Monday, March 16, 2015

Some thoughts on England's Dreaming

So today Disaster Amnesiac finally finished England's Dreaming, Jon Savage's wonderful account of the rise of the Malcolm McClaren, the Sex Pistols, and Punk Rock.
I'm sure that there have been many reviews of the since its 1992 publication, but I just wanted to quickly note how great a book it is.
Particularly delightful for this reader was the story of the early McClaren years, up to and including the initial London Punk development. It strikes Disaster Amnesiac that this Pop Culture development was very much massaged into being by Malcolm, but that the more organic youth energy and creativity was absolutely essential for it to arrive non-stillborn. Therein lies the subsequent tale of Punk and its mutations. As I read about the media feeding frenzy and crucifixions that the members of the Sex Pistols endured, I also marveled at the story that was constantly brewing underneath that particular surface, the story of a much more organic, vital culture coming into being. That culture can defined as the worldwide d.i.y. Punk/Post Punk/Hardcore culture that soldiers on in the Pistols' wake.
These days, they exist simultaneously, sometimes influencing each other, sometimes spinning in completely different orbits, but related by birth, for sure.
Also of interest is Savage's open minded, objective assessment of the various bands of early Punk Rock, and his great journal notes that provide clear glimpses of the scene as it happened.
If you've not read England's Dreaming yet, and you're at all interested in Punk Rock, post-1960's Situationism, the Sex Pistols, or Britain in the 1970's, you'll do well to find it and dig in.

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