My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is an anthology of stories, some true and others fiction, which delves into the punk scene that occurred in the seventies and early eighties. I enjoyed it.
This is not my usual reading genre. I don't often read memoirs as such, but a friend recommended it so I decided to give it a try.
It was interesting to see how the authors were affected by the punk era and how the music shaped their lives. I must admit that I have listened to artists like The Who, Billy Idol, The Clash, David Bowie and others over the years, but was too young in the early eighties to understand why these artists inspired young teenagers to express themselves by dressing in leather, chains and weird hairdo's. I remember visiting family in the UK in 1984 (I was 11 at the time) and looking at a beautiful young girl on the bus. She had her nose pierced (a chain linking her nose and ear) and had a bright blue mohawk which stood up a good six inches. She wore a leather jacket over a t-shirt and torn jeans and big boots (Doc Martens, I think). Her father was scolding her and telling her that he didn't know her and not to sit with him. This made me sad. However, what struck me is that she sat there proudly. She probably was extremely upset, but she didn't let it show. I guess, just like these authors, she wanted to express herself.
I really enjoyed reading some of the authors' reminiscences, as well as the fictional stories. There are some truly hilarious events, as well as some that made me cringe in sympathy. It also gave me a better understanding of the political and social scene of the time. There is also a touching tribute to David Bowie by Brenda Perlin when he passed away earlier this year. His music, and that of the other punk rock bands has shaped a lot of today's music and inspired people of all ages. I feel it is their rebellion against being "normal" that allows today's young to express their individuality.
This is a fantastic collection of stories that will appeal to those who lived through the punk era, or those interested in the music and social aspect of the time. - Lynn Worton
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