jeudi 21 juin 2012

Julie Mac , author of "RAGE: A Sharpies Journal, Melbourne 1974 to 1980 "

- Who are you , where are you come from ...
I' m Julie Mac and I grew up in Croydon, a suburb of Melbourne Australia. I lived at home with my father, step-mother, two annoying little brothers and various animals and birds.  

"This is Dad and his mates. Dad is front right."
- How did you come into music ?
My dad was a bodgie and he used to go to rock and roll dances seven nights a week when he was a teenager, our house was always filled with the music of Elvis, Johnny O'Keefe, Jerry Lee Lewis and other 50s legends. (Editor's note : Bodgies refer to a youth subculture that existed in Australia and New Zealand in the 1950s, similar to the Teddy Boy culture in the UK or Greaser culture in the United States.)

 - Your first souvenir about that ?
My first musical obsession was Suzi Quatro. I loved her and had my wall decorated in a big collage of pictures of her. Suzi Quatro's Can the Can was the first album I nagged my parents for when I was eleven, I even had a crying fit to get my own way.  

- What kind of music did you listen when you were young ? Any favorite band when you were young ?
 I listened to Top 40 and mainly liked the harder sounds, Slade, Sweet, T Rex, Aussie glam bands, like Hush, Skyhooks and later Rose Tattoo and the Angels. I don't know a lot about music, I just have favorite songs I like to have on in the background. My favourite Australian bands are The Angels, Rose Tattoo and Hush.  

- First gig ? best gig ?
One of the first gigs I went to was Hush an Aussie Glam rock band, at Iceland, a local ice skating ring. Hush wore satin and had an Asian influence in their stage props. It was a magical night.

 - Did you were in a youth cult ?
When I was 13 I had my long hair cut into a sharpie cut. Sharpies were a youth subculture in Melbourne Australia. They were influenced by the traditional English Skinheads, (not racist) but had a unique Australian flavour. Sharpies started in the 1950/1960s, but were at their strongest in the mid 1970s.

The Melbourne Sharps were fading out as the members grew out of their teens. When I broke up with Skeeta I went out with Iggy, he was one of the Westside Sharps.

 There were a lot more boys in the gangs than girls, so if you broke up with a boyfriend, you would have a new sharpie boyfriend in no time. A good looking sharpie, that could fight and dance was a grouse boyfriend to have. At the end of my sharpie period, I went out with Chap from the St Albans Sharps.

After my sharpie period, I became a punk, the two sub cultures were closely related, especially in attitude.

- Does style was important for you ? 
Style was important to all Sharpies, it was what defined us. The hair, clothes, jewelry, tattoos, dance and music.  

- Your past hobbies ? your best souvenirs ?
My bedroom was like any teenage girls? room, full of treasures and things that were important to me and the sharpie scene.

 - And now ? 
Now I am an old lady, style isn't that important to me, but I remembered how important style was when my daughter was growing up and asking for the latest brands.  I still listen to top 40 and music from the 70s.  

- Your 5 favorite records ? your favorite song ?
It is hard to say what my favourite songs would be, but recently I bought some old cassette tapes from ebay as my current car has a tape player, I bought : Slade's greatest hits Sweet's greatest hits The Angels's greatest hits Skyhooks Living in the 70s Rose Tattoo And will be looking to buy Can the Can by Suzi Quatro next

RAGE is available here :

vendredi 1 juin 2012

Cockney Rejects Interview - Grinding Halt - 1980

The Cockney Rejects must be one of the most earthly, solid punk bands to have arisen in the last couple of years, and one of few to present punk in the way it should be heard.
Nowadays bands use all sorts of gadgets which detract from the spontaneity asnd simplicity of the music. The Rejects, however resist this and are writing and playing songs in the way groups did some three years ago.
This is what they had to say after their set supporting Slaughter:

- Is the new single (Greatest Cockney Rip Off) a reference to Jimmy Pursey?
Micky Geggus: No, well it's a bit of a piss take really, like he goes round calling himself the great cockney cowboy and all that but he never goes near the  place,y' know what I mean?

- Did you have an argument with him ?
MG : Yeah, a bit — let's drop it though 'cos he isn't really worth it. l've had enough
of him.

- How did you feel about the press the album got ?
MG : Well, I was happy with the album and that's all that really matters to me. I reckon it's a good album, and that's good enough for me, the press ain't all that important —  Gary Bushell gave it a good write up though.

- How did the Gary Bushell link come about ?
MG : Well, basically I sent him a tape and he liked it and it all went from there. But he had to choose between writing and managing and he chose writing 'cos you can't do both properly at the same time.

- Why is no-one credited on the album ?
Nigel Woolf : The guy who played on the album was bought out and so they didn't have to credit him. £200 was all it cost to buy him out. I arrived to late to have anything on the album. It was too late to do it all  again so no-one was credited. 

- Why did you choose EMI ?
NW : They choose us. Someone came to one of our gigs and liked us and it all went from there.

- How do you get on with them ?
NW :  Well, they're really great to work with, they give us everything we want and they're really generous and helpful.

- Why did you leave Small Wonder ?
Vince Riordon : Well, they're a bunch of wankers, always trying to rip bands off, all this talk about them being good 'cos they're a small company is crap. Small Wonder are only interested in Crass who are a bunch of bloody hippies - crap.  We've no regrets about choosing EMI. A lot of bands go around saying its best to be on a small label and all that, but that's a load of bollocks really. You hear about how EMI treated the Sex Pistols and all that, but they're great really. Other groups only say small companies are best 'cos the  big ones aren't interested in them and won't give them a major recording contract.

- Do you have any particular musical influences?
NW : Well, Micky and Stinky are influenced by God Save the Queen and all that stuff.

- How did the Rejects get started ?
NW : Well, Micky and Stinky used to be in a band called The Shitters then Vince came in from thE Deadflowers and then me from Back To Zero.

- Are you pleased with the way the album's been selling?
NW : Yeah, very pleased. It's outsold Sham's first two albums already, and I think that's really great.

- What exactly happened about Jimmy Pursey?
NW : Well, he'd come in and start telling everyone what to do and he'd try to change things, to how he wanted them, and not how the band wanted them to be and they just told him to fuck off.

- Have you been asked to do TOTP?
NW : Well, do it when we get asked. And Tiswas - I'd love to go on Tiswas.

- Why were so many dates cancelled on your recent tour ?
Simply because they thought there was always trouble at our gigs.

- Is there ?
VR : No, not really...well, you saw tonight - when have you seen so many punks and skinheads in one hall
and there was only one fight, which we sorted out ourselves. But there isn't much violence at our gigs at all. A lot of people say skins are violent  but the ones who follow us around are quite peaceful really.

- A lot of bands that started off in the early days of punk have changed musical direction, like The Clash, and many have become more commercial. Can you see this happening to The Rejects?
MG : No, I hope not. I Can't see any reason why we should. We'll just keep on going as we are.

And on that optimistic note we left it - lets hope they keep to their work, for I would hate to seet The  Rejects enegy surpressed, and for them to follow the same course as many other Punk bands, that arose before them.