The kids today watching Anti-Nowhere League who were old when I was a kid.

When I was your age we didn’t have all the fancy pants and the American Apparels with the MP4s and the kids doing the hummana hummana and the hound dog with the hips gyrating and the marijuana cigarettes. We had punk.

I was recently working on a script with some 20 somethings and when I asked if they had any musical requests they said, “Yeah, anything but punk.” I involuntarily farted some old man tears and then made this, the greatest punk mix of all time for the kangaroo fuckers over at Modular because I was supposed to. It included this note…

“I’m listening to these songs right now from the perspective of a kid who’s used to mash ups and samples and over-the-top dance music and a lot of them sound kind of shitty. I mean, ‘Stand Strong, Stand Proud’ isn’t exactly catchy. It’s a racket. However, what you have to understand about punk is it was so much more than the music. We were obsessed. It was more like a cult. We fought skinheads regularly and talked about them way more than that. We lived in a big house together. We went to anarchist gatherings and argued about communism. We would die for each other (hence all the songs about unity). We would have listened to GBH and Discharge no matter what they sounded like. In fact, when I bought my first Crass record I listened to it on the wrong speed for weeks - and loved it. For better or for worse, punk was about fierce loyalty and if the music sounded good, that was just a bonus.”


The tracks are as follows but some have been left out because Modular’s running a contest where you win a Street Boners book if you guess all five (please don’t think of simply Googling the lyrics).

1. Generation X - “Kiss Me Deadly”
2. Blitz - “Warriors”
3. Stiff Little Fingers - “Tin Soldier”
4. Garry Johnson - ” The New Face Of Rock’N'Roll”
5. Sham 69 - “If The Kids Are United”
6. Cockney Rejects - “The Greatest Cockney Rip Off”
7. ****?
8. The Clash - “Bankrobber”
9. Sid Vicious - “My Way”
10. Sex Pistols - “The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle”
11. The Exploited - “Punks Not Dead”
12. The Vibrators - “Baby Baby”
13. ****?
14. The Damned - “New Rose”
15. ****?
16. Stranglers - “Peaches”
17. The Undertones - “My Perfect Cousin”
18. The Buzzcocks - “What Do I Get?”
19. X-Ray Spex - “Oh Bondage Up Yours!”
20. ****?
21. Bow Wow Wow - “C30, C60, C90 Go!”
22. Conflict - “These Things Take Time”
23. Crass - “Big A Little A”
24. Rudimentary Peni - “Teenage Time Killer”
25. Discharge - “State Violence State Control”
26. GBH - “City Baby’s Revenge”
27. ****

1- Generation X “Kiss me Deadly”
While everyone was screaming about the revolution, Generation X made it very clear they were kids from the suburbs who were only here to get laid. Fashion is what really mattered to them and they said shit like, “I’m walking down the street / with the latest on my feet” and, “I hear you got your gear from Marks & Sparks.” They could actually play their instruments which was rare and had no shame in adding long guitar solos to heart wrenching ballads about a runaway finding his true love. Nobody knew how to take them and in that sense, they were punker than punk.

2- Blitz “Warriors”
When the drums do that double tap thing over the line “As we walk over this wasteland of hate,” my heart skips a beat. Skinheads loved this band and Blitz hated that.

3- Stiff Little Fingers “Tin Soldier”
Actually, a lot of old punk bands hated how much they were loved by skinheads. Sham 69 were the same way. SLF eventually started rapping at their shows to piss off the Nazis and covered “White Lines” as well as a version of “No Sleep til Brooklyn” where they switched it to Belfast.

4. Garry Johnson “The New Face Of Rock’N’Roll”
Of course England is all about class so when Oi came out and the media dared to report it, all the cockney poets emerged to bitch about their lot in life. Oh wait, you kids don’t even know what Oi is. Um, it’s really working class punk mostly for skinheads and hooligans. Lots of tom toms and soccer chanting. Andrew WK kind of sounds Oi sometimes. Yes it rules.

5- Sham 69 “If the Kids are United”
The heroes of Oi. They were so religious about punk it made you feel like a superhero. They were from a shithole called Hersham but were extremely proud of it and sang, “Hersham boys, Hersham boys, laced up boots and cordorouys” with so much conviction you had suburban kids in Canada hemming their cords into floods and ordering 10 hole Doctor Marten oxbloods from Shelly’s of London. We were all Hersham boys. Was also going to include Angelic Upstarts and The Business here but I didn’t want to overOi it.

