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 Recent interviews with Tony D for Noisey (Vice) / Doomed To Extinction / Maximum Rock And Roll about Kill Your Pet Puppy 
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Post  Recent interviews with Tony D for Noisey (Vice) / Doomed To Extinction / Maximum Rock And Roll about Kill Your Pet Puppy
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Tony D (Mick Mercer collection)

1/

I#8217;m an intern at Noisey France (Vice magazine musical platform) and I wanted to write an article about Kill Your Pet Puppy. At first because I#8217;ve been following you for ages and discovered loads of punk and gothy bands, and also because I truly believe KYPP delivers the best snapshot of the whole British punk generation.

I#8217;d like my piece to demonstrate how a 6-issue fanzine from the early 80s redeveloped into an ultra thick database on the Internet, with pictures, scans, videos and plenty of incredible (and touching) stories.

For that purpose, I#8217;d really appreciate if you could answer a couple of questions for me. I#8217;m looking forward to hearing from you.

Here are my questions. I look forward to hearing for you and reading your answers.

Sarah: KYPP turned into a website in 2007, how did you come up with this idea? How did a 6-issue fanzine end up to be one the major showcase of an entire subculture and music of the 80s era ?

It was a case of being in the right place at the right time. The story begins with the Kill Your Pet Puppy page on MySpace, started in March 2007, and grows from there. The MySpace project was sparked off as a response to Ian Glasper’s book on anarcho-punk, ‘The Day The Country Died’ which was published in late 2006.

Glasper only concentrated on the music, doing interview after interview with bands. I thought Glasper missed the main point of anarcho-punk, which for me was life-style, so the original focus of the MySpace page was on the culture and life-style of anarcho-punk.

This page attracted a lot of attention as loads of photos of punks and gigs from the time were uploaded and each punk was named and the location was noted. This was radical for the time, when normally a punk picture in the media would have a caption along the lines of, ‘some punks’.

The naming of people, because they were known and the situations they were in were known gave the site an immediate authenticity; this led to more photos and stuff being made available for the site.

There wasn’t a lot about anarcho-punk on the internet at the time, it had been virtually scrubbed out of history, and a lot of people from the time were delighted to see it being recognised – their past being given a validity if you like.

We quickly outgrew the space limitations on Myspace (at that time – there is now no limit on photographs uploaded, but there was in early 2007) and set up a photobucket site for the ever-expanding photo-collection.

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Gerard (Gerard collection)

This inspired the move to our stand-alone website / blog, Gerard of the band Flowers In The Dustbin offered to help me set it up and it was launched in October 2007.

The focus was initially on the life-style and culture of anarcho-punk, what we felt was an untold and important story. However when moving to the site it was decided that some of the cassette-only releases from the time the time would be a good part of this forgotten history to start with, and went about tracking them down and putting them on the site to download.

Gerard was an inspiration behind this as he had started putting Flowers In The Dustbin tracks on his own site from old cassette tapes. Two other people were involved in setting up the site, Al Puppy and Penguin.

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Al Puppy (Mick Mercer collection)

Al wrote analytical pieces about the era, putting them in context of the times.

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Brother Rob and Penguin (Penguin collection)

Penguin took charge of adding music –he had the technical skill to do this having just starting doing it for The Mob and All The Madmen Myspace sites.

So as you can see it was never intended just to be a site about the fanzine, but about the culture of the time. The name Kill Your Pet Puppy was used for the site title because that’s what I was doing at the time we were going to be covering, and those around at that time knew the name so it would help them discover what was going on.

Sarah: KYPP has a really human feature, it#8217;s not solely about known or rather unknown bands, but also about people. There are loads of personal stories, squatting experiences, birthday wishes, and sadly obituaries. Could you comment on that human and very authentic nature?

Calling the site Kill Your Pet Puppy, and being written by myself and other people known from the time, certainly helped others know this was as authentic as you could get.

