Anarchy Around The World: Punk Goes Global

“Forty years after it officially crash-landed in our midst, it’s easy to believe punk ‘sold out’ its lofty original ideals, not least because its leading acts all eventually signed to major labels and played ball with The Man. Yet regardless of its shortcomings, punk still had a seismic global impact during the mid-to-late 70s and its legacy can still be felt in everything from its inherent DIY ethos to its (broadly) anti-sexist stance. However, while countless revisions of this flawed – yet exhilarating – period have since been published, they nearly always fix punk as a purely transatlantic phenomenon. … This is entirely understandable, as both nations have reason to claim punk as their own. In North America, the 70s had barely dawned before New York was spawning remarkable proto-punk acts such as Suicide and New York Dolls, while across 1974-76, trailblazing US refuseniks such as Pere Ubu, Patti Smith, Ramones and Blondie were already hurling out remarkable, oeuvre-defining discs. …”
uDiscover (Audio)


Sex Pistols – God Save the Queen (1977)

“‘God Save the Queen’ is a song by the British punk rock band the Sex Pistols. It was released as the band’s second single and was later included on their only album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols. The song was released during Queen Elizabeth II‘s Silver Jubilee in 1977. The record’s lyrics, as well as the cover, were controversial at the time, and both the BBC and the Independent Broadcasting Authority refused to play the song. The original title for the song was ‘No Future’, with the lyrics themselves being a general expression of the band’s view of the Monarchy or any individual or establishment commanding general obligation. … The single was released on 27 May 1977, and was regarded by many of the general public as an assault on Queen Elizabeth II and the monarchy. The title is taken directly from “God Save the Queen‘, the national anthem of the United Kingdom. At the time it was highly controversial, firstly for its equation of the Queen with a ‘fascist regime’, and secondly for the lyric ‘there is no future in England’s dreaming’. … Johnny Rotten has explained the lyrics as follows: ‘You don’t write ‘God Save The Queen’ because you hate the English race. You write a song like that because you love them, and you’re fed up with them being mistreated.’ He intended to evoke sympathy for the English working class, and a general resentment towards the monarchy. …”
Telegraph: God Save the Queen at 40: how the Sex Pistols made the most controversial song in history (Video)
The song that had one British politician wishing for the Sex Pistols’ ‘sudden death’
YouTube: God Save The Queen (Live), God Save The Queen – 1/14/1978 – Winterland, God Save The Queen

Holidays in the Sun – Sex Pistols (1977)

“‘Holidays in the Sun’ is a song by the English band the Sex Pistols. … The song was inspired by a trip to the Channel Island of Jersey: ‘We tried our holiday in the sun in the isle of Jersey and that didn’t work. They threw us out.’ That trip was followed by a couple of weeks spent in Berlin. Although they described the city as ‘raining and depressing’, they were relieved to get away from London. Said John Lydon, ‘Being in London at the time made us feel like we were trapped in a prison camp environment. There was hatred and constant threat of violence. The best thing we could do was to go set up in a prison camp somewhere else. Berlin and its decadence was a good idea. The song came about from that. I loved Berlin. I loved the wall and the insanity of the place. The communists looked in on the circus atmosphere of West Berlin, which never went to sleep, and that would be their impression of the West.’ …”
Genius (Audio)
YouTube: Holidays In The Sun

“Radio Radio” – Elvis Costello and The Attractions (1977)

“‘Radio Radio’ (sometimes written ‘Radio, Radio’) is a single by Elvis Costello and The Attractions released in the United Kingdom in October 1978. … The song made waves in the USA after Costello’s appearance on Saturday Night Live. Originally, Sex Pistols had been invited to perform on 17 December 1977 broadcast (hosted by Miskel Spillman, an elderly woman who won SNL’s ‘Anybody Can Host’ contest), but problems with Sex Pistols’ various criminal records made getting visas in time difficult, and so the invitation was extended to Elvis Costello and the Attractions, who were touring Canada and the US at the time. Costello’s album was only available on import (My Aim Is True, released in the UK in July). A reference to Sex Pistols’ manager Malcolm McLaren‘s inability to keep his band’s performance schedule was made by drummer Pete Thomas who, during the performance, wore a shirt with the words ‘Thanks Malc’, in reference to McLaren, ironed on. Costello wanted to play ‘Radio Radio’ on SNL. Columbia Records, however, was interested in having an already-established song performed on SNL, to increase interest in the band before the American release of My Aim Is True and This Year’s Model. In the event, Costello began the SNL performance by playing ‘Less than Zero.’ However, after a few bars, he turned to the Attractions, waving his hand and yelling ‘Stop! Stop!,’ then said to the audience, ‘I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen, there’s no reason to do this song here,’ possibly referring to the fact ‘Less than Zero’ was written as a reply to British fascist politician Oswald Mosley. However, SNL music director Howard Shore attributes the move to Costello’s bucking pressure by his music company to play ‘Less than Zero’ on the show. He then led the band in a performance of ‘Radio Radio.’ …”
Genius (Audio)
YouTube: Elvis Costello and The Attractions – Radio Radio (SNL 1977)