GLC Riot – Hank Wangford

Following the Nazi attack on the Redskins at the GLC Jobs For A Change Festival, the fascists attacked the stage Hank Wangford was performing on.
This poem is from The Poetry Olympics Marathon Anthology, 2001.

On The Line

Back in the summer of ’84
We tried to help the miners win their war,
We came to do a gig for the GLC
That’s Good Loud Country for you and me.
We came for music now and tehn
For words of wisdom from old Red Ken
Who said “Three million people are unemployed
The heart of the nation is being destroyed”

No one knows you when you’re on the line
They all want to help you when you’re doing fine

There were hippies and punks and OAPs
UB40s and CIDs
Bu no-one noticed them bad boys
With the bottles and the skins with the mouthful of noise
‘Cos they slipped throgh the crowd like a shiver of fear
With them Air War steps that you never can hear
And I knew what they were when I saw them salute
And they knew I was a Commie from my flash pink suit

No one knows you when you’re on the line
They all want to help you when you’re doing fine

We started to polka and they went ‘Seig Heil’
They jumped us and polka’d in our faces for a while
They knocked us down and put in the boot
Made a real mess of my flash pink suit.
They smashed a guitar, jagged like a knife,
And cut into the face of my friend for life,
‘N there was no-one to stop them, no security,
From the police, the crowd or the GLC.

Hang Wangford


A poem from Pete Ramskill’s 1984 collection Strike.
Pete also gigged and wrote as John Bitumen.

White And Safe

It’s easy spotting boneheads
NF or Made In England tattooed on pale pink arms
Or a swastika blue-green on an intense forehead
A face like a rasher of bacon
A curious uniformity
Yet only making the size of the ears
Rudely evident

It’s easy to say “silly bastards”
From a safe distance
Easy to “shit brains”
From suburban seclusion
Easy to dismiss the fears of others
Others on the front line
Others who see the boneheads
As the Jews once saw the brown shirts

It’s easy to ay “mindle morons”
About people who leave you alone
They don’t shit on your doorstep
Or brick your windows
Or kick your kids
No petrol poured through your front door
No stabbed or beaten friends
In hospital beds

White and safe
Deploring racist violence
Storing racist thoughts

Pete Ramskill

Ode To The Drivers Of Ford Capris

Poem from John Bitumen’s 1988 pamphlet Personal Vendetta
John Bitumen is a Nottingham poet, real name Pete Ramskill, who was known for his broadcasts on Radio Free Arthur during the miner’s strike.

Ode to the Drivers of Ford Capris

You neber see women in Ford Capris
those mucho, macho, mean machines
the answer to every boy racer’s dreams
a go faster fantasy on four wheels
a rubber burning roadster that certainly feels
like free-fall speed without a shute
a supersonic splat in a penis substitute

Driven by the psyched out, wound up wazzocks
pretending to be extras in ‘The Dukes Of Hazzard’
a microwave mentality and a copy of ‘Fast Car’
which the buy for the pictures with the Daily Star
they’re all air-horns and tinted glass
thy’re the baby boom babies who weren’t breast fed
deranged by petrol fumes – a head full of lead
they see Murray Walker as their Holy Pope
they drink the lager of Lamot and they don’t smoke dope
they dangle their keys from designer jeans
and Wayne’s right foot says what he means
he sees Sharon, who’s sat in the passenger seat
as his in-car ornament, his made-up meat
he models himself on Dirty Den
the speed limit’s for boys not real men
and with the smell of Denim and a U2 tape
‘the lads’ put him up to Blind Date
where, with his footballer’s perm neatly slicked
the no fun failure wasn’t picked
because a bloody long bonnet doesn’t impress
a short hand typist in a lurex dress

A Blind Date reject – the lowest of the low
he got back in his car, it was go-man-go
upped the horsepower and changed the oil
even bought a matt-black aero-foil
but he couldn’t hide his sexual inadequacy
‘cos only dickheads try to do it in a Ford Capri

John Bitumen

SWells, Sexism, Skinheads, Septics

A Revelation

Seething Wells has no sense of humour!
This conclusion has been reached after an all day gig also attended by the aforementioned.
After several, no doubt well-intentioned, but ultimately boring and repetitive England bands, an American band whose name I missed (Nig Heist – Bag Ed.) plunged into a set of unbelievable sexism and audience wind-ups.
It was the first spark of humour all day, and I, and my girlfriend and plenty of others appreciated the joke. No so SWells. As they left, he entered the stage to inform us that, “there are better dog on the street than the American bastard that just went off.”
Talking to one of the band later it transpired that four large skinheads had earlier cornered Black Flag’s female bass player and treated her to a similar, annt-American tirade along the lines of “Your lot brought the fucking missiles over.”
The scene was set for a minority to try and spoil Black Flag’s performance (comparable to the Birthday Party at their most manic), which was fortunately an impossible task.
I wonder if the persons mentioned above realise that labelling all Americans as pro-nuclear, commie-hating, fascist rednecks, is as much racism as the NF/BM labelling all blacks as dope-pushing, white-hating pimps and muggers.
As someone who has read Molotov Comics from its inception, SWells’s lack of humour and blinkered attitude astounded me.
T.Lacy, Leeds

It did? You can’t have read it ery carefully. -DW

From the NME‘s letters page, 11 August, 1984
T. Lacy must hae been dweadfully miffed, he’d also been whining in Sounds.