It struck a nerve in a lot of people; who liked the open, frank and non-judgemental way this era was being opened up. The more tales of life we got, the more that followed – sometimes as posts but more often in long comments. Each post would often result in a hundred or more comments underneath.

I think people want to tell their story, and say, ‘yes this really happened, I didn’t imagine it’. Reading other people’s version of events also contributed to jogging memories, ‘ah yes I remember that gig/squat/event’.  When this started happening the ball really began to roll and I realised how much people wanted this story needed to be told.

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Tony D#8217;s typewriter (Mick Mercer collection)

Sarah: Politically, your fanzine (and website) clearly advocates for anarchy. It was founded in 1979, the year when Thatcher came into power and imposed tough and quite reactionary politics. As the regime get more radical, people (especially young people) gathered and created communities on the fringe of society. In today pretty troubled situation, deadly final cuts on NHS and Euro scepticism, could a second wave anarcho-punk happen?

There is a lot of opposition today, better organised and more determined than I ever was. It was a conscious decision not to use the site for commentary on current issues, as that would take more time and commitment than I have at present. Politically Indy Media do a far better job of it than we could ever do.

A ‘second-wave’ of anarcho-punk as in the music and bands may well be happening, there’s certainly a thriving live scene as illustrated by the gig guide on the KYPP site. You’d have to ask the bands themselves if they considered themselves anarcho-punk.

Sarah: What I really enjoyed about KYPP is the whole bunch of anecdotes and facts about bands I went through. Is there one anecdote about that period that you particularly like?

Bob Short’s (from the band Blood amp; Roses) writing about the time is second to none: the tale of a Friday night attack on his squat by drunken scousers has to be read to be believed. It was printed in his first book, ‘Trash Can’, and also extracted for the site
[URL=http://killyourpetpuppy.co.uk/news/1980-bob-short-from-his-book-trash-can-available-from-httpwwwlulucomcontent956220/comment-page-3/]HERE[/URL]

This post on the KYPP site has since generated 555 comments. Bob’s account of meeting a goblin whilst squatting a hospital is another really good anecdote of the time, and can be found in his second book, ‘Filth’, both books were published by Independence Jones [URL=http://www.independencejones.com/]HERE[/URL]

Sarah: You uploaded plenty of records (from your personal collection?), and made it accessible to your readership thanks to Mediafire. Is that the climax of fanzine, providing directly music while reading a paper or maybe it encourage laziness and people digging less ?

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Penguin (Penguin collection)

During the discussions with Gerard about the construction of the site, it was agreed by both of us, that I should ask Penguin who had previously helped out at the All The Madmen record label, and who was now creating interest in that label and interest in The Mob on the internet, whether he would be prepared to sacrifice some time helping us start up the site with uploading his collection of old cassettes and rare vinyl.

Penguin agreed to be part of the then embryonic site, and stated that he was happy to do whatever it is he does to put the posts with up loadable material onto the site.

All musical uploads on Penguins posts are from original vinyl or cassettes recorded onto his hard drive through his stereo system. Penguin has informed me in the past that he has not listened to these rare tapes or dusted off some of those rare records he uploads onto the site for many many years! The material is mostly from his personal collection but if a cassette or vinyl is lent to him, then the donor is mentioned in the post.

As the music started appearing we had lots of offers from bands to put their material up, and soon it was becoming a major focus of the site; all this unimaginably rare music being available to interested parties in digital format for the first time for decades.

Whether this has encouraged as you say, ‘laziness’, or begun people on a voyage of investigation and discovery – as they follow up from an upload – it’s probably a little from column A and a little from column B.

The long and informative essays Penguin often adds to his download helps, I think, in inspiring further discovery and knowledge of these uploaded bands. It also helps the bands; It has certainly helped the revival and reformation of some of these bands, such as Part 1, the Mob, Hagar The Womb amongst others.

Being a font of obscure punk music wasn’t part of the original plan but it has really helped shaped the character of the site. It is impossible to give too much credit to Penguin for his contributions to the site and it’s best to see the music as less the ‘climax of a fanzine’ but as adding interest and contributing to the whole thing.

