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The England’s Dreaming Tapes

2010
Author:

Jon Savage

The England’s Dreaming Tapes

The essential companion to England’s Dreaming, the seminal history of punk

Jon Savage’s 1991 book England’s Dreaming: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, and Beyond was hailed by the New York Times Book Review as ‘the definitive history of the English punk movement.’ Now, in The England's Dreaming Tapes, Savage makes available for the first time the full, uncut, sensational story behind the cultural moment that was punk.

The England’s Dreaming Tapes takes you back to the genesis, to the very beginning of the cult, back to a time when Poly Styrene was a hippy, when Steve Diggle and John Lydon had long hair, when Siouxsie Sioux was a disco kid. This book holds the provenance of punk, and identifies, through the words of the 59 people Savage interviews, its very essence. . . .Everyone is here—all the bands, all the protagonists, all the club-runners, all journalists, shopkeepers, photographers, and the rest—and it is an absolute joy.

Dylan Jones, GQ (UK)

Jon Savage’s 1991 book England’s Dreaming: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, and Beyond was hailed by the New York Times Book Review as ‘the definitive history of the English punk movement.’ Widely imitated but never equaled, it remains that rare work of music history that appeals to music fans, critics, and scholars alike. In researching England’s Dreaming, Savage conducted hundreds of hours of interviews of which only a fraction made it into the finished book. Now, in The England's Dreaming Tapes, Savage makes available for the first time the full, uncut, sensational story behind the cultural moment that was punk.

Here is the story of a generation that changed the world in just a few months in 1976, as told by the scene’s major figures: all four original Sex Pistols as well as Joe Strummer, Chrissie Hynde, Jordan, Siouxsie Sioux, Viv Albertine, Adam Ant, Lee Black Childers, Howard Devoto, Pete Shelley, Syl Sylvain, Debbie Wilson, Tony Wilson, Jah Wobble, and many others. Together, they offer a sweeping history of the late 1960s and the 1970s—not just the era’s music but also its radical politics, social issues, fashion, and culture.

An invaluable source of information about a movement that has become obscured by myth, these vivid, unvarnished interviews were conducted when punk was only a decade old. In many cases, this was the first time that the subjects had talked about the period. The interviews describe the founding of the Sex Pistols; 430 King’s Road, site of the legendary boutique Sex, which helped establish the punk aesthetic; punk rock New York; the cultural landscapes of London and its suburbs; the writers who covered punk; and the Manchester music scene centered around Factory Records.

With The England's Dreaming Tapes, Savage gives us the first and final word on the music, fashion, and attitude that defined this influential and incendiary era.

The England’s Dreaming Tapes

Jon Savage is a writer and broadcaster. His books include England's Dreaming: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, and Beyond and Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture. Among the documentaries he has written are the award-winning The Brian Epstein Story and Joy Division. He lives in North Wales.

The England’s Dreaming Tapes

The England’s Dreaming Tapes takes you back to the genesis, to the very beginning of the cult, back to a time when Poly Styrene was a hippy, when Steve Diggle and John Lydon had long hair, when Siouxsie Sioux was a disco kid. This book holds the provenance of punk, and identifies, through the words of the 59 people Savage interviews, its very essence. . . .Everyone is here—all the bands, all the protagonists, all the club-runners, all journalists, shopkeepers, photographers, and the rest—and it is an absolute joy.

Dylan Jones, GQ (UK)

A journalist on a British music weekly at the time of punk, Savage succeeded in assembling a comprehensive cast of interviewees when he was writing England’s Dreaming in the late 1980s, and their unedited voices, presented in this new context, bring the epoch alive with the force of oral history.

Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, The Financial Times

In compiling these 58 interview transcripts Savage has created something as valuable, if not more so, than his original biography.

Simon Goddard, Q Magazine

The England’s Dreaming Tapes is undoubtedly the best interview-based book on British punk published thus far. It’s an indispensable documentary resource that offers panoramic insight into UK punk’s most innovative and influential stage; it manages to immerse the reader in the visceral rush and the sheer creative energy of the period at the same time as it provides measured, incisive commentary on that period.

Wilson Neate, Blurt

Richly rewarding... with much to offer scholars and scenesters.

Library Journal

An exhaustive 700-page tome that will undoubtedly be the source for many a term paper, and an invaluable resource for music writers.

Rock Star Journalist

The England’s Dreaming Tapes is the quintessential literary companion to any punk devotee or music zealot prepared to venture into the filth and fury of this genre’s seminal history.

Miné Salkin, Filthy Lucre

The England’s Dreaming Tapes offers a perspective on music, social issues, fashion, and culture well worth consideration.

Charleston City Paper

Anyone who has an interest in music history, especially that of punk rock will find this book well worth the price of ownership and well worth the time it takes to read it from cover to cover.

Punk Vault Blog

These transcripts make readers feel like they are sitting at Savage’s side as he finesses rock’n’roll rebels and forgotten helpers alike.

PopMatters

The voices of women, gays, and more socially marginalized participants are heard more than the usual scenesters and musicians in Tapes, and I’m sure the very astute Savage knew that these viewpoints needed to be brought forward in the mix. This is a rich blessing, especially for those of us who have worn out our copies of England’s Dreaming over the years.

KEXP Blog

One of the best regarded tomes detailing The Sex Pistols and the rise of English punk rock.Bookish-types who already have a working knowledge of the 1976 U.K. punk explosion will find a great deal to engross them in these 752 pages.

The England’s Dreaming Tapes

Contents

Introduction 1

1 The Shop: 430 King’s Road
Malcolm McLaren 7
Robin Scott 19
Helen Wallington-Lloyd 27
Jordan 33
Alan Jones 53
Chrissie Hynde 61

2 New York
Sylvain Sylvain 71
Leee Black Childers 79
Roberta Bayley 100
John Holmstrom 109
Legs McNeil 120
Mary Harron 131

Sex Pistols
Warwick Nightingale 147
Steve Jones 155
Paul Cook 161
Glen Matlock 181
Johnny Rotten 211

The City
Roger Armstrong 239
Joe Strummer 248
Adam Ant 270
Tony James 278
Viv Albertine 286
Jah Wobble 306

The Suburbs
Shanne Hasler 323
Captain Sensible 328
Siouxsie Sioux 336
Berlin 347
Marco Pirroni 354
Vic Godard 362
Steve Walsh 373
Debbi Wilson 381

The Team: Glitterbest
Nils Stevenson 397
Ray Stevenson 413
Dave Goodman 420
Sophie Richmond 426
Jamie Reid 441
John Tiberi 444

The Propagandists
Neil Spencer 461
Caroline Coon 471
Jonh Ingham 480
Mark Perry 510

The North-West
Howard Devoto 521
Pete Shelley 532
Richard Boon 549
Tony Wilson 565
Linder 571

1977/I: The Roxy
Andy Czezowski and Susan Carrington 581
Poly Styrene 597
Don Letts 609
Wire 615
TV Smith 623
Pauline Murray 631

1977/2: The Jubilee
Al Clark 639
Dennis Morris 653
Derek Jarman 661
Barbara Harwood 667

Sid Vicious
Joe Stevens 679
Anne Beverley 700

Afterword: where are they now? 717
Acknowledgements 731
Index 733


The England’s Dreaming Tapes

UMP blog: Remembering British punk icon and former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren

10/08/2010
On April 8th, 2010 (six months ago today), former Sex Pistols manager and proclaimed inventor of punk Malcolm McLaren passed away at age 64 after a battle with cancer.
The following material was posted to writer and interviewer Jon Savage's blog a few days after McLaren's death. This material is reprinted with permission from the author.
Read more ...