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Billy Idol Ate My Hamster!
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I don't think the "musicianship" thing is relevant here. You can be a more than competent musician and still knock out crap, like many of the prog rock bands you mention, or you can be a virtual non-musician and still do something valuable (the Mekons' "Where were You" springs to mind). At its best, punk was a questioning of many received attitudes, which included, but wasn't limited to the high value put on technical dexterity. At its worst, it was another bunch of received attitudes itself. I don't listen to too much pure punk these days, but some of the stuff I do listen to (all the way from the Gang of Four to Arc-period Neil Young to Sparklehorse), almost certainly wouldn't be the way it is without punk. I'm old and romantic enough to think it's about spirit and attitude, not about rules - some punks had it, just like some bluesmen, some hippies, some jazzers and even some prog rockers (Peter Hammill, anyone?).

And may I suggest, Billy, you've got it too.

All the best

London SW9

Spot on.
If we gave out prizes this contribution would get one.

One argument runs : Punk made non-musicianship acceptable to a point where two generations of real players got accused of lacking "attitude".
Another argument goes: Punk released an energy seen lacking in the turgid, over-produced and bombastic pop earlier in the seventies, took rock-and-roll back to it's fifties roots, and attacked the multi-national "business" to a point where they were only saved amid the multi-ironies of Live Aid.
The third argument I also subscribe to, is that Punk Rock finally gave schoolkids an excuse to beat each other up, swear, spit, and even wear a school tie in a bizarre and rakish manner, and as such were every bit as liberating as Napoleon the Fourteenth or Sparky's Magic Piano.

 Richard Russell
London SE18

Typical narrow-minded snobbish middle-class well-educated bollocks. I remember you from Bromley. You didn't have the guts to try anything new - just sitting in your cellar playing 'blues.' Just because you're anti-social doesn't give you the right to criticise those who know how to have fun.

Johnny Armoury
London W1

Too right Mr.J.
Look at the pathetic attempt by punk svengali Malcolm Maclaren to solicite publicity by 'running for Mayor.' Ten grand for some good PR. Excellent value for money.
It was nothing else. Shabby, empty and ultimately pointless - albeit a bit entertaining.

 Mary Martin

The anyone-can-do-it ethic is alive and well on the net - thousands of the buggers.

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