Sarah: Interviews, music downloads, pictures, flyers#8230; KYPP is a really opulent database for the 1980s punk period. Is there even more to be uploaded, or did KYPP reached its stability as a well-documented punk platform? Do you have any upcoming project ?

You never know what’s out there. The ultimate project is to gather all that’s happened on the site and publish it in book form, but there’s still new stuff being unearthed or being written, such as this recent post from Del Blyben called #8216;Degenerate#8217; [URL=http://killyourpetpuppy.co.uk/news/degenerate-del-blyben/]HERE[/URL]


Meanwhile Penguin continues to source new sounds and words, it’s not over yet!

Sarah: KYPP also features more gothy bands like Blood And Roses, Sex Gang Children or Current 93 and Coil, did you witness the arrival of goth among punk communities? Did they stirred together with punks and hung around, or rather stayed with their likes?

The two most common names on leather jackets were always Crass and The Ants; the two went together for most people with out a problem. As well as the Ants, bands such as the Psychedelic Furs and Bau Haus were also highly regarded. Of course this was pre-Kings Of The Wild Frontier Ants; after Adam went mainstream a surge of bands moved in to fill the vacuum.

These took on aspects of The original Ants and became, to cut a long story short, the Goths: I’m thinking about Theatre Of Hate, Southern Death Cult, UK Decay, Sex Gang Children and Blood amp; Roses. As Goth became bigger and evolved into the ‘Batcave scene’ it became more of a one way street with anarcho-punks liking goth more than goths liked anarcho-punk.

Bands like Coil and Current 93 came on the coattails of Genesis P. Orridge’s post Throbbing Gristle project Psychic TV and it’s accompanying Thee Temple Ov Psychic Youth.

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The rear of 50 Beck Road Hackney #8211; Base of Psychic TV and thee Temple Of Psychic Youth (Penguin collection)

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Brougham Road Hackney (Penguin collection)

Genesis hung around the anarcho-punk scene; in fact he lived in a house only a few streets away from, and had regular interaction with, the notorious anarcho-punk squatted street Brougham Road in Hackney.

Psychic TV swept through the anarcho-scene, this brought in more occult overtones and from this mix grew two new branches which can be linked to anarcho-punk: industrial music and Chaos Magic. Penguin and Al Puppy occasionally discuss either or both of these offshoots in their posts on the site.

Sarah: Squatting is an important topic in KYPP, what was the importance of places such as the Centro Iberico and the Autonomy Center? Which kind of role did you play there?

The importance of places such as the Centro Iberico and Autonomy Centre were that these were extensions of people’s squatted life-style, ‘Squat gigs for squat’ people, as Adam never said. It also helped that there was no charge to put on bands at these places so we could just go ahead, experiment and do it. If the gig was a disaster it didn’t really matter, it was just a laugh.

There was an eight month gap between KYPP4 and KYPP5 as the Puppy Collective (as we had become known) were involved in put on weekly gigs at the Centro Iberico. A quote from KYPP5 explains, “that centre is the reason for Pet Puppy not appearing for so long – too much was happening to capture the mood. The mood was ‘Do It’ not ‘Write About People Doing It’ so we were doing it.”

Large parts of London were empty at this time, so squatting was rife and not just limited to punks or hippies. Often councils turned a blind eye to mass squatting in their borough. Squatting was a way of maintaining a very low-income life-style as there was no rent to pay, the only cost being very little security. It became an integral part of the anarcho-scene, as often gigs were in the basements of buildings squatted briefly for the gig. The rave scene developed this philosophy with ‘warehouse parties’.

Sarah: KYPP seems to have a pretty intimate relation with band The Mob. Do you think anarcho-punk (and other kinds of music tackled by the zine) maybe had a more human approach, far from the big venue first wave punk finally reached?

