Punk: The Original

John Holmstrom

A collection of the best material (1976-1981) from the seminal NYC-based zine Punk, including interviews, cartoons, collages and plenty of photos (some in color) of all your favorite punk rockers: Blondie, The Ramones, the Voidoids, Edith Massey(!), the Bay City Rollers(?), Patti Smith, The Clash, AC/DC(??), the Iggster and, of course (what self-respecting zine of the genre would be complete without?), the beloved Pistols. Contains a pictorial interview with Rotten (still sportin’ zits) in which the budding entertainer, with characteristic understatement, reflects on the importance of audience approval (“If they don’t like it they can fuck off”), as well as a poignant phone interview with a vulnerable Sid Vicious on the heels of the band’s collapse. What’s most striking about the collection is the utter absence of genuine mean-spiritedness and that its caustic edge is never without an equal dose of knuckleheaded, naughty good cheer (compliments of, among others, Lester Bangs and Legs McNeil). With a table of contents that includes a short commentary by Holmstrom for each entry, Punk: The Original is a joyful, comical and, yes, informative celebration of a musical movement at its short-lived first wave peak. A must-read for anyone interested in the glorious ragtag origins of punk. MDG

Publisher: Trans-High
Paperback: 136 pages