If you Google Jane Deverson all you will find is that she was the journalist, who with Charles Hamblett, invented the catchy term ‘Generation X’ to describe the disaffected youth born just after the close of the Second World War. Today they are better known as ‘ Baby Boomers ‘, but back in 1963, when she co-wrote the feature in question for the magazine ‘Woman’s Own’, that particular label had not yet been invented. Anyway, Generation X sounds a lot cooler. A book followed in 1964 and it was a copy of this, which budding punk Billy Idol found in his mother’s home, that inspired him to form a band with the same name.
Fast forward eight years to 1972 and the thirty-two year old publishes Night Edge, a collection of distinctly visceral poems whose imagery often recalls the nihilism of Ted Hughes’ Crow, which had appeared two years earlier:
|At a revolutionary printing office*|
Found - a review in a 'monthly magazine of bibliography' Book Lore (1886) of a new magazine The Dynamiter : a record of literary bombshells, books old and new, flung into the camp of the orthodox [London : Printed and published for the proprietor by Thomas Shore**, Jun.,] WorldCat shows that it went to just one issue. The only copy in world libraries is at the British Library in Euston. Amazon list it as 'currently unavailable' assigning it the ASIN number ASIN: B0000EF989. The publisher, and probably the author, seems to have been a minor John Camden Hotten style publisher of the curious, seditious & the scabrous. WorldCat lists another work almost certainly by by him:
Men V. Machinery. Suggestive Facts and Figures, urging National Control of National Powers of Production. By Thomas Shore. With Preface by H. Halliday Sparling. 20 pp., price 2d.
Found a Billy Childish (and Sexton Ming) broadsheet listing 24 books from their Phyroid Press 1978 - 1982. It gives a useful bibliography of their publications (some are now rare) and it also lays down some ground rules when dealing with this esteemed publishing house:-
1. Do not swager yu bollocks when you come in
and dont give us any arty shit
yu will resive a brocken jaw and apendiges pretty qwick
2. If yu bottle out n turn out to be a whimpy one
we will not give you respect
infact we will do you down.
3. Do not talk of CND feminism or any of
that crap or we will bust yu lip
We talk the strong langwige that only children can bear
we drink neat carosean n smoke full strength navi-cut
our noses are smokeing chimny stacks
they fall over and crush yu wife and kids
We feed on boil pork n black cocain...[etc.,]
Found in a now unfindable short-lived magazine Verbal Abuse from 1993 - a post punk manifesto by 'editrix' Chi Chi Valenti in a special Punk issue 'No/ The Future.' Coming out of New York's early 90s underground demi-monde (especially the legendary club Jackie 60) the magazine was, in this issue, boldly keeping the punk flag flying 15 years after its demise. It was a time of AIDS and cyberpunk, just pre internet… Vogue was championing punk fashion for that fall. Contributors included Richard Hell, Matthew Barney, Patti Smith, Charles Henri Ford, Chris Stein, Alan Vega etc., We like a good manifesto and this is a curiosity- a manifesto after the event, proclaiming former glories possibly with a view to re-igniting the dying embers. But some say punk never died..
Punk made good on its only promise -DESTROY- by self-destructing while still in its infancy, thus guaranteeing eternal life.
Punks morals were spray-painted like prophecies on Paris walls by the rioting student of 1968 : 'NEVER WORK' 'BE CRUEL' 'IT IS FORBIDDEN TO FORBID.'
Several derivations of the word punk can be found. The word occurs in Shakespeare to describe a woman of doubtful virtue. Dr Johnson, citing the Bard, defined a punk as ‘a whore, a common prostitute, a strumpet’ while in later street argot it meant yob or hoodlum. But the OED has another definition for punk—‘rotten wood, fungus growing on wood’ or ‘worthless stuff, rubbish’. Recently, I found the OED definition confirmed in a scarce recipe book of circa 1809, and online this was re-affirmed by a modern American naturalist, who called the bracket fungus piptoporus betulinus, ‘white punk’.
This fungus, which is known in the UK as ‘razorstrop fungus’, can hardly be described as 'worthless'. In fact, ‘white punk’ is very valuable if you wish to make a fire but have no cigarette lighter or matches on you, but perhaps do have a magnifying glass, two twigs to rub together or a piece of flint.
Punk is a polypore that grows mainly on silver birches and which, when dried, and cut into strips, makes handy tinder. But don’t take my word for it. Read the wise words of Anon from The Family Receipt Book ( London ca.1809).