We saw The Mob by accident at a free festival in Hampstead Heath, having gone to see a band called King Trigger. The Mob blew us away, and became a sort of figurehead for anarcho-punk as they both played lots of squatted and impromptu gigs and their sound/lyrics caught the mood of the moment. And became, as you suggest, ‘the human face’ of the scene.

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Tony D, Tai Chi and teepee (Mick Mercer collection)

Not long after that festival members of The Mob and The Puppy Collective formed a housing co-op and moved into a big house together, 103 Grosvenor Avenue.

It was all about the human approach. Anarcho punk evolved as a way of bringing together punks who felt disenfranchised by the original bands such as The Clash and the Banshees. People had moved to London to be part of the punk energy, then when they found there wasn’t any began to make the energy themselves. Some of this new energy became anarcho punk.

Sarah: I saw you have delivered talks at various events such as at the ICA, for Toby Mott’s exhibition ‘Loud Flash’, and answered questions at a South Bank event based around Jon Savage#8217;s book “Punk: An Aesthetic”. Do you see yourself as a kind of punk sociologist, a true and trustworthy observer from the past generation?

Author Teal Triggs has done pieces on me at various times and invited me to the launch for her book called ‘Fanzines’ . At the launch I spoke to Malcolm from Housmans bookshop; he was putting on a discussion at the ICA, and asked if I was interested in being one of the speakers. Thus started my career as a ‘punk spokesman’.

The launch event I covered on the Kill Your Pet Puppy site
[URL=http://killyourpetpuppy.co.uk/news/didnt-you-used-to-be-tony-d/]HERE[/URL]

I’ve found amongst music historians and even the standard ‘punk’ observers there is still a lack of understanding of anarcho-punk; so feel I have to go along and do my bit to re-introduce this era to history. The comments below that piece show the same feeling of resentment to so-called ‘punk sociologists’ such as Peter York who, as one commenter points out, pushes a philosophy of ‘punk ended the day I lost interest in it.’

Stewart Home was at the ICA talk, and he seems to have made a career out of going from talk to talk around the world. I admire his enterprise but only do the odd ones myself; where is the time to do everything we want to do? That’s the question.

I don’t know if this covers your brief to, ‘demonstrate how a 6-issue fanzine from the early 80s redeveloped into an ultra thick database on the Internet, with pictures, scans, videos and plenty of incredible (and touching) stories.’  But I hope it helps explain a bit about it.

Questions for Noisey / Vice collated by Sarah Mandois - 2014



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Tony D (Mick Mercer collection)

2/

Tony thanks a lot for taking time to answer my questions.

Kuurschluus: When did you first start Kill Your Pet Puppy? Did it originally start it as a zine, concert organizing crew, squatting collective? How many of you were involved?

It started as a zine. There were about nine people at the formation stage which whittled down to five as the project developed; some of those nine were in a band called The Last Words and concentrated on that instead.

The other areas you mention grew from being in the Ants/Crass punk scene at the time, we may have got involved with them anyway but certainly it helped having the fanzine as a focus for action.

Squatting: we were living in a squat at the time; in fact we were living in one room at the time, and only gradually took over other parts of the building later. We were taken on as tenants by West Hampstead Housing Association, who owned the building, and from our experiences with them developed the ‘punk’ housing co-operative known as Black Sheep.

Concert organising crew: when the Anarchy Centre began putting on gigs we got involved. Andee Martin was in charge of bands and the stage whilst we brought in food and drink as there was nothing there (Brett Puppy used to make veggie curries in the morning and we’d transport them to Wapping on the tube in the afternoon. A friend with a car used to buy crates of beer and drive them to the Centre).

When the Centre was closed down we were instrumental in opening up Centro Iberico to weekly punk gigs/events and transferring the name ‘Anarchy Centre’ to this school in West London squatted by Spanish anarchists. It was here we got more involved in organising the stage side of things, though Brett continued to make his veggie curries for this new venue.

Puppy Collective numbers: from the nine to the five to by Centro Iberico fifteen. The word ‘collective’ was used because a lot of people were involved but didn’t write anything for KYPP.

