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Holly George Warren

Book Review: Punk 365


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The Deal: Punk chronicled in rare images, deft text.

The Good: An unpolished look at punk in its prime in the '70s and '80s, Punk 365 captures in text and photos the essence of the scruffy, sweaty, jagged-edged sound that was rebelling against everything. The words are sparse, but dead-on, and the photos, all 365 of them, reveal the genre's purveyors at their gritty, unwashed best. Even a couple of punks who don't usually get a nod when that genre is mentioned – Captain Beefheart and William Burroughs – are deemed worthy of a look. Author Warren was in the thick of the movement as a musician as well as a writer, and her comments are as terse and no-nonsense as the music itself. "No one would have been considered good for a girl," Warren quotes the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde speaking on behalf of the true punk ethic. "That kind of discrimination didn't exist in that scene." But it's the photos that do the talking here. The book is a true time machine, striping away the present for a look at the past that'll have you lacing up your combat boots and going out in search of a mosh pit.

The Bad: "There is a Johnny Rotten inside each of us and he doesn't need to be liberated, he needs to be crucified," proclaimed a leaflet passed out by Evangelical protestors at the 1978 Sex Pistols show in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Some still don't get it.

The Verdict: Punks subdued, all is well. If you believe that, you don't get it either. Keep this volume handy for reference and inspiration, 365.


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