6- Cockney Rejects “The Greatest Cockney Rip Off”
Crass wrote a counter to this called “The Greatest Working Class Rip Off” that mocked Oi’s popularity and the senseless brawls that surrounded it. It was all violent back then however. So was hardcore. Nazis would come to punk shows and get in the pit and fight and you wouldn’t notice at first because that was the dance but then you’d notice a punch that really, REALLY hurt and then you noticed, “Hey, that guy didn’t reach down to pick me up after I fell. Oh shit!” Fight. BTW You hear this exact same riff in AWK’s “We Want Fun” and Harskin’s “Hard Stuff.”

7- ****
Oi was big with the East London Nazi skinheads but this band were a bunch of scrawny orphans from Scotland who hospitalized Nazis (still do) and sang songs about how to make an “Anarcho pie” without using dairy products. They also think Stonehenge has magic powers. Oooooh kaaaaye.

8- The Clash “Bankrobber”
One of the few punk bands the kids today can name one song from and it’s always “Rock the Casbah.” The video for this song rules.

9- Sid Vicious “I Did it My Way”
I see Dash Snow as this generation’s Sid Vicious: a perpetually optimistic, fun, but ultimately naïve, kid who got swallowed up by his own fame because he couldn’t figure out how to get out.

10- Sex Pistols “The Great Rock ’n’ Roll Swindle”
Feels weird to have a punk mix without Johnny Rotten in it. This song is from the part in the eponymous movie where people are auditioning to replace him. The spot eventually went to notorious train robber Ronnie Biggs but only for a 7” I always ask my babysitters and interns to name a Sex Pistols song and they never can. The best response I got was, “They were kind of punky, right?” Yes, they were INCREDIBLY punky.

11. The Exploited “Punk’s Not Dead”
Punk was for outcasts and weirdos. That meant you had kids who were too smart for their own good and many who were too stupid. Crass were the former and the Exploited were the latter. They both wanted anarchy but Crass wanted to minimize government intervention to maximize personal liberty, whereas The Exploited just wanted to light cars on fire. There’s even a live record where you hear Wattie’s thick Scottish accent intro a song with, “Don’t youse hate Crass? Crass are a bunch of fucking wankers. They don’t believe in Anarchy and Chaos. I believe!”

Crass also had beef with The Clash which started with the lyrics, “They said that we were trash but the name is Crass not Clash, they can stuff their punk credentials. It’s them that take the cash.” The Clash retorted by calling Crass a storm in a teacup.

12- The Vibrators “Baby Baby Baby”
You rarely saw dudes into this band. Probably because of the name.

13- ******
Like GBH and Discharge, this was a band everyone painted on their motorcycle jacket. This was the only song by them anyone actually ever listened to. It’s shitty but clever.

14- The Damned “New Rose”
I always hated when New Yorkers said they invented punk and it only took off in London after the Ramones played there in ’76 because “New Rose” came out months before that gig. I told that to drummer Rat Scabies expecting a high five and he said, “Er, actually we got the idea from the New York zine Punk. We read about the music and made ‘New Rose’ based on what we thought this music probably sounded like.” Oh.

15- ****
Don’t know shit about this band. Didn’t even know they were Australian until the baby-eating dingos at Modular told me so.

16- The Stranglers “Peaches”
This band is the whole reason I’m writing these. They fucking ruled – literally. If a music critic gave them a bad review, they’d jump in the car, drive to his house, and kick the shit out of him. Be sure to check out “Goodbye Toulouse” and “Ugly” if only to hear him yell, “IT’S ONLY THE CHILDREN OF THE FUCKING WEALTHY WHO TEND TO BE GOOD LOOKING.”

17- The Undertones “My Perfect Cousin”
Irish pop stars who weren’t really punk. They were more like the Buzzcocks. This was made certain when the vocalist pulled a Billy Idol and had a solo career as Feargal Sharkey. Shit, the Buzzcocks’ guy did that too with “Homosapien.” Oh yeah, I used to have 999′s “Homicide” here but it got on my nerves so I took it off.

