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Chris Packham: Forever Punk

Discussion in 'music' started by Tony L, Jan 5, 2020.

  1. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    BBC nature presenter/campaigner gets an hour on BBC4 next Friday (10th) to discuss his punk roots and influences (BBC). I look forward to this as he’s always got an interesting perspective on things and his dropping Clash song titles or whatever into AutumnWatch is always amusing.

    PS He is well worth following on Facebook, Twitter etc, certainly one of the good guys and he is getting a lot of vile abuse and harassment from those who enjoy violence towards animals, e.g. he had a dead fox left on his doorstep recently, has had crows hung from his fence etc. Some really vile stuff that deserves spotlighting and the wider public supporting him.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
  2. blossomchris

    blossomchris I feel better than James Brown

    Admire him a lot, a true individual. I will watch it and ignore the Clash clips, cannot stand them.

    Tim Jones and paulfromcamden like this.
  3. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’m fine with The Clash up to and including London Calling, their high-watermark IMO, but I hate the later chart pop stuff (Rock The Casbah, Should I stay etc). All very safe middle-class rebellion though, but so much punk was when you research it. Largely kids from the ‘burbs acting up a bit. I find the later DIY and new-wave thing far more interesting and long-lasting in influence, but punk certainly had to happen. The really important stuff was Patti Smith, Talking Heads, Television, Ramones, Suicide and the rest of the CBGBs scene IMO. It is hard to comprehend Horses came out way back in 1975! I hereby nominate Wire as by far the best UK band that could be described as punk, but really they were new wave a year or two early! I’m certainly far more likely to dig out Wire, Magazine, Joy Division, PIL, The Cure, Slits or whatever than any of the original UK punk albums for a spin. I’m very curious to see what Chris selects as he’s a couple of years older than me so may have a slightly different perspective.
    Jono_13, moffer and blossomchris like this.
  4. Ward

    Ward Active Member

    There was a very interesting and revealing program on TV some time back where Chris went into considerable detail about how his life has been affected by 'Aspergers syndrome' and how he copes with relationships and being in the spotlight. I totally agree Tony, he is a very special man and am personally grateful for his enlightenments as my eldest son has been diagnosed with the same condition.
    Jono_13, jackbarron, Gaycha and 2 others like this.
  5. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Waiting for the streetcar..

    Once they'd got 'Mary is a Dyke' out of the system and ditched George Gill, they weren't really punk. Great band, nevertheless.

    Seems a good excuse to post a link to this:
  6. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Never heard that phase, or even knew of its existence! Will have a listen later.
  7. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Waiting for the streetcar..

    You might be in for a bit of a surprise - even if you have heard 'Behind the Curtain'
  8. Weekender

    Weekender pfm Member

    Top fella...will be watching. Ta.
  9. blossomchris

    blossomchris I feel better than James Brown

    Talking Heads and Joy Division work for me. I agree Patti Smith, although I poed poed this on first listen, now I appreciate it. Some of The Fall and Johnathan Richmond are enjoyed, but the no 1 punk record for me is the VU. I think this has been mentioned before but punk encouraged New Wave, which in many ways is far more interesting for me.

    Apologises if some are not classed as punk, but I am not very logical with genres of music.

  10. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    If we go back to the VU, which is perfectly valid IMO, then we obviously need to add the first Stooges album and probably MC5’s Kick Out The Jams too! I’m more inclined to argue the latter two were the genesis of punk and the VU (along with Can) were the blueprint for ‘80s indie, so even further ahead stylistically. Guitar based rock music had evolved little from here really to my ears, anything I’d cite as ‘new’ since is operating a fair bit beyond a conventional two guitars, bass and drums format.
    Weekender likes this.
  11. blossomchris

    blossomchris I feel better than James Brown

    I do need to have a listen to some Can material, another I missed.

  12. Sean K

    Sean K pfm Member

    I just don't get the MC5. I've had kick out the Jams for about 20 years and have never managed to get all the way through it in the times I've given it a spin. It just sounds like fast, distorted, bog-standard rock to me; boring and more than a bit corny.

    I could see how, being unaware of the context, someone could listen to the hot five/seven, Bird or Bechet and think, "Well, it's just jazz, isn't it? Loads of people make that kind of music". (although, anyone who hears West End Blues for the first time and doesn't break down and cry at the realisation something so beautiful could exist and have been created by Man, must have a heart of stone). However, I love the 13th Floor Elevators, The Stooges, The Sonics and it seems easy to see why most people think they're so good. I get that I could just be missing the historical context. I know I'm one of the younger members here (I'm only 50 next week, arf, arf) but I think I'm as knowledgeable as most about 60s music.

    What am I missing?
  13. Sean K

    Sean K pfm Member

    Oh, you must, you really must! There's so much in there to like.
    blossomchris likes this.
  14. RickyC6

    RickyC6 Infuriate the frog-men

    The Sonics are playing my local pub in a few months.
  15. Gaycha

    Gaycha pfm Member

    I read his auto biography a few years ago. It's a good read. He has suffered a lot from mental health and self esteem issues, but has overcome them.

    Used to love the Really Wild Show with him and Michele Strachan.

    Will listen. Good heads up thnx
  16. Gaycha

    Gaycha pfm Member

    Saw that too. He is an interesting character in how he has dealt with 'stuff'
  17. Gaycha

    Gaycha pfm Member

  18. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    A lot of the best punk is fast distorted bog-standard rock! The thing with the MC5 is the political backdrop, the involvement of John Sinclair, the connection to the Black Panthers and the civil rights movement and more extreme counterculture of that era. Bands like The Clash, Crass etc certainly learned a lot from them. Obviously a huge influence on Patti Smith (married to the late Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith) too.

    Kick Out The Jams is not an album I play that often, but it is certainly one I’d never sell (I was lucky to stumble over a really nice (uncensored) US original for very little money). It deserves its place in rock history IMO as there was nothing quite like it beforehand and it influenced a lot that came later, as all great albums should. Its one of those albums you’ll always find in punk, new-wave and indie band’s record collections along with VU, Stooges, Can, Bowie etc. There is a very good MC5 documentary film somewhere, and predictably I’ve forgotten what is called, but it documents their part in all the riots and everything that was blowing up at the time.
    Sean K likes this.
  19. Yank

    Yank Bulbous Also Tapered

    I think Roxy has to fit in there somewhere as an early influence.
    Tony L likes this.
  20. deebster

    deebster Half Man Half Biscuit

    I've got a lot of respect for Chris Packham, especially since seeing his programme on Asperger's (and recognising in myself some of those traits).

    The telly needs more people like him who are clearly extremely knowledgeable in and devoted to their subject, and manage to come across as honest and decent.

    What nailed it for me was hearing him say how someone bet him that he couldn't fit the Cure song title 'Killing an Arab' into a wildlife programme. He thought about it a bit and won by ending one programme with … 'killing' and starting the next with 'An Arab'.

    MVV, Weekender and Sean K like this.

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