Eating chips (fries', but not the way they cook them
here!) liberated from garbage. I hate waste. Fortunately, I live
right by the sea, overlooking the Mayflower Steps, no less. A piece
of Anglo/American history on my very doorstep. The beauty of this
being, despite the glowing historical pride, there are tourists
a-plenty (even in this shitty English so-called Spring weather) and
they buy takeaways and leave most of it in the (hang on, I'll get
the hang of this), trash cans. Ripe for the pickings of such
scavenger, alcoholic, no-hopers as yours truly (who'd rather spend
his hard-earned Incapacity Benefit (I'll explain at some other
juncture) on wine, women and snog). Basically, I get money to
survive. Which, in my book, means blow it all on Guinness, Whisky
and gigs, and spend the twilight hours rummaging through the
leftover cast-offs courtesy of those whose purpose it is to take
memorable snaps of where some bunch of freaks decided to set sail
and reach another piece of land yet to be corrupted.
Right, just finished my meal, and hooray for our
puritan ancestors for that! Bless their buckles.
Are there any record stores in your town these days?
I say, Record, but, don't panic, I could mean CD, or
t-shirt, or just plain punk shop would do. How well I remember an
ex-girlfriend of mine, some 11 years my junior, upon hearing me yak
about a certain track being on the b-side, looking at me with utter
incredulity, then asking "What? Has vinyl got TWO sides??"
No, the reason I ask, is cos I've decided that, at
least over here, the record shop is pretty much dead. There is,
after all, little need for mongers (even punker mongers) to hawk
their wares on vinyl or even CD these days. It can all be
downloaded. In a way, I feel Hooray for that. It's taking punk back
to it's original levels; no need to be analog for the kids to
get-on-down. Anyone can make a recording, anyone can unleash their
brand of bollocks upon us unprepared and unsuspected dweebs.
I used to run a distro. It was punk, it was vinyl,
it was tape (remember them?), it was (grudgingly) CD. It's now
little more than a boutique. At least clothes can't be downloaded
But I can't be grudgeful. It's the true spirit of
DIY and, hey, kids, ain't what that all punk about? In the latter
half of the 70s (no, don't even try and remember) , we were told
that home-taping was killing music. But did the music die? Nah,
get it feck, it helped it thrive. I taped everything I could get my
hands on and it did the bands little harm. I then bought scratched
and worn copies of Lps by Undertones, Dead Kenedys, Poison Girls,
Psychedelic Furs, Cardiacs et al…. and would do my teenage best to
get to the shows. And when the vinyl became too worn, I'd buy a new
copy, when funds would allow.
Ya' see, like punk, it's all about adapting in order
to survive. We may not have a clue at first, but as long as you're
willing to give it a go.
I used to broadcast a punk radio show dedicated to
interviewing old farts (Crass, UK Subs, Varukers, Disorder) and
playing demo tapes and 7"s by then new bands (Dog On A Rope, The
Bloodclots, Fleas and Lice, etc). This was put on to cassette and
sent to other countries to be inflicted through pirated airwaves in
Switzerland, Australia, South Africa, anywhere that'd entertain my
inane ramblings interspersed by decent underground punky tunes. The
whole point being, I was doing it from a bedroom and you can too
(though much better), in the same vein, as the pritt 'n' paste
fanzines of yesteryear.
Embrace it. Use it to it's full advantage. Theses
things may seem a little conformist, but. Woah, wasn't that the
whole rock"n"roll thing in the first place? This is ours, pop kids,
it's ours to use and, in true pirate fashion, we should grasp the
cyberspace with both hands and not conform, but smash the closed
shop. Make it open to others and do it our own way. It's here. Let's