Kuurschluus: How many issues of the zine did you release? How many copies per issue did you print? Was it focused on politics as much as the music?

There were six in total over three years. How many were printed is a mystery, three different companies were involved in the printing at different times and each had their own way of doing things.

KYPP 1, 2 and 3 were printed by Better Badges. They had an agreement where we would only have to pay for as many or few copies off the zine as we wanted, at about 50% of the cover cost, rather than a full print run cost. What BB got out of it was they could print as many as they wanted and sell them at their stalls, via mail order and other methods they could devise.

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KYPP1 (Penguin collection)

KYPP1 was a bit different to the following issues and was an experiment for both Better Badges and KYPP. The Ants were going to be doing a new years eve concert in London, and as matters progressed with the zine it was agreed that concert would be a fine time to have it ready and on sale at the Better Badges stall at the venue. Adam was in on this, and he rushed the front cover picture direct to Better Badges so it would be ready; 500 copies were finished in time and the Better Badges stall sold the lot that night! Luckily a copy was saved for me or I would have missed seeing it on the launch.

Some of the experimental printing in that first run was a bit too hard to read because of the yellow ink on white paper (!) and so it was agreed to tone down the yellow for the next run of that issue. At that point I have no idea how many more were printed, I used to go up to Better Badges and buy fifty or a hundred at a time to sell at gigs and sold about a thousand more before it was time for the next issue a couple of months later.

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KYPP2 (Penguin collection)

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KYPP3 (Penguin collection)

KYPP2 and 3 were produced by Better Badges under the same agreement, again I sold about a thousand of each and Better Badges sold whatever they sold. Joly of Better Badges later told me when Better Badges did a mail order offer of ‘10 mystery fanzines for whatever’ – I can’t remember the price they charged – there was always a copy of KYPP2 in the bag as it was such a good fanzine in terms of content, style and production no one could be disappointed when the bag arrived. How many went out in these ‘mystery bags’? I have no idea.

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KYPP4 (Penguin collection)

Big A Little A printed KYPP4 and 5, which was an anarcho publishing company down the road from the Anarchy Centre in Wapping. We ended up here under the influence of Andee Martin who worked here. Ironically these anarchist printers were more hard-nosed than Better Badges and wanted set print runs for set amounts of cash.

To this end KYPP4 was definitely a print run of 1,000 and without the fancy colours all over the first three. There was a bit of colour on the front and back and the middle page spread on the Associates. Interesting fact: the gold on the words Kill Your Pet Puppy were handwritten with these new-fangled gold felt pens – in a session at Big A Little A one evening by several Puppies.

This edition sold out very quickly, at least 500 were sold at a festival called Days Of Future Passed.

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KYPP5 (Penguin collection)

KYPP5 was printed in a run of 1,000, again little extra colour than on the cover. That’s all we could afford.

KYPP6 was first printed at a place called The Bus Company in Islington. It was hand printed on an old litho machine by myself using cardboard originals and a lot of grease as I remember. About 100 were churned out this way with red ink on gold paper and taken to Stonehenge festival in 1983.

This grand/cash-strapped gesture was a fiasco as of course with the low light levels at a festival red on gold was effectively invisible writing. But the 100 were sold (probably on a sunny afternoon!) I do not have a copy of this edition, but I remember it looked great.

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KYPP6 (Penguin collection)

KYPP6 was reprinted in normal colours (plus a splash of colour on the front) in a short run of 500 or so and sold only through myself at gigs.

Kuurschluus: Was it focussed on politics or music?

That’s a different question and I’ll try and keep the answer brief. The music press and record companies had started to separate the music from the politics of punk, so Kill Your Pet Puppy had the intention of bringing both together again. ‘Politics’ in the shape of life-style and culture and thinking – we wanted to give as much space to what punks were doing in-between listening to their records.

Kuurschluus: I know you were based in various squats in London. How difficult was it to squat back then? And, are you familiar with current squatting movement in London, and the UK?

