I've been thinking about these questions in the context of my own musical identity (and the parts of it which still seem to be evolving). As a movement, punk had always intimidated me. Ever since I was five years old and I approached a bunch of third wave punks in a park in Burnham to ask if they liked ballet, I have stayed some distance away from the subculture. I had a superficial impression of what it meant to be a punk and I knew it just didn't appeal to me. Punk was designed to undermine the music of a group who had meant everything to me up to that point. Even from the outset, I knew that punk required an impossibly high level of personal engagement. I knew that I could never do it. I could never wear a swastika in the name of fashionable antagonism or mutilate myself to somehow prove my punk credibility to a rightfully skeptical Radio One DJ. I could never do it then and I could never do it now.
So, how did it happen then? How did I get involved with punk? I can't remember exactly. It's a bit like describing how you got involved with the boy from the sketchy side of town, it's all been a bit of a haze. What I do know is that it's become a part of who I am now, in a way that I hardly feel compelled to describe or defend it. I love so much of it, even its confusing political ideologies that rarely if ever make sense. Of course, I say all this in the knowledge that I can never be an authentic punk. After all, I didn't contribute musical rants to zines like Loaded or Future Days. I didn't gob on my musical heroes at the 100 Club. I didn't harass or intimidate Chelsea pensioners at any point in time. Even if I wash my hair with egg or stick a safety pin through my nose, every attempt to be an authentic punk is thwarted by the fact that I was born half way across the world, seven years after it all officially finished.
At best, I can only ever be described as a part-time punk, an insipid poseur. Someone who plays their records very loud and pogos in their bedroom in front of their mirror (but only when their mum's gone out). It's a sad state of affairs realising you're a part of the problem. That you're a source of pain and aggravation to the righteous puritans of this musical genre. But you know what? I don't really make any apologies for it. I know that I am authentic in how I represent myself and my tastes. It's who I am and what I like and nobody has the authority to dismiss that.
Cassettes & Chocolate Milk: Mod Podcast #17
The Flys - Love and a Molotov Cocktail
The Damned - Love Song
The Nips - Nobody to Love
The Easy Cure - Just Need Myself (Demo)
The Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't Have)
Patrik Fitzgerald - Safety Pin Stuck in My Heart
Various Artists - The Original Mixed Up Kid
Directors - What You Got
The Fuzztones - Bad News Travels Fast
Thee Milkshakes - For She
The Mystery Guests - Take a Look at Yourself
Download (32.1 MB)