Monday, 30 January 2012

The London Punk Tapes #2

"Vagina Dentata Organ Presents:The London Punk Tapes" by Jordi Valls is a great companion to John Savage's "England's Dreaming" and "England's Dreaming Tapes" books as well as the Mark Perry tome "Sniffin' Glue & Other Rock n' Roll Habits", which I read over the Christmas holidays. 94 pages of the collected thoughts, experience and artwork of the Spanish artist Jordi Valls. I think the book was published to accompany an exhibition by Jordi where the tapes he made of punk bands performing in London during 1976 and accompanying live films were played. I could be wrong, I could be right (as John Lydon once said).
The book contains interviews of The Clash, Generation X, The Damned, Slits and Subway Sect culled from various fanzines of the time. "Sniffin' Glue", "48 Thrills" and "Jolt". There are some excellent Kodachrome photo's of The Clash and Sex Pistols as well as paper cuttings, tickets and zerox's made into collages. The emphasis is on the Sex Pistols, with lyrics reprinted and a full list of Pistols live gigs. It is a great document for reference.
The book finishes with a report on Spanish punk band D'Ultimo Resorte, their live gigs in Spain and a chance meeting with Sid Vicious at a Johnny Moped gig. Excellent stuff.

Despite being a notoriously slow reader I read the book in a couple of hours. It's unputdownable and I could skip the "'Glue" interviews as I'd just bloody read them. The book is essential as the above mentioned and captures the sight and attitude of youth at the birth of punk beautifully. It is written in both Spanish and English and published by Actar Books. (I found my copy through Amazon).

1: Cover.
2: Reverse.
3: Inner Sleeve.

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