In 1977 when I moved to London I was lucky enough to be invited into a squat near Ladbroke Grove in West London. This was an area full of houses that had been ‘compulsorily purchased’ by the Council for a traffic scheme. The scheme was abandoned so the houses in this area were quickly squatted, and became known as ‘Frestonia’ after one of the main roads – Freston Road.

A lot of London was like that in the later part of the seventies, large areas of empty properties in good condition that no one really cared about. I remember after one Antz gig at the Roundhouse in 1978 walking a load of punks down to Central London and opening a series of squats for them in a big block of flats off Charing Cross Road.

Neighbours came out and offered us assistance in the form of light bulbs and toilet paper, these were amazing times; London was really run down and neglected. After I left Frestonia in February 1979 I moved into a squatting community opposite Covent Garden tube station on James Street and Long Acre – a complex of houses with internal links of staircases and strange hallways: with the ground floors old shop fronts.

There was a guide called ‘The Squatters handbook’ which had a page of the legal rights to squat which could be photo-copied and stuck to the front of a building when occupied. Just the sight of this on a door or window was enough to turn away any policeman or official.

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Tony D#8217;s room (Mick Mercer collection)

This was the golden squatting time for me; things got worse when empty buildings were deliberately vandalised on the orders of the council or whoever, to make them unpleasant to live in. This vandalisation was most apparent in the trend to pour concrete down the toilets. The houses remained unused by the official owners but now instead of squatters doing up the place and living in it, the buildings were only used as refuge by the tramp community.

Interestingly, organised squatters I knew moved into non-commercial buildings, where this vandalisation was yet to happen. In this period I lived in abandoned Fire Stations, Churches, Hospitals and Museums.

I am a member of several squatting groups on Facebook, some looking forward some backward. I admire those who attempt to squat nowadays as the legislation in Britain gets more brutal every day.

Kuurschluus: When and why did you decide to start KYPP as a blog / internet site? How different is it from the printed version of the zine? Would you ever consider doing another printed zine?

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The Apostles room Brougham Road Hackney (Penguin collection)

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The rear of 108 Brougham Road Hackney #8211; Base of The Apostles (Penguin collection)

The blog / site was started in response to what you got if you typed ‘anarcho punk’ into a search engine in 2007. There was one result, a sneering piece written by Andee Martin from the Apostles for Stewart Home’s Smile magazine. It was shocking that this whole era was being air-brushed out of history, so myself and Gerard of Flowers In The Dustbin decided to do something about it.

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Gerard and Billy (Gerard collection)

We wanted to record the history of the punk that time forgot – yet which was very important to Gerard, me and everyone I knew who was around at the time. It was different from the fanzine as this was looking back and illustrating the era with people’s memories, photographs and long lost recordings of treasured bands.

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Brother Rob and Penguin (Penguin collection)

Penguin was asked to join in the fun and was in charge of the music download posts.

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Al Puppy (Mick Mercer collection)

Original Puppy Collective member Al came back to the fold and dealt with a lot of the writings relevant to the era.

From this enterprise the scene took off again, and many of the old bands have reformed and are now doing tours around the world – such as The Mob, Hagar The Womb and Hysteria Ward (who have just performed in Paris).

When I go and see bands like the Hagars or The Mob there’s members of new bands such as The Pukes there, and they carry the flag. I love these new bands and people too, for their enthusiasm as much and as anything. But I wouldn’t consider doing another printed fanzine to sell at these gigs – because the internet has taken over as the medium of choice now.

Kuurschluus: On your internet site you post a lot of interesting stories, photos, flyers, music. It#8217;s like a huge collection, like a punk wonderland. I#8217;ve noticed that besides anarcho punk you post all kinds of music and articles. I#8217;m wondering how similar or different are / were all those synth bands from Poison Girls, experimental bands from No Defences, how different PIL was from Smartpils? Where do you see connection between those bands, and what, if anything, sets them apart?

