Okay my american chums, I know jack about american punk, so this may seem a bit Euro-centric, but I only write about what I know… A refreshing change eh?
No.1 Bill Grundy promotes Sex Pistols
This created the whole ethos of Punk Rock, turning a small London phenomenon, based around a few bands and followers, into a media storm. Funny thing is it was only screened in London, so the rest of us would not have known about it, had it not been fo the national press screaming with outrage over these obnoxious punks! before this interview there was no knowledge of punk in the shires, well apart from those who listened nightly to John Peel… We had heard the music, but it was still an enigma, so when the scummy tabloids wrote screaming headlines…
We few followers suddenly felt vindicated… We were part of something… And that something was ANARCHY! Which seventeen year old would not feel thrilled.
No.2 The First ‘Punk’ Band on Top Of The Pops
Though it’s debatable whether Eddie And the Hotrods were truly punks, it’s a revisionist position,for in our book, when they went on Top Of The Pops, this represented a breakthrough for us provincials. Punk was real, and it was in our living rooms… In front of Granny…f.f.s!
No.3. Spiral Scratch – The Buzzcocks
The significance of this E.P. was the way it was produced.
Buzzcocks recorded the tracks on 28 December 1976 at Dave Kent-Watson’s Indigo Sound Studios, Manchester on 16-track Ampex tape. According to singer Howard Devoto, “It took three hours [to record the tracks], with another two for mixing.” Produced by Martin Hannett (credited as “Martin Zero”), the music was roughly recorded, insistently repetitive and energetic.
The band, having no record label support, had to borrow £500 from their friends and families to pay for the record’s production and manufacture. The EP was released 29 January 1977 on the band’s own New Hormones label, making Buzzcocks the first English punk group to establish an independent record label. Despite this, the disc quickly sold out its initial run of 1,000 copies, and went on to sell 16,000 copies, initially by mail order, but also with the help of the Manchester branch of music chain store Virgin, whose manager took some copies and persuaded other regional branch managers to follow suit. (source: Wikipedia)
That ethos of producing your own records, without the aid of a major record company, was probably the starting point for all Indie music and changed the face of the music industry forever… Thank God!
No.4 The Stooges Eponymous album 1969
Whilst pre-dating the british punk movement by nearly a decade, for us in England, we came to it through punk, and its energy and ballsy attitude would provide the emphasis for our home-grown punks… No fun was covered by the Sex Pistols as an act of homage to the great Iggster!
No.5 New Rose- The Damned
“New Rose” is the first single by British punk rock group the Damned, released on 22 October 1976 on Stiff Records. It was the first single by a British punk group, and was released in the Netherlands, Germany and France in 1977.
Although all the noise in the music press and media in general, was about the Sex Pistols exploits and the Clash gigs, it was The Damned that beat them all into vinyl!
Damned,Damned, Damned is also considered to be the First British punk album too!
No.6 Sex Pistols ever-changing Record labels
The press and the record industry ignored the Sex Pistols at first, but by the end of the summer the uproar — both acclamatory and denunciatory — was too loud to be ignored. In November EMI outbid Polydor with a recording contract worth £40,000. The Sex Pistols’ first single, “Anarchy in the U.K.,” was released in December. That month the band used the word “fucker” in a nationally televised interview. The consequent outrage led promoters and local authorities to cancel all but five of the dates scheduled on the group’s national tour and EMI to withdraw “Anarchy in the U.K.” (Number 38 on the U.K. chart in January 1977) from circulation and terminate its contract with the Sex Pistols.
In March, Matlock left to form the Rich Kids and was replaced by John Richie, a previously unmusical friend of Rotten, who named him Sid Vicious. That same month A&M signed the Pistols for £150,000; just a week later the company fired them for a balance payment of £75,000. In May Virgin signed the Pistols and released their second single, “God Save the Queen,” timed to coincide with the Queen’s Silver Jubilee that June. The song was immediately banned from airplay in England. Nonetheless it was a top-selling single (cited as a blank at the Number Two position on official charts, listed as Number One on independent charts). (source Rolling Stone)
This was when the punks outside London Grew weary of the whole Malcolm Mclaren circus, as john Lydon succinctly put it… Public Image limited!
No.7 Malcolm Mclaren and Vivienne Westwood Sex shop
Although to us rural punks, the Whole westwood/mclaren fashion ethos which was latched on to and in a way created the punk look left us cold… We would have to create our own look, It was essential to the proto punk movement, from The Sex Pistols and the bromley contigent, Vivienne westwood’s fashion was their uniform, from bondage gear to swastikas, it helped create an anti-establishment ethos for all of us. Punk was thus put on the avant-garde edge of culture… Anarchic, and taboo, it gave us out in the sticks a vibe to emulate.
no.8 The Second Wave
By the time the first bands from the U.K. had record deals, (see above), the movement was becoming pandemic across all areas of the U.K. The so-called 2nd wave saw Scores of new punk groups formed around the United Kingdom, as far from London as Belfast’s Stiff Little Fingers and Dunfermline, Scotland’s the Skids. Though most survived only briefly, perhaps recording a small-label single or two, others set off new trends. Crass, from Essex, merged a vehement, straight-ahead punk rock style with a committed anarchist mission, and played a major role in the emerging anarcho-punk movement. Sham 69, London’s Menace, and the Angelic Upstarts from South Shields in the Northeast combined a similarly stripped-down sound with populist lyrics, a style that became known as street punk. These expressly working-class bands contrasted with others in the second wave that presaged the post-punk phenomenon. Liverpool’s first punk group, Big in Japan, moved in a glam, theatrical direction. The band didn’t survive long, but it spun off several well-known post-punk acts. The songs of London’s Wire were characterized by sophisticated lyrics, minimalist arrangements, and extreme brevity. By the end of 1977, according to music historian Clinton Heylin, they were “England’s arch-exponents of New Musick, and the true heralds of what came next.” ( source: Wikipedia)
No.9 The legendary Manchester’s Lesser Free Trade Hall gig 4th June 1976
Strangely, the gig isn’t one that Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten, aka John Lydon, recalls the details of that well. But he does remember that “if we were going to play outside London, Manchester had to be the place,” he told the MEN.
“They say everyone who was at those gigs went out and formed a band, but that wasn’t our plan – or our fault!”
It wasn’t just bands either. Celebrated photographer Kevin Cummins was there, then a photography student at Salford, as was writer and journalist Paul Morley. Facts remain vague on whether Anthony H Wilson was really at the second show six weeks later, but certainly the Granada TV broadcaster – who would go on to mastermind Factory Records and co-found The Hacienda nightclub – saw the Pistols at the venue at some point.
It is said that this gig spawned four bands from Manchester:
The Smiths- enough said.
Joy Division – Good til the talent left.
Magazine – Brilliant at times
The Fall – Peel Legends
No.10 Siouxsie & the Banshees finally get a Record deal!
Although the banshees were among the first punk bands to form, they were probably the last of the first wave to get a record deal. John Peel had been heralding them throughout that time, giving them live sessions on his show… So this initial single came as a bit of a disappointment… I mean it’s poppy and danceable for god’s Sake! Luckily the first album “The Scream” was more in keeping with the aura which the band had always portrayed. And 40 years later they still remain this old punks favourite band.
Thanks for your time
live in love my friends