ABSTRACT

So speaks an (ex-?) punk today, with a quarter-century’s hindsight. His wish, he says, is for his band ‘to be remembered for being true to ourselves’. His verbal articulation of the anarcho-punk ideal tidily sums up what being a punk, at least for most denizens of the punk underground, has been all about for the last 30 years and more: ‘Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, just do it yourself! If you’ve got something you want to say … just do it. You don’t need to spend hours practising in your bedroom, and perhaps then end up never playing at all – just get out there and start playing straight away!’2 Such rhetoric didn’t begin with anarcho-punk; indeed, even ‘punk’s original sensibilities’ were in fact preceded by skiffle, blues and other music-making forms which also promised that ‘anyone can do it’. Having said that, anarcho-punk certainly reiterated the promise with great intensity and, in a significant way, can be said to have offered something of a blueprint for much of the politics of the longer-term punk underground.