Take a look at seven images from the fan-made literature of the punk era, and read an interview with the legendary music critic who collected them, Jon Savage.
Punk: An Aesthetic is a volume that was published this month by Rizzoli, containing photos and paraphenalia charting the aesthetic influence of punk. Curated by Jon Savage and Johan Kugelberg, the collection includes, as you can see in the gallery below, clippings from just some of the countless self-made zines that sprang up in response to the mainstream media blackout on the punk movement. As a round-about tribute to Dummy’s own heritage as an independent music publication, take a look below at covers from zines including ‘Sniffin’ Glue’ (including the cover of the issue that contained the first ever interview with The Clash), North Carolina’s ‘The Heroin Addict’, and the punk-ish visuals that crept into rock broadsheet ‘Fusion’ and ‘Slash’ magazine.
Before you scroll through our gallery, though, read what the iconic punk music critic Jon Savage had to say about his thoughts behind the project.
Hello! Could you please introduce ‘Punk: An Aesthetic’ and explain a little bit more about the overarching narrative behind the project?
Loving Punk, being fans, wanting to share it, wanting today’s teens and twentysomethings to see the raw material – not filtered through TV nostalgia.
How did you go about acquiring and selecting the images for the collection?
From collections, some held since 1977. Johan and I know this stuff, but are always trying to find something new, i.e. pre punk material
Are there any particular images in the gallery that strike a personal chord for you? Could you tell us a little more about them?
I love the Gary Panter Screamers logo. I remember meeting the band in Los Angeles and San Francisco in September 1978 and watching them record a Performance Art video for 122 Hours of Fear on my birthday. It was at Target video. They never made a record but nearly 150,000 people have watched the clip. Here it is:
In a world where information is so freely available to us, it’s hard to imagine a time when the masses were dependent on self-published zines. You published a zine of your own, ‘London’s Outrage’, back in the 1970s – can you tell us more about the process you had to go through?
Saw the Sex Pistols and the Clash. Had strong ideas and responses and feelings about them and what was happening to England. Slapped together about 15 montaged pages, photocopied at work = instant fanzine (Dec 1976). Sold it at Rough Trade. Instant arena. Got a job at Sounds on the back of it.
Is there a comparison to be made between the independent music blogs of today and the zines produced with blood, sweat and Xerox in the 70s?
Yes. Except Punk was highly focussed to a degree that’s impossible today. It was easy to get heard and read, all you had to do was to do something.
How would you describe the definitive punk aesthetic?
John D. Morton’s cock.