Monthly Archives: July 2016

Laurie Cunningham

One of the best players of the 70s, and one of the best ever at Orient, was Laurie Cunningham. As you’ll see in this profile from Shoot, 9 October, 1976, he had great taste in music. He was even featured in the NME. Sadly his career was cut short in 1989 when, aged 33, he died in a car crash.

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Marylebone Martyrs

A suedehead band that never really was.
They took their name from the loose gang in Richard Allen’s book Suedehead.

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From iffy ‘zine Beyond The… 1985 and a piss poor review from Plymouth skinhead ‘zine Tell Us The Truth,1985

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This from Deek from Oi Polloi’s ‘zine Skinhead Havoc, 1984

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Pliny The Younger On Live Readings

Pliny the Younger (61-113AD) wrote this letter to Titius Aristo. It is in his published letters: Book 5. 3.

TO TITIUS ARISTO.

While I gratefully acknowledge your many acts of kindness to me, I must especially thank you for not concealing from me the fact that my verses have formed the subject of many long discussions at your house, that such discussions have been lengthened owing to the different views expressed, and that some people, while finding no fault with the writings themselves, blamed me in a perfectly friendly and candid way for having written on such themes and for having read them in public. Well, in order to aggravate my misdeeds, here is my reply to them: “Yes, I do occasionally compose verses which are far from being couched in a serious vein. I don’t deny it. I also listen to comedies, and attend the performances of mimes. I read lyrics, and I understand the poems of Sotades. Moreover, I now and then laugh, jest, and amuse myself; in short, to sum up in a word every kind of harmless recreation, I may say ‘I am a man.'” (a quote from Terence -TW)

Nor does it annoy me that people should form such opinions about my character, when it is plain that those who are surprised that I should compose such poems are unaware that the most learned of men and the gravest and purest livers have regularly done the same thing. But I feel sure that I shall easily obtain permission from those who know the character and calibre of the authors in whose footsteps I am treading, to stray in company with men whom it is an honour to follow, not only in their serious but in their lightest moods. I will not mention the names of those still living for fear of seeming to flatter, but is a person like myself to be afraid that it will be unbecoming for him to do what well became Marcus Tullius, Caius Calvus, Asinius Pollio, Marcus Messalla, Quintus Hortensius, M. Brutus, Lucius Sulla, Quintus Catulus, Quintus Scaevola, Servius Sulpicius, Varro, Torquatus–or rather the Torquati,–Caius Memmius, Lentulus, Gaetulicus, Annaeus Seneca, Lucan, and, last of all, Verginius Rufus? If the names of these private individuals are not enough, I may add those of the divine Julius, Augustus and Nerva, and that of Tiberius Caesar. I pass by the name of Nero, though I am aware that a practice does not become any the worse because it is sometimes followed by men of bad character, while a practice usually followed by men of good character retains its honesty. Among the latter class of men one must give a pre-eminent place to Publius Vergilius, Cornelius Nepos, and to Attius and Ennius, who should perhaps come first. These men were not senators, but purity of character is the same in all ranks.

But, you say, I recite my compositions and I cannot be sure that they did. Granted, but they may have been content with their own judgment, whereas I am too modest to think that any composition of mine is sufficiently perfect when it has no other approbation but my own.

Consequently, these are the reasons why I recite in public, first, because a man who recites becomes a keener critic of his own writings out of deference to his audience, and, secondly, because, where he is in doubt, he can decide by referring the point to his auditors. Moreover, he constantly meets with criticism from many quarters, and even if it is not openly expressed, he can tell what each person thinks by watching the expression and eyes of his hearers, or by a nod, a motion of the hand, a murmur, or dead silence. All these things are tolerably clear indications which enable one to distinguish judgment from complaisance. And so, if any one who was present at my reading takes the trouble to look through the same compositions, he will find that I have either altered or omitted certain passages, in compliance perhaps with his judgment, though he never uttered a word to me. But I am arguing on this point as though I invited the whole populace to my reading room and not merely a few friends to my private chamber, while the possession of a large circle of friends has been a source of pride to many men and a reproach to none. Farewell.

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Unionize!

The Redskins’ second single Lean On Me/Unionize came out on CNT in 1983. The B side, Unionize, was the one that got the fans excited. Especially the punchy horns that the band had recently started including at gigs. The best recordings of the band are the October 1982 and August ’83 Peel sessions where they’d lost none of their punk fire and the soul flare of the horns stoked the flames.
The 12″ version of Unionize is their best on vinyl outing, the flurry of drums and them horns really kick.
At some of the early gigs where the horn section couldn’t make it, myself and Phill Jupitus sang the horn riffs (badly) into the mic’.
As we did back in the 80s poets are again doing gigs on picket lines. With the way the country is going we need a lot more orgainising, a lot more picket lines and a lot more poetry. Unionize.

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The first thing that must be said
is hates all very well,
but hatred must be organised if dreams are to be realised
and anger is no substitute for disciplined rebellion.
To unionize is to organise.

Well all this talk of fighting back
is talk to be ignored
if we don’t know where our power lies
and utilize the tools we’ve got.
The bosses have the money
and the workers have no rights,
but our muscle is our labour
and we flex it when we go on strike.

We can talk of riots and petrol bombs
and revolutions all day long,
but if we fail to organise
we’ll waste our lives on protest songs.
A life worth living is waiting to be won, sure,
The day the bosses fall – the day the dream has come.
But stop romanticising hollow talk is just a curse.
The revolution won’t appear
we all have to build for it first.

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Chimene Suleyman