GOD SAVE THE QUEEN
1977 – the Queen’s silver jubilee, A-levels, school uniform, punk rock.
Names on rucksacks (featuring ELP, Genesis, the Who, Aleister Crowley, the Velvet Underground).
Punk names, punk singles, punk LPs (featuring the Sex Pistols, the Damned, the Stranglers, Slaughter & the Dogs, Richard Hell & the Voidoids).
Anniversaries and jubilees – who needs them? (various answers).
The passage of time, the shortage of time; LPs versus CDs; bonus tracks and singles (featuring Cabaret Voltaire, Kraftwerk, the Who).
The Queen’s golden jubilee, the Sex Pistols silver jubilee and ‘God Save The Queen’ (featuring the Sex Pistols, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Fripp, Brian May).
National anthems (featuring Anon and the Sex Pistols).
…a morbidly obese maths teacher informally known as Belly…
You could tell a history of my rucksack in three badges, two of which came from concerts I attended (ELP, Genesis). I think the Who badge was bought by Collinson's brother at the 1976 concert at Charlton Athletic, at the time registered as the loudest concert ever (126 db) by the Guinness Book of Records. This was later surpassed by Manowar, Motorhead and Kiss on various occasions. Although Guinness have stopped measuring rock concerts to discourage competitive loudness, it’s still being monitored at the likes of sporting events.
I desperately wanted to go and see the Who at Charlton, but was forbidden because we were going on a family holiday that week.
…occultist Aleister Crowley…
The picture cover of the single ‘Do Anything You Wanna Do’ by Eddie and the Hot Rods. On the cover is a surreal, and perhaps Surreal, image of occultist Aleister Crowley resplendent in Mickey Mouse ears. This is his second appearance on a record cover: he was also a face in the crowd on Sergeant Pepper.
In the 1900s Crowley devised a spiritual philosophy he called Thelema; the name was derived from a Greek noun meaning will. The motto commonly associated with Thelema is ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law’, which has a certain gravitas but lacks the immediacy of the Hot Rods song title.
Crowley, a larger-than-life devotee of drugs, sex, magick and sex magick, was not noted for his modesty or his sense of irony, making this record cover a work of satirical as well as graphical genius. Apparently, Crowley super-enthusiast Jimmy Page wasn't amused at this display of irreverence, and was rumoured to have put a curse on the Hot Rods. This was probably why they failed to become the next Led Zeppelin.
A few years after leaving the Scouts and a few years before the single was released, I carved the word THELEMA into the handle of my scout knife. Here it is, retrieved from the bottom of my tool box, a rarely-used tool and never-used magickal weapon.
…this T-shirt was a kind of manifesto for something or other…
Whatever the T-shirt may or may not have been a manifesto for, the use of the word FUCK on some versions of the product, especially in the context of the mid to late 1970s, could well have acted as a distraction from the more nuanced cultural references that were being made in the small print.
...ticket number 232 for the Sex Pistols non-gig at the Hamilton Club, Henry St, Birkenhead
…it’s got a stupid front cover…
…spot the musician…
…I got a free DO IT DOG STYLE badge…
Richard Hell versus Arthur Rimbaud.
…a perfect artefact. Disposable yet around for ever; instantly out of date yet timeless; trivial yet mythic…
My home-made cover for the Clash single 'White Riot'.
My home-made cover for the single 'Know Your Product' by the Saints.
…as well as bestriding the roof, Brian was bestriding the generations…