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'Pistol'. A Danny Boyle series.


Maude

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Punk was great, I’m a major Pistols fan (was 11 in 1977) and to be honest the behaviour & yobbishness wasn’t what excited me, it was the sounds and the look. I’m pretty sure if I’d been 5 years older I’d have been a major Bowie fan.

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12 minutes ago, ezbass said:

I lived in London and was exactly the right age to be the target demographic for punk. I hated it with a vengeance at the time, but I’ve come round to some of it over the years.

Same here. Until the Pistols had split up I had no interest in Punk, quite the opposite in fact. 
 

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17 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

Punk was great, I’m a major Pistols fan (was 11 in 1977) and to be honest the behaviour & yobbishness wasn’t what excited me, it was the sounds and the look. I’m pretty sure if I’d been 5 years older I’d have been a major Bowie fan.

To my ears Never Mind The Bollocks is a terrific rock and roll album. If folks want to call it punk and hail it as revolutionary that is up to them. Chris Thomas's production work makes the most of the Sex Pistols strengths and hides their weaknesses. 

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Having been bang on the right age at that time (13/14/15), and awash in a sea of friends, acquaintances and various other Herberts all determined to be in bands, a sea numbering dozens and dozens of wannabe-players of all levels of talent, disposition and enthusiasm, I can confidently say that the old saw of 'Punk made kids want to be in a band' is utter, utter drivel. Kids wanted to be in bands anyway; some of them played exclusively punk songs, many of them played some punk songs, and some played none. Granted, very, very few played anything off Tales From Topographical Oceans, but that was mostly because it was a lot trickier than Teenage Kicks (is that even a Punk song?) when you're rehearsing in your Nan's garage, and besides which, a Minimoog or a Prophet cost as much as her whole house...

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1 hour ago, Leonard Smalls said:

 

Perhaps... But what it did do was encourage kids to get up and start playing in bands in a DoWhatTheFeckYouWant sort of way, where creativity, or at least Being Out There, was valued over absolute musical ability. 

Which, as a 14-15 year old at the time, I loved!

Though of course nowadays, while Punk's Not Dead, it is often Formulaic Nostalgia...

That's weird....I didn't post what you quoted  yet it has my name on it!... I posted this :-

.....

2 hours ago, Raymondo said:

 I recently went to see Danny Baker and Bob Harris  on their tour.

 

Mr Baker, whom lived through the Punk movement, touring with the bands, and generally "having a good time" on NME expenses, said pretty much the same thing.

 

 

 

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49 minutes ago, Muzz said:

Having been bang on the right age at that time (13/14/15), and awash in a sea of friends, acquaintances and various other Herberts all determined to be in bands, a sea numbering dozens and dozens of wannabe-players of all levels of talent, disposition and enthusiasm, I can confidently say that the old saw of 'Punk made kids want to be in a band' is utter, utter drivel. Kids wanted to be in bands anyway; some of them played exclusively punk songs, many of them played some punk songs, and some played none. Granted, very, very few played anything off Tales From Topographical Oceans, but that was mostly because it was a lot trickier than Teenage Kicks (is that even a Punk song?) when you're rehearsing in your Nan's garage, and besides which, a Minimoog or a Prophet cost as much as her whole house...

 

But punk made it much much easier, and more importantly opened your potential audience's ears to the possibility of music that wasn't either "rock" or "prog".

 

In 1976 there were two bands in my year at school - one playing rock covers (all the stuff that's now considered "classic rock") and the band I was in that would have probably been vaguely prog had we had either the technical ability or the instruments (in reality what we were doing was far closer to the Velvet Underground or the various "Krautrock" bands, but we simply weren't aware of them at the time). And between the two bands we were all the musicians in that year who weren't strictly classical. In the year following the "breakthrough" of punk, two new bands sprang up among my classmates who had previously shown no interest in playing music.

 

But the biggest change was the what audiences would now accept. Before punk, the band I played wasn't taken seriously at all. We were considered weirdos who wrote our own weird songs and had weird instruments (many of which were home-made), but post-punk gave us a receptive audience and a few years later when the covers band had long given up, we had a record out being played on John Peel...

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13 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

 

But punk made it much much easier, and more importantly opened your potential audience's ears to the possibility of music that wasn't either "rock" or "prog".

 

There were always lots of possibilities of music outside those two options...

