1977 – 1980

“1977; Year zero. The year that would shape the rest of my life…”

1977; Year zero. The year that would shape the rest of my life.┬áNon conformist? Bloody minded? A personal crusade against what you were EXPECTED to be? Not really. Today it might be classed as a career move, or attention seeking. I’d class it as natural progression. Punk music was for the youth just like every other musical genre before it and since. We weren’t pioneers because the Teds and the Mods and Rockers, Skinheads, Suedeheads, Hippies, even the Glam Rockers all had a part to play in fusing Punk music together. But it was our turn now, so just leave us alone to do what we want to do like they did in their time. But of course they didn’t. We threatened them. Which was weird because we hated violence; visual confrontation rather than physical confrontation was our weapon of choice. You must understand that at that time our numbers were very few, but the newspapers had painted a warped picture of vomit and safety pins. We were the future; your future

Officially punk in it’s original guise was dead by 1977. Record companies had cottoned onto the fact that there was money to be made from this new movement, after the initial fear of being taken for mugs as the Sex Pistols had so expertly achieved. All the front runners had secured deals with the major labels, and the good, the bad, and the mediocre had their shot at fame too. Which was great because all of a sudden Top Of The Pops became more exciting to watch. Amongst all the dross of the chart pop,you’d get The Adverts, The Jam, Buzzcocks, Sex Pistols (eventually). The Clash refused to go on the programme but there was enough new bands coming through to enrich our Thursday night viewing. I can still hear my Dad moaning and tutting at the ‘scruffy sods’ on the screen, which was how it should be. If your parents like the same music as you, your doing something wrong. Or perhaps they are!

The fashion took over culminating with the cartoon punks of red/green/blue Mohican hair and tartan trousers. I only ever bought 1 ‘off the peg’ garment; a bondage shirt like the one Simonon wore on The Clash’s 1st album. It was paper round, birthday, and Christmas money all in one go! The Roxy at the entrance to the Underground market in Manchester was where the overpriced posuer gear was sold. I made my own look with over sized suits and tracksuit bottoms,and pillow cases with holes for the arms.

As the decade wound itself up to welcome the ’80’s, new sounds which were inspired by punk were beginning to influence the next natural progression. Time to move on.

What I was listening to: