Sounds, December 29, 1979

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NO ELVIS, Beatles or Rolling Stones, huh? … well, Elvis did scoff his last cheeseburger and these were the days memories were made of weren’t they? .. Clash appeared on the cover of the year’s first issue of Sounds, released a debut single and unleashed a million eighteenth rate imitations… the year’s most surprising success, the Stranglers, first come to national notoriety when Hugh Cornwell wears a t-shirt proclaiming ‘Fuck’ when they support Climax Blues Band (!) at the Rainbow…

The Pistols, those fun-loving kids get dropped by EMI for being themselves, dump Glen Matlock (who re-surfaces later in the year with the Rich Kids), bring in Sid on bass and chemistry sets, sign to A&M outside Buck House and get dumped again a week later for being themselves – they finally end up with Mike Oldfield on Virgin…

The Roxy is the fun house for the first half of the year – Jane Suck writes “The Roxy is turning into Babylon… The guy in the Nazi arm band finishes me – I’m in fits.. There’s Bryan Rotten again. If I’d thought of it at the time I would have told him that I’ll let him play bass in my band. Outside someone has crashed out over the roof of a car. I am still standing, does that make me a member, and can I come back soon, please – huh, please? …

Rough Trade becomes the shop to be seen buying the year’s new size, the twelve-inch single, and this year’s hue, coloured vinyl – all in pic sleeves, natch (that last word is dedicated to Charles Shaar Revenge) … Bob Geldof starts opening his mouth for the press – tell us when he stops, someone… Iggy comes back from the dead accompanied by a very louche (another word of the year) Bowie playing with synthesisers and things side-stage – this is called “Lust for Life”…

‘Roots’ reminds blacks that they too have a history and make cynics wonder if we really needed a ‘Gone With The Chains’ … some wag starts a Sounds correspondence on the subject of the Bank Generation… Bryan Ferry fits right into the mood of the times by touring the world in a tuxedo with a hundred and fifty piece band… Roger Daltrey displays his world renowned taste and intellect by dressing up as a punk…

Bernie Rhodes organises ‘The last big event before we go to jail’ which Birmingham council puts the blocks on – somebody’s yet to ask him why we’re still (relatively) free … Marc Bolan wraps his purple mini round an old oak tree… Keef is arrested for trafficking in heroin in Toronto and appears in an Aylesbury court room charged with possession of LSD and cocaine, when the judge asks exactly what a lead guitarist does, Keef replies “It means I make a lot of noise”…

Punk still cops the main headlines though with Rotten being beaten up in a car park and Paul Cook gets attacked with an iron bar… Henry Bowles is pushed to his death though a plate glass window by bouncers at the Bell in Kings Cross… everyone except the Pistols goes to Mont De Marsan for the second French punk festival where Captain lobs stink bombs onto the stage during the Clash’s set, gets elbowed off and lands with one leg painfully either side of a fence, poor boy…

The punk exploitation sets in with masterpieces like ‘Live At The Vortex’ and bands like Eater, Cortinas, Unwanted, Worst, Maniacs, Art Attacks, Wasps and Skrewdriver while Jimmy Pursey manages to get his name in the news for the first time by being arrested for playing a gig on a roof top … Elvis Costello busks on the pavement outside the CBS convention in London, gets arrested and finally signed by CBS in America as people start to wonder if they’re famous, nasty, stupid, obnoxious enough to be in Mr Bitter and Twisted’s Little Black Book – he rounds off the year as one of the participants on the first Stiff tour, finishing a close second to Ian Dury

The Yachts point to the wind of change lying through their teeth as they claim “We don’t want to sleep with girls, we want to marry them”… the year when everything was ‘burning’, preferably in a fanzine, the Islington Gazette interviewed Johnny Rotten’s mum and Nick Lowe was still in the pub.

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Sounds, December 29, 1979

Elvis Costello is featured in a recap of the 70's.


1979-12-29 Sounds page 17.jpg
Page scan.

1979-12-29 Sounds cover.jpg 1979-12-29 Sounds pages 16-17.jpg
Cover and page scans.


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