The remnants of a movement that once thought of itself as expressing a form of individual freedom, expose themselves as of by now truly as heavily conformist.
Me on the left in the early 80ies with a former acqaintant/peer.
I have an ambiguous relation to having been a harcore oriented hippy-punk-“punk” from about 1982 until 1985. Still some Impulses that I picked up and some of my own ponderings that time, and last but not least Farangis’ reception in arts about punk and feminism, are something that still create a foundation of a present sentiment and some attitudes for me today.
This is what we put online about our reception of parts of the 80ies punk movement … :
I called Andy Martin of Unit in an email recently a “former punk”, saying how glad I was to know the more kind-of-authentic-people in that context like him. Here is his reply to me which I found so inspiring that I asked him if I could blog his input on that issue:
Andy: …what? WHAT? WHAT? ‘PUNK MUSICIAN’? Madam, how dare you! I was never a ‘punk musician’. I was certainly never a punk and plenty of people (especially former band members) would insist I was never a musician either. If I was anything, I was a Mod, albeit one without a parka, scooter or records by The Who.
I sent Andy then this wonderful photo of his former band “The Apostles”, writing … :
Gita: Considering that you weren’t punk and that you were more something of a Mod your music is creatively unimaginably innovative and this highlights also how free music could be. Shame punk stifled such branches …. I admire that attached pic …
Andy: When and where the devil was this taken? I have absolutely no memory of it although, perversely, I do recall that black Harrington jacket. The others are, from left to right, Pete Knight (Primal Chaos, The Assassins Of Hope, The Paramedic Squad), Mitch Thingy whose surname I can never remember (Flack, Hagar The Womb) and Martin Black (Flack). It was Mitch who wrote about 40% of the music and 20% of the lyric to Drained, the track on Panem Et Circenses. I’ve no idea what happened to any of these people although I did receive an email from Pete Knight circa 2014 or 2015, just a brief note to tell me he remembered what I did in the 1980s…damned by faint praise, as the saying goes…as you may imagine, I responded with a caustic email to tell him he would do better to remember me for what I am doing now. He did not reply. Oh well, another one bites the dust. I detest letters and emails that drone on and on about ‘I remember when you played that gig in Woofing In The Stuff in 1984 and Grimly Crustworthy vomited all over your drum kit etc blah blah’ ugh and double ugh! Maybe I live now in an almost permanent state of morgenmuffel but I believe we must think ahead, not look back. The past is gone, dead and buried; certainly we must never forget it but it is more important to me to concentrate my attention on what happens now – let us celebrate the future!
I think the problem here is that for many people – perhaps for the majority of people – who were involved in the punk / alternative scene in the 1980s, they were between 16 and 25 years old, in the prime of their youth, in an attitude of discovery and social unrest they found exciting (and also frightening) so for them the decade is crammed full of happy, vibrant memories. Fur mich – very different! I was often angry, frequently miserable and thoroughly irritated and annoyed by my poverty, my battle against dyspraxia, my battle against being queer, my constant physical battles against Nazi skinheads (from most of which, I am justifiably proud to announce, I emerged victorious) and my interminable squabbles with spoiled, pampered white middle class rat-bags who believed they had the right to tell everyone else how to live their lives. Ye Gods, when Andy Nunn first showed me excerpts from that Kill Your Pet Puppy website and some of the lamentable dialogues included in its chat room or whatever it’s called, I felt my toes curl with embarrassment. How can middle aged people be such arschlocher?
Earlier today I discovered our You Tube subscription tally has jumped from 294 to 299 in just 3 days. Does it matter? Of course not…but I’m still rather smug and self satisfied. Isn’t it wretched? Then I think of those videos, you know the kind to which I refer – Next Door’s Cat Sits In A Bucket – which has 2.5 million views – and suddenly I cease to feel quite so smug and self satisfied. Even Skrewdriver and other Nazi numbskull groups have tens of thousands of views and umpteen hundred subscribers. It is a horribly humbling experience!
