Published in 1981, this book by punk poet Garry Johnson – who can be heard on some of Gary Bushell’s ‘Oi!’ albums – has long been out of print. Even the 2008 reissue is selling for 100 quid on Amazon now. To be honest, it isn’t worth this kind of money.
Time to make a free PDF available, then – guaranteed without viruses, malware, dodgy redirecting, etc. I don’t think the publishers, Babylon Books, are still in business – and even if they were, they wouldn’t stand a chance against my expensive lawyers. So here you are:
1981 Garry Johnson – Oi! A View From The Dead End Of The Street
Contents include a Southall eyewitness account – more perspectives on the same disaster are available here – rants and poems. What’s striking is how similar the sentiments expressed by Johnson are to those prevailing in the much maligned Crass/hippie-punk camp. ‘Politics’ left and right only stop you from ‘thinking for yourself’. All politicians are ‘the same’. All organisations want to ‘use the kids’. And so on.
If your politics have never evolved beyond this basic outlook, you should probably, ahem… start ‘thinking for yourself’. However, there’s an immediacy to ‘The Story of Oi!’ (about which – alas! – we learn very little) that makes it one of the most authentic and ‘punk’ documents of the era. And in fairness to Johnson, he was just a pissed-off kid, not an earnest peace punk passing off his musings as philosophy.
A mere two years later, his poems would become much better. Either way – enjoy the book!
Excellent. My copy was stolen when I lent it to a relative in 2000. Thanx!
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