This year there's going to be a lot of talk about Punk Rock here in the UK as it's the 40th Anniversary. The latest Mojo magazine has a big feature on it with articles on The Damned, The Pistols, Buzzcocks, Sniffin' Glue Fanzine, Ramones first visit to the UK, The Roxy, the making of Anarchy in the UK, and The Mont De Marsan Punk Festival in France.
It's a bit funny I think to be spotlighting 1976, yes many of the bands formed (though some had actually been together as early as 1974!) but there were only two records released by UK Punk Bands (New Rose - The Damned and Anarchy in the UK - Sex Pistols). In my mind 1977 is actually the more vital year and I'm sure that next year there will be many more exciting anniversaries to celebrate.
As a teenager back then I remember the outrage that a band like the Pistols created, especially after their appearance on the Today Show and their infamous interview with Bill Grundy. As a result they got thrown off their label and were being banned everywhere. We began to read about them in the music press early in 1976 but it wouldn't be until much later in the year when we actually heard them on record for the first time.
One of the records that was precious to me at the time was the debut album, Teenage Depression by Eddie and the Hot Rods. They weren't really a punk band but somehow got thrown in with the whole Punk/New Wave scene especially after their 1977 hit Do Anything You Wanna Do (which was really talking about exactly the same things that Anarchy in the UK and it's B-Side I Wanna Be Me was).
This November is the 40th Anniversary of it's release.
The band had formed in 1975 and by October the same year they had been building a solid live reputation. After a joint residency with The 101er's (featuring a soon to be member of The Clash - Joe Strummer) they signed to Island Records. In the first week of February 1976 the Canvey Island band released their debut single 'Writing on the Wall'. There's a great clip of them on French TV performing the song.
By late summer they would have another single (a cover of Wooly Bully) and the most magnificent Live at The Marquee EP released. These three records would set the stage for the release in October of a single Teenage Depression and then the Debut Album in November. They also appeared at the 1st European Punk Festival in France that I mentioned above. Also on the bill were Pink Faries, Tyla Gang, Roogalator, Mirrors (featuring Richard Hell and Nick Lowe!) and Little Bob Story. Funny that none of those artists (with the exception of maybe Richard Hell) would have been considered to be Punk! The 1977 Festival would have more Punk bands with the likes of The Clash, The Damned, and The Boys playing alongside others like The Jam, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Rich Kids, Little Bob Story, The Police, Tyla Gang and Dr Feelgood.
1976 was the start for many, a year of opportunity and a few of the bands that formed that year were Buzzcocks, The Adverts, Alternative TV, The Boys, Chelsea, The Damned, The Clash, Eater, Generation X, Penetration, The Rezillos, X-Ray Spex, The Slits, Subway Sect and Siouxsie and the Banshees. I wonder how many of them would think that by the following year they would be written about, have their music played on the radio and for some of them begin building a career that even forty years later is still on the go!
Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!