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Written on March 18, 2005, and categorized as Secret and Invisible.
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I was looking at all these punks appearing in Croydon. Punks were new. They wore safety pins and looked hard. I saw some getting on a bus in Addiscombe. A girl had hair like a chimney brush. I could not take my eyes off her. I was simultaneously scared and attracted. It was 1976, a year before the Queen’s Silver Jubilee and the Sex Pistols blasted the punk subculture globally.

I didn’t really like punk. I liked Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, Roxy Music, Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett, Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Glenn Miller, Gershwin. Then The Stranglers released Go Buddy Go. I loved it. I didn’t know about The Meteors yet, the originators, one of the funkiest bands of all time. The Stranglers, pub-band turned punk and accused of bandwagon-jumping, hadn’t yet suckered me with Golden Brown and Strange Little Girl. But I sensed greatness, and I bought in, defending them in teenage musical merit debates with passion. It’s a blues, actually.

Well the boys and the girls all dancing around
Dancing all night to the crazy sound
Well it’s the newest thing to hit the fan
The boys and the girls are holding hands
I said go buddy go buddy go
buddy go buddy go go go…

I could not get it out of my head. The Stranglers followed up with better, but then a couple of years later came 2-Tone, which was both Punk and Funk. This rescued me from my confusion. At last, a music I could love wholeheartedly, I could sing, I could dance, and I could 100% feel the lyrics. In 1981, as the nation faced disaster, we found a popular voice.

Terry Hall, the deadpan hero, prosecuted by his neighbours for noisy late night sex.

This town, is coming like a ghost town
All the clubs have been closed down
This place, is coming like a ghost town
Bands won’t play no more
too much fighting on the dance floor

Do you remember the good old days before the ghost town?
We danced and sang, and the music played inna de boomtown

This town, is coming like a ghost town
Why must the youth fight against themselves?
Government leaving the youth on the shelf
This place, is coming like a ghost town
No job to be found in this country
Can’t go on no more
The people getting angry

This town, is coming like a ghost town
This town, is coming like a ghost town
This town, is coming like a ghost town
This town, is coming like a ghost town

The Specials

Thank the God of Funk for 2-Tone and Ska and Terry’s carnal yelping.

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This thing has 6 Comments

  1. RuKsaK
    Posted 19 March, 2005 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    Great nostalgia Deek. I was there with you too, so to speak. Punk and punks scared me too, as they were meant to, but the more they scared me, the more I liked it and them. I’ve been downloading loads of late 70s and early 80s music all week and now you’ve got me on a search for more.

    Thank you.

  2. retarius
    Posted 19 March, 2005 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    i dig the specials, they have that..”sound” going on. i can see roxy music and stevie wonder, but then you throw in glenn miller? yes, i admit, he did have a groove going, but it just seems…odd. do you dig royal crown review at all?

  3. Cat-007
    Posted 19 March, 2005 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    great noise the specials aren’t they…yes! yes! so cool and to think of it! in those days i had a girl with a wicked soh…fa! la! al!…

  4. transience
    Posted 19 March, 2005 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    would you believe that there are no real punks here? just a plethora of posturing bananas. which is why i know no real fear and have now become tone deaf to reality.

  5. Astrid
    Posted 19 March, 2005 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    I guess I missed this phase of life for I was born in 1982.

  6. karma
    Posted 20 March, 2005 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    i hated those punks and how weird they looked :@

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