Friday, July 30, 2010

Punk Rock Ephermera

I'm sometimes surprised by the stuff that appears from old boxes I haven't looked in for years. Yesterday I came across these items of punk memorabilia which I'd forgotten about.

There are two issues of Sniffin' Glue, the original punk fanzine. This was founded by Mark Perry in 1976 London, and ran for a year or so. I bought these two issues in 1977, in the King's Road in Chelsea. (I'm fairly sure that's red ink, and not blood, on the cover)

On the cover of one issue there are pictures of Johnny Rotten, The Clash and the Damned. I think it's the magazine staff on the other. I notice that picture was taken by Jill Furmanovsky, who went on to become a well-known photographer.

Sniffin' Glue had a big role in driving the punk rock explosion in Britain. It was certainly an innovation. I'd never seen a fanzine before Sniffin Glue appeared. Soon afterwards there was proliferation of fanzines, though I don't remember buying any others.

My other piece of ephemera is a little Raincoats booklet, from a year or two later. That's not really punk rock, of course, it was post-punk, and very different in a way. But similar in other ways. It was a creative period in Britain, and there were a few years of this sort of creativity which flowed together. Though the all-female Raincoats were nothing at all like the Sex Pistols or the Clash, they wouldn't have flourished, or probably even existed, without the creative energy and freedom created by punk rock in London. Creative energy which got me writing, as I may have said before. Hundreds of times.

I don't remember when I got the Raincoats booklet and there's no date on it. It was probably soon after their first album came out, in 1979. It think it came from the original Rough Trade shop in Kensington Park Road. I saw the Raincoats play on various occasions around that time.

I don't know what to do with these things now. Put them back in the box, I suppose. But I'm glad I found them anyway.

I just did an interview, answering reader's questions, here at JennIRL.

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