Sunday, 8 March 2015

God Save the Queen - When Punk Rocked Jubilee Britain - The People's Songs Documentaries


God Save the Queen - When Punk Rocked Jubilee Britain

Click picture to listen to episode

The People's Songs
The high-water mark of punk was at the height of a summer of royal love. One million people, bedecked with Union Jacks, lined London's streets to watch the Royal Family's procession. Many millions more attended street parties to celebrate the Queen's 25th anniversary on the throne.

Meanwhile, a more irreverent (but subsequently more infamous) party had been planned. A boat laden with The Sex Pistols, their Svengali manager Malcolm McLaren, journalists and various friends and hangers-on sailed by The Houses Of Parliament while The Pistols blasted out Anarchy In The UK.

Shortly thereafter, the boat was boarded by police and "persuaded" to return to shore. Tensions ran high, people were arrested. Some were beaten by police. And it wasn't just the establishment that was offended. Lydon was later stabbed by an irate Londoner. TVs were kicked in by fuming fathers. Tabloids raged and protests were staged.

Punk rocked Britain and exposed the fissures and divisions in late 70s Britain. Despite the celebration of our monarchy, the country was on an economic downturn. Jobs were hard to come by, particularly for young people. Life was hard and dull.

It could be argued that punk simply held up a mirror to an ugly society. It certainly allied itself with the outsiders and disenfranchised youth of all kinds. But many of those who were galvanized by punk went onto great things: Adam Ant, Siouxsie Sioux, Morrissey, Billy Idol, Vivienne Westwood and Tony Parsons among many others.

Even the hippie Richard Branson (the third person to sign the Pistols) went on to launch a corporate empire that now has fingers in everything including the burgeoning space travel tourism.

We want to hear from those of you who embraced punk and those who were threatened by it. Was your life affirmed and forever changed by punk... or did you detest it?

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