NOT JUST BITS OF PAPER – Gregory Bull and Mickey Penguin (ISBN 978-1505703382 available from Situation Press / Amazon
I used to have a great big box of paper. Full of music magazine cuttings, letter exchanges with bands, fanzines, flyers – it was all in there. But then one day during a house move it made its way to the tip. I miss it all to this day. Some others were not so careless as me. They kept all these bits of paper, knowing that they are things that unlock memories, that they changed minds that are still changed from the mainstream view even today. They provide the backbone of this new book in which Greg Bull and Mickey ‘Penguin’ collate these fragments and coupled with testimonies from the time create a view into the personal stories behind punk. What I love about punk is the way that you can be part of it all and this book perfectly demonstrates this. Put together by those who had these connections there are stories, pictures and thoughts that to others could seem trivial but to those involved were often life changing. The stories in here explain why. Pilgrimages to record labels such as All The Madmen, seeing a band like Antisect as your first gig, hand crafted flyers – this book is full of fascinating personal insights that have previously gone unreported and were in danger of being lost. They provide little triggers in the mind about your own experiences – I even found an advert for a gig for my old band that I’d never seen before!. Eighties punk was always about much more than the bands themselves (all of which have been well documented elsewhere). In keeping with the times it’s a bargain too, “Pay No More Than Twelve Pounds” for over 220 pages. You can get it directly from Amazon and if it sells enough the authors promise more of the same.