well, as I say, I’ve no idea if this is actually true. And if the palace did apply pressure in an attempt to mould unruly popular culture to their own designs, we’ll probably never know for sure. All I can say  is that at the time it seemed like the Esthablishment were applying the screws to something that displeased them, and that was reason enough to fall in behind the republican flag.

Incidentally, 1977 was the only time that somewhere I was living actually held a royal street party. But it was just for the younger kids, us older teenagers weren’t invited. Of course, we wouldn’t have gone even if we had been… but it’d have been nice to have had the opportunity of making a point by refusing. Bah ! Foiled again.

And here we are all these years later, in a different century even !, and Mrs Windsor is still clinging to her throne like a very determined barnacle.  And something my teenage self could never have expected – I’ve recorded a version of “GSTQ”

FRANKENSTEIN SOUND LAB God Save The Queen

Free MP3 download here- http://alonetone.com/fsoundlab/tracks/god-save-the-queen-sex-pistols-cover.mp3

It was originally recorded for a jubilee-themed competition on mp3unsigned.com. and you might not be suprised to hear that it got 0 votes. Although to be fair, a third of the enterants also got 0 votes, and the winner only got 3, so I’m not losing any sleep over it.

And no – in this case I dont think pressure from the palace was involved…

Mr. Frankenstein

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