The Dark Stuff: Selected Writings On Rock Music by Nick Kent

By Nick Kent

Rock journalism on: Brian Wilson, Guns’N’Roses, Roky Erickson, the recent York Dolls, Sid Vicious, Roy Orbison, Elvis Costello, The Smiths, Neil younger, Jerry Lee Lewis, Miles Davis, The Pogues, Lou Reed, Syd Barrett, The Rolling Stones, Iggy Pop, Kurt Cobain

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In this sense, punk’s image created the very climate that introduced it to the mainstream and that simultaneously assured it would be frozen out of the mainstream. As Danny 30 Fields has suggested, the “whole thing [punk] just got out of control and whatever chance the Ramones had to get on the radio based on the merit of the music was then wiped out by the Sex Pistols because it became too hot to handle. ” 32 To be sure, there was an unmistakable violence, at least rhetorically, in the Sex Pistols, but there was also a deep sense of humor and recognition of the fundamental absurdity of life.

The Ramones, in particular, were very much aware of the press and publicity they were generating, and were active participants in shaping their image and generating further press interest, as this 1977 interview from the New York Rocker suggests: What was the turning point? Dee Dee: That festival [the 1975 summer Rock Festival at CBGB]. Tommy: The turning point was ... when Lisa Robinson came down... actually we got some nice writeups from some people and we sent them out to the people in the trades, with a little picture of us.

In a gesture symbolic of 32 what Jimmy Carter would later call the nation’s “malaise,” the national Christmas tree was not lit in December 1973. America’s involvement in the Vietnam War officially ended in barely-controlled chaos atop the American embassy in Saigon in April 1975 with the last helicopter leaving as the North Vietnamese took the city. At the center of this crisis of confidence, both literally and symbolically, was New York City, which was headed into bankruptcy in 1975. 5 billion deficit was brought under control through a series of measures that severely impacted the work force, as roughly 60,000 workers were laid off over a three-year period.

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