Saturday, 16 November 2013

Soul Jazz founder Stuart Baker and critic Jon Savage on the rise and fall of punk

Stuart Baker, Alexis Petridis and Jon Savage (l-r)
If there's one thing old punks like discussing - it's when punk began and when it died. And so it was that, amid a talk at Rough Trade East primarily about punk 45 sleeves, Soul Jazz records founder Stuart Baker and punk writer Jon Savage turned to the rise and fall of their beloved genre.

Savage's opinion was that, by the Sex Pistols released Never Mind the Bollocks, the buzz around the band synonymous with the genre had already begun to dissipate. Baker, who was a younger punk at the time, believed that while no punk bands sold out, the zeitgeist simply shifted on.

The event itself was an interesting one. To mark the launch of a new book, 'The Singles Cover Art of Punk 1976-80', a collaboration between Baker and Savage featuring some fantastic, iconic imagery.  Everything from the Voidoids to the Stooges feature although Baker's favourite sleeve - featuring a man with his head stuck in a fence - could not be found, he says.

Baker and Savage, marshalled by Guardian journalist and chair Alexis Petridis, also discuss influences on punk design including Pistols sleeve honcho Jamie Reid. The audience features plenty of first generation punks and one pointedly asks whether the genre will die with them. While there's plenty of nods, Baker believes the spirit of a genre which ripped up the rule book, and some of the landmark tunes that went with it, will go on for generations. I tend to agree.

Jon Savage and Stuart Baker debate when punk ended.

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