I’m the Old Punk!
For someone born in ‘65, punk came along at just the right point. You know, that time in your life when you’re all raging hormones and in-yer-face lairyness, a desperate urge to set yourself apart from both the kids in the school playground and the adults who were always telling you how to behave. It was the perfect attitude and soundtrack for a working class kid from a council estate and it helped, and continues to help, make me the man I am today, make of that what you will. I should point out that I no longer feel the need to dress in black rags, drink copious amounts of scrumpy and remain unwashed for large amounts of the year. It was fun then, but not very dignified when you’re halfway to the grave.
Punk made me ask questions, of myself and the world around me. It also gave me some answers, solutions to the problems I found. I’ve not been able to put all of them into practice yet – the global proletarian revolution still needs to be ticked off the list along with a few others. But I’ve done many, many things that have made me a better human being and the world a better place to be in. Not a bad result to come from listening to something that essentially goes ‘Crash! Thrash! Arghhhh! Fuck the system!’
I’ve always had a very catholic view of what punk is (and a very small list of what it definitely isn’t!), and my musical tastes also range far and wide. So I could be movin’ and groovin’ to Antisect one minute and Johnny Cash the next, or spazzin’ out to a full-on psytrance session followed immediately by a damned good skank to some classic Studio One ska. I’m very much a man of the moment when it comes to the noise around me.
I also read a fair amount too and again I don’t follow any particular rules about style or subject matter, as long as what’s been written has been written well. You’ll find Calvin and Hobbes nestling quite happily alongside Kropotkin on my shelves.
In fact, I’m reasonably well cultured all round, which isn’t bad for someone who once considered Special Brew and amphetamine the pre-requisites for a jolly good night out. Nowadays, it’s more likely to be a fine Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and a lovely organic spliff lubricating me before I head out into the urban jungle of delights (although old habits die hard, and I still like getting messy on cider once in a while).
It would be fair to say that I’m just an ordinary bloke who’s trying to live up to his potential and have a good time doing it. Which, at the end of the day, is what punk is really all about.