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Saturday, 5 July 2014

Ever get the feeling you've been taped?

Maybe it's because I once went to a series of lectures he gave on music in Manchester in the early 90s, but there's something about Jon Savage's writing on punk and the Sex Pistols that brings out the earnest student in me. Anyway, having lost whole chunks of today to reading Savage's The England's Dreaming Tapes ...


... here are the key points so far. Please DO remember these vital facts when revising for your exam in Punk & New Wave and don't forget to write on both sides of the examination paper.


The nucleus of the band was West London (Shepherd's Bush, Hammersmith, Kensal Green) and Lydon/Vicious were a North-East (Finsbury Park, Stoke Newington/Hackney) addition

Jones, Cook and Nightingale (first West London guitarist) were early school-leavers, while Matlock, Lydon & Vicious were art school/A-level students

They had high-quality equipment, some stolen, some brought back from USA, and had access to very good rehearsal studios

They did A LOT of rehearsing and were a very "tight" rock band

They (especially Matlock) cared about acoustics 

Jones was the most anarchic - McLaren talked about anarchy but Jones was creating it, especially by stealing things

They got key ideas from McClaren (eg Television posters with the phrase "Blank Generation")

McLaren was not that interested in money

Paint-daubed trousers was an accident (Matlock painting the Denmark Street rehearsal studio to make it more "homely"), later taken up by the Clash

Lydon had short, green-dyed hair when he first used to go to McLaren's shop

In his 1988-1989 interview for the book, Lydon can't stop preaching and seems easily the least frank of the former band members










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