Gita: I want to thankfully link to an interview we held with Andy Martin for our publication “Tierautonomie”:
Note: it might not be the right place to note this, but looking up many people who made impressive independent music in the early eighties and seeing they have quite an active “fanbase” still heralding and profitig from their activities, it’s astounding how little we are able to put infos and documents together in an encyclopedic form. I notice this also with partly art and creative work from other decades, like the 50ies and 60ies. Result is: keeping legacies will probably depend on single initiatives and individuals. Pages that function like Wikipedia or the cultural industrial museal complex are not seeing parts of history from the level of a very democratic basis that just exists in creativity … .
Ich gebe es zu, ich war dummerweise in DE Punk, ein Fehler, aber ich dachte damals wir wären eigentlich in Europa
Gita Yegane Arani, 1983 in London.
Das Foto hat Derek Ridgers (London Youth 1978 – 1987; 2014) > http://www.derekridgers.com/ > mal wohl eher zufällig von mir 1983 in London gemacht. Hat mich gewundert, da ich eher zu den optisch langweiligeren Leuten gehört habe. Aber interessant heute zu sehen, zumal ich mich früher sehr ungern habe ablichten lassen.
Ich glaube ich lege im gewissen Sinn Wert darauf zu sagen, dass ich von 1980 bis 1986 vom Punk-Sympatisanten zum New Romantic zum Anarcho-Punk fluktiuerte. Punk in DE war mir zum größten Teil ein Graus, weil viele Leute hier (ohne es zu merken und ohne es wahrscheinlich selbst jemals bewusst gemerkt oder vor sich eingestanden zu haben) trotz etwas vorhandener Praktizierung kosmetischer Diversität in der Szene, meiner Meinung nach zumindest, irgendwie zu völkischen Allüren neigten. Man warf mir seitens meiner Szene-Bekannt*innen damals vor ich würde ja auf “London-Punk” machen.
Ich war oft in London, da wir dort eine Zweitwohnung besaßen. Bewegte mich aber auch in besetzten Häusern/Wohnungen. Mir ist damals aufgefallen, dass Leute aus DE die Situation in England sehr unterschiedlich rezipierten. Hier etwas auf English zum Thema having been Punk in the early 80ies > https://simorgh.de/biografie/punk-as-a-search/
Ich muss an dieser Stelle mal sagen, dass die Toten Hosen mir, bei einem einzigen Konzert, das ich in einer Minilokation in Offenbach am Main irgendwann Anfang der 1980ier mal sah, alles was Deutsch und “Punk” oder ähnliches war, zum Kotzmittel machten. Ich hörte ihre grölmodus-affinen Songs und vor allem das Lied mit dem Text in dem es um sexual intercourse geht war für mich so dermaßen antifeministisch. Als ich neulich zufällig sah, dass diese Band in einem ihrer Innersleves irgendwo 2020 ein bemaltes Schwein abbilden, dachte ich nur: genau … von Sexisten zu Speziesisten. Passt ja.
Ich würde hier mal eine Gegenüberstellung machen und wenn ich ein Musikwissenschaftler wäre, würde ich das gerne detailliert zu Papier bringen:
… Death Church von Rudimentary Peni war überhaupt die Platte – neben Onward Christian Soldiers von Icons of Filth (vgl. Track oben) https://www.discogs.com/de/Icons-Of-Filth-Onward-Christian-Soldiers/release/892398, die mir half mich zum Tierrechtsaktivisten zu entwickeln – im Inner Sleeve war die Adresse der Vegan Society … . Und während Crass also 1981 bereits ihre Platte Penis Envy herausgebracht hatten, quäkt in DE sowas die die Toten Hosen, die Bösen Onkelz und die Ärzte (weiss nicht ab wann) rum.