18- The Buzzcocks “What do I Get?”
This band was so listenable we almost had to revoke their punk license.

19- X-Ray Spex “Oh Bondage Up Yours”
Like the organ in the Stranglers, having a saxaphone in a punk band took some balls. So did having a female lead singer. They pulled it off not once but twice with “The Day the World Turned Day-Glo.

20- ****
Everyone in this band was as punk as you could possibly be. This allowed us to ignore the fact that they sounded like Old Skull.

21- Bow Wow Wow “C30 C60 C90 Go!”
They were mostly for girls but I fucking loved them and still do. They were an Australian band “created” by Sex Pistol’s manager Malcolm McLaren (when Rotten was accused of being created by McLaren he said, “How can anyone invent me? I’m me.”) The singer was 14 and sang about cumming and fucking and they eventually came up with a huge hit about how horny she is called “I Want Candy.” The song here’s about recording albums on to cassettes (C30 is a 30 minute cassette and so on) instead of buying them. EMI refused to release it but then they did and made good money off of it. Twenty years later, you had Napster.

22- Conflict “These Things Take Time”
Most of Conflict’s songs are a cacophony of vocalist Colin Jerwood hollering anarchist essays on top of incredibly grating music. They were Robin to Crass’ Batman but they often went way farther than Crass. Colin was so against the seal hunt for example, he encouraged people to kill the hunters. Crass’ Penny Rimbaud said, “Hang on a minute Colin, that’s how these people make their living” and Colin said, “Then tell them to get another job!” and stormed out of the room. It recently came out that Colin had secretly stolen Crass publishing and had been getting checks for years without the band knowing. Nothing’s illegal when you’re a true anarchist, or something.

23- Crass “Big A Little A”
This was their hit though you’ve never heard of it but that doesn’t mean they weren’t a very successful band. I recently worked out Crass still gross (total global sales not total royalties) about 200k a year (they don’t believe me or care). Not a lot of that trickles down to the seven band members but that’s still a lot of money circulating around the economy. Anyway, Crass invented anarcho punk and were the first ones to take it from a crazy, fuck you, fashion movement to an actual political thing with a real philosophy and a plan. Their lyrics changed my life and I have them tattooed on my arm.

24- Rudimentary Peni “Teenage Time Killer”
Their singer was a crazy man dying of colon cancer or something and he’d spend days doing this intricate drawings of death and suffering that eventually became their album covers (on Crass Records). They are a truly scary band that once did a theme record where every song was about HP Lovecraft of all people. You should be scared of this song. It’s the real deal.

25- Discharge “State Violence State Control”
Would’ve been considered a metal band if their hair wasn’t so fucking big. Here’s how you do it: Take a bar of soap and lather it up until your hands look like Mickey Mouse gloves. Then slick your hair back with it. Step and repeat until your hair is hard as a rock and the soap is gone. Now put on a wool hat and go to bed. When You wake up, put both hands on the back of your head like you’re under arrest and FLICK the whole thing forward. It’ll take a few tweaks to make sure every spike is going in the right direction but that should last all day. Of course, if it rains or it’s particularly humid out, you go from Discharge to Dee Snider and sometimes even Petula Clark.

GBH “City Baby’s Revenge”
Basically Discharge with a sense of humor.

27- ****
This was one of the first joke bands and we kind of copied them with our band, Anal Chinook. They had a song making fun of mods that went, “They’re the moped lads / They think they’re bad / They’re the moped lads / If you hit ‘em they’ll tell their dads.” They were always drunk and sang about getting beaten up by teds for making fun of Elvis (Teddy Boys AKA rockabillys were always fighting punks back then in Britain. They hospitalized Johnny Rotten by slashing him with a straight razor). This song’s about what to do if you get caught trying to pick up another guy’s girlfriend but my favorite song by them is the one that encourages littering. Nothing sums up being young, dumb, punk and fun more than, “Come on you dirty bastards, keep Britain untidy!”

Oops! I just gave away that last one by linking YouTube videos. Fuck! There’s Beki Bondage in the “Moped Lads” video. I’ve given two away.

More pics from those kooky days here.

If you’re entering the contest, remember you need both the band name AND the song title.