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Just now, Muzz said:

There were always lots of possibilities of music outside those two options...

 

But good luck finding a receptive audience to play it too in small town England back in the 70s. 

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I was 7 at the time punk broke but didn't know this was the reason my two older sisters suddenly started looking weird and freaking me out with their spiky black hair, nose piercings and eye shadow design that looked like they'd been double-punched in the mush. I can't get Disney but if I could, I'd watch the series to help me get a better understanding what made them attracted to spotty, pasty, skinny youth in bondage gear.

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7 hours ago, Misdee said:

I would cheerfully watch the whole series if I had the time as a guilty pleasure. But it's a complete fiction on every level.

 

What irks me about it is the way this show presents itself as a serious historical dissection of the 1970s. It also perpetuates the same old lazy falsehoods that punk rock and the Sex Pistols in particular arrived in the nick of time revive pop music and popular culture in general.

 

Contrary to this propagated version of British history, in reality the 1970s was a pretty good time to live in this country. And most people were perfectly happy to with the music they were listening to pre-1977.   That's not surprising because there was so much great music in the 1970s. Punk rock was a novelty because of its shock value. Nothing more than that. It was not the salvation of Western Civilization as some would try have you believe nowadays.

 

I can certainly see why John Lydon is upset about it. It really is a Disney version of reality.

 

 

Thought it was based on Steve Jones’s book. If its inaccurate id blame him rather than anyone else. 

 Did Disney fund this then?

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Well I watched episodes 1 & 2 last night and enjoyed it. 

When viewed as a stylised drama based on real events, rather than a documentary, I think it works. 

Yes it's all a little theatrical and might not portray events as they actually occurred, but it's Danny Boyle's version of Steve Jones' version of events, and everyone in and around that band has a different version of events to suit their agender. 

I've seen Quadrophenia and The Kinks story at the theatre and see this in a similar theatrical kind of way. 

It's entertainment not education. 

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1 hour ago, Maude said:

Well I watched episodes 1 & 2 last night and enjoyed it. 

When viewed as a stylised drama based on real events, rather than a documentary, I think it works. 

Yes it's all a little theatrical and might not portray events as they actually occurred, but it's Danny Boyle's version of Steve Jones' version of events, and everyone in and around that band has a different version of events to suit their agender. 

I've seen Quadrophenia and The Kinks story at the theatre and see this in a similar theatrical kind of way. 

It's entertainment not education. 

That's a fair point, but the reality is that a sizable swath of viewers will see it as an accurate representation of events. And what is most unforgivable is the way in which the characters speak in headlines to sign post a narrative for the hard-of-understanding. " We're gonna kick this country awake if it kills us!" How prophetic, how tragic, how prescient.

 

I suppose why all this makes me so hot under the collar is twofold.

 

Firstly, it's yet another example of how, encouraged by broad sheet music journalists intent on rewriting history to serve their own ends, rock music has developed an execrable tendency towards self mythologising.

 

Secondly,I know only too well how this  series will be seen by many as conclusive evidence that punk rock saved us from an economic and cultural abyss brought about by a mixture of inbreeding, indolence and Harold Wilson's Labour government. 

 

It's a post Britpop version of history made by a Britpop film director. Give it a few more years and Danny Boyle will be making a series about how Britpop saved British culture from being swallowed by American grunge music, how Oasis were the new Beatles and Rolling Stones all at once and singlehandedly got Tony Blair elected and Trainspotting was a landmark film which laid bare the lives of Britain's underclass.

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16 hours ago, BigRedX said:

 

But good luck finding a receptive audience to play it too in small town England back in the 70s. 

Quite the reverse, especially in small towns where punk came with the tabloid horror stories; there might have been other kids (and we're talking kids here, as per my original premise) who were keen on hearing just punk music, but you had to find a venue first, and 'We're a punk band, can we play the youth club Thursday night?' was hardly met with universal approval in the 'burbs...when the Pistols, the torch-bearers of punk in the media, were having gigs cancelled, it filtered down. The bands I was in and around as a kid generally played all sorts of stuff (the cheaper synths were a big draw; a CS10 meant you were something special), and a live band could get an audience just on the strength of being a live band.

 

As we got older, more venues became available (like licensed premises), and there were even dedicated punk clubs (or club nights, at least), but we were already playing in bands (of all sorts) by then, which, as I've mentioned, punk didn't suddenly create...

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