Schade für die paar interessanteren deutschen Punkbands von damals, die Aufgeklärteres zu bieten hatten. Aber alle haben schön stillgehalten, als DE den ‘Deutsch-Punk’ Bravo-mäßig vermarktete.
Ich habe mich vor einigen Jahren (2012) schon mal über die Toten Hosen ausgekotzt. Und wegen dem bemalten Tier kopier ich das jetzt nochmal hier rein. Ich weiß gar nicht wie ich damals überhaupt davon ausgehen konnte, das solche Musiker einen ernsthaft politischen Anspruch in Sachen “der Mensch hat auch noch eine Mitwelt … Gutenabend!” haben könnte … :
Die Toten Hosen aren’t punk and never have been. Unless looks equal content.
Germany stays true to the only punk band which never actually had been one. Fucking blimey great! How lovely of them. “F*ck*n, B*ms*n, Bl*s*n, alles auf dem Rasen” (To screw on the lawn) was probably the lyrics with which they reached the highest possible anarchist apex with the German punk scene and youth of the 80ies. And yeah, you can yell along to their anti-racist statements in B-Flat or D-Major. To me they aren’t punk compared to what I consider to be punk, but they got that “politically correct” image sort of.
However they support PeTA, and that makes them suck so bad, because PeTA is pro “humane slaughter” – Newkirk endorses slaughterhouses designed by Temple Grandin – and PeTA is vehemently pro euthanasia and pro killing strays, they claim that an animal is better dead than not have a loving home. Some horrific crap like that. Just check PeTAs policies and stances on NO-KILL Animal Shelters on why they are pro euthanasia.
Ok back to the Toten Hosen: Die Toten Hosen just really sadly don’t have time to check up on things like that – and let alone … they even wouldn’t fucking care cos they aren’t even vegan … in the first place!
They don’t have the time to be AS politically correct, cos they still pretend to bring punk to “the average German kid”.
DE ist der einzigen punk band die nie eine gewesen ist treu. HAHA. Der Sex im Grünen ist das einzige an Anarschismus das die Band in 30 äääächt laaaaaangen hervorgebracht hat. Und yay! Antirassimus zum Gröhlen damit unser einer das tolerieren will.
Die Toten Hosen sind scheisse und haben die deutsche punkszene kommerzialistisch voll abgefuckt. Campino for BuPrä kann ich da nur sagen. LOL
Shortly after Mithras and Saline came from Offenbach.
Der Käfig ist jetzt lange weg, wir hatten ihn nur zur Beförderung angeschafft – …
I am extremely gracious that Mithras and Saline are finally accommodating themselves more to our new shared home. The got their own room upstairs.
A few photos of Saline and Mithras and me.
Just for the sake of diversion, here are two tracks I made. The first I recorded in 1991 when I lived for one year in Berlin, it’s a rough sketch type of tune. The second is a spntaneous pretty embarrassing track I taped relatively recently – my voice sound silly on there, I am aware of that … .
I should basically return to my old NiceSwine-Blog to write in English, but this is personal talk so I am just gonna create this space for myself for it, and yes in English. Currently I am again a bit dissappointed of German Zeitgeist. I am an avid listener to the radio. We only have two talk type of stations, all other stations are music stuff (and boring music even, I tend to listen – if I tune in music – to the one station that plays 80ies charts stuff, well whatever). And yes, on the news on the radio things seem kind of one sided currently. So I went back to my old habit of listenting to ‘foreign’ radio stations, including NPR and BBC Worldservice, which both create somewhat a good balance to just “our” German very-economy-oriented *global* and local outlook. At least that’s how I see it.
I want to show three things of myself, that is: one song, and pic from these days and one pic with my beloved, beloved, beloved Mum!
“Another Cap” – a song I wrote about 23 years ago, I am playing it here in a recording from 2015 with one of Miriam’s friends, who also mixed it later for which I thank them a lot. I felt real ill when we recorded it. The line exist in several variations within the ‘body of my compositions’, like within my Mithras themes that I wrote for Farangis.