A tale of early US punk, its influence on the British scene and the final collapse of anything the movement really stood for. The main theme of the book targets the sordid, drug hazed behaviour of some of the major players in the scene and in brutal truth most come out as nothing more than lowlife scum who got lucky and paid no heed to morals, the music and one another.

Self-indulgent, promiscuous and mostly 'full of crap' the people in this book are tainted with a dark, depressing angle that somehow holds attention and gives the reader a flavour of those wasteful days that have been twisted into something glamorous, something 'rock and roll'. The destruction of oneself is all well and good but to do it at the detriment of others isn't so clever but alas many characters within these shady pages do so with wild abandon and fuck all external feelings. Disrespectful to themselves and to those around them one has to wonder about the weak mental state of many persons involved in an arena ideal to lose yourself in. The drugs dominate as does the sexual lust and the ethos of the day seemed to be 'if it moves then fuck it' and if it gets you high then drop it'. If this is your idea of a hero then I pity you.

I like the reality of the text, the grimy approach and the use of quotes from a vast and varied crowd. The emotions kindled are of sadness, pity and despair and total bewilderment at the human psyche and its egocentric idiocy. I may have painted a grim portrait here but believe me this book is highly entertaining for all the wrong reasons and as such comes across as something rather special. The accounts related in the tale are somewhat unreliable has most contributors seemed to be generally bombed when the events were taking place but nonetheless this should be on your bookshelves and should be a punk guide to learn from. Maybe a definite example of the question 'what the fuck is punk anyway?'  I know one thing – I see very little of it even though many claim to be it.



A crotchety, erudite, experimental survivor or downright moody awkward twat - that is the opinion one may make at the end of this swift read. Lou Reed has certainly done things his way and along the ragged road has, in the minority, kicked dust in a few people’s faces and in the main won many admirers who want to hop in for the ride.

From drug-taking, beer swilling frustration to the re-modelled man who delights in Tai Chi, having a lucid mind and still rockin' and rollin' Lou Reed has been on a unique journey and yet throughout it all has had plenty of things to say so as to keep things dangerous, threatening and may I say...punk! The racket Lou delivers isn't predictable and isn't, as the man readily admits, successful, but he keeps on truckin' and keeps on testing different waters. Personally I'd rather listen to a pile of shite done for the right reasons than some catchy pop that is built on fraudulence but I guess that isn't the majority way of thinking!

The style of this book is just to lay out a load of quotes from the singer’s career (in chronological order of course) and to let you fill in the gaps. Far from comprehensive this is a good taster that more than likely will lead you on to a more in depth read - well I presume that's the idea. I picked this up for a good price and reckon you should seek it out too - the guy says how it is at the time and that does generate constant interest which all books should have.  Hey and he likes a bit of Poe too – can’t be bad!



A yarn around the year 1982, when the youth was at war through differences that seemed important but were in fact very pointless.  The music scene was divided, the passion was high and everyone had somewhere to belong in those ever-changing times.
Primarily this isn't no great classical account written in long winded pompous fashion by someone trying to be sagacious and give out some wisdom soaked insight into how things were.  This isn't a read that is overloaded with rose-tinted bias and looking back with a sigh of fondness or misdirected nostalgia.  Why this book triumphs is down to the fact that it is written naturally with a well balanced philanthropic/misanthropic approach liberally seasoned with a stark reality of its time.  The author was indeed there and that rises from the pages as one is returned to a time when tension was high, naiveté was wonderfully rife and a 'couldn't give a fuck' attitude was a joy and as opposed to today’s mucky social arena, was relatively harmless. 
Having grown up in the gutter when money and materialism weren't an issue and glue, noise and having a laugh seemed the only important aspects of a simple life this tale is related to with genuine ease and the spiky scribe who has put pen to paper must be applauded for his frank insight and uncluttered delivery.  The characters are exact and the switch in style from internal to external perceptions is indeed cute and brings the reader more into the drama.  Descriptive moments are kept from being overloaded with wordage and the attitudes and outlooks are readily captured.  The dancing scene in particular whilst The Cockney Upstarts are playing particularly rings true and, as is the intention throughout the book, brings memories flooding back.  

The build up to the final showdown is predictable but the pleasure from the text is high and this small niggle is easily forgotten as the words pass by.  Personal high points for me were the glue-sniffing episodes, the youthful misdirection we all have suffered from and the mention of Moon Cresta I game I remember playing with my punky mate, down the pub, dressed in the gear and not having a worry in the world - well except were the next beers and fags are coming from!

Yeah an easily digestible quickie and one that could easily be followed up - so how about it Mr Blakeston - the pen is now back in your hand!

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