The connection between the different styles of music on the site is a certain spirit that comes through in the music and attitude, that is what sets them apart but also sets them together for us as a true Puppy band! At the time we saw no conflict of interest between Soft Cell, Crass, ABC, Throbbing Gristle or indeed Conflict.

Kuurschluus: What I didn#8217;t find much of on your site are more hardcore /thrash /crust bands. Is that because these bands are not something you are personal into, or because you see them as something completely different from punk / anarcho punk?

I remember being impressed with the live performances of bands like Antisect at the time, if that’s what you mean. This seemed to be a direction Crass’s record label was headed after they released the band D.I.R.T.’s stuff. This was powerful stuff but standing back it was re-introducing the guitar-solo and long pondering songs which punk had first set out to counter-act.

There was a whole wave of crust / hardcore bands based around Hackney’s Blue House such as 10,000,000 Dead Cops or something that I failed to connect with – every time I went to gigs, in squatted basements it seemed like the last days of the Roxy – bands and fans with no spirit or aim apart from getting pissed and destroy themselves. But others loved it, so maybe I went to the wrong gigs.

Kuurschluus: For me, besides reading amazing stories from people who were directly involved in @ punk back in the late 70#8217;s/ early 80#8217;s, one of the most exciting things on your site is how diverse your music taste is. I love most of the stuff you upload. Reggae / dub has always been something I enjoyed a lot and have always found it very closely connected to punk (which not many would agree with). I first got exposed to it when as a young punk kid a friend lent me a tape by Misty In Roots- Live in Yugoslavia (part of the same series of live show tapes recorded in Yugoslavia were Poison Girls, Government Issue, Amebix, Swans and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds). It was released by the Borghesia guys, on their FV Zalozba label (they organized concerts in Yugoslavia, did video production, recorded and released many influential tapes and records, including Hardcore Ljubljana LP). At first I was surprised to hear reggae band on the label which I knew for releasing punk bands but the more I listened to the MIR tape the more I liked it, and it opened a whole new world for me, world of reggae / dub / ska / bluebeat#8230; Please tell me about your experience and exposure to reggae music. How relevant and political was it (I#8217;m asking about political side of it because nowadays reggae songs are often about Sun, beach, weed, girls, dreadlocks)? Why so many punks in England liked and were influenced by reggae? What are similarities with punk?

A lot of punks would be living in parts of London where West Indians were also housed and we would naturally catch a vibe of reggae music from the streets and markets, specifically Brixton, Dalston, Hackney and Ladbroke Grove. A lot of Rockers Reggae would be protest music, just as punk music would become. Rough Trade records, Greensleeves and Daddy Kool all sold reggae records to the young punks. There was not a lot of difference between young black men being picked up late at night by the police than young punk rockers. A lot of pushing around, searching for drugs and so forth. A night in the cells would be the worst possible scenario. Most punks started off speeding, but a large amount would also like to get hold of ganja when possible, and to get ganja you would need to know a few faces to get it off from. The West Indian doormen and bar staff of the Roxy club in Covent Garden during the few months that was open in 1977, would supply already rolled up reefers to punks unsure of how to roll them. DJ Don Letts would play reggae records for the night between the punk bands performing. If you wanted the ‘real deal’ in sound system, you could enter the Four Aces club in Dalston as Joe Strummer, Paul Simineon and Johnny Rotten would or Tottenhams Club Noreik. The Clash and PIL (Metal Box period) would deeply influence the young punks with different textures and tempos to some of the tracks produced. The Ruts and Basement 5 would also be popular choices for a bit of punk and reggae crossover.

The National Front and British movement were huge in the UK during the late 1970’s, and the punks arm in arm with the young rastas, students and trade unionists would all be on the other side trying to disrupt marches and so forth. The Rock Against Racism gigs in 1978 and 1979 would have punk bands like X Ray Spex, The Ruts and The Clash performing alongside Misty In Roots, Steel Pulse and Aswad. Most punks got their live reggae experiences from these all day events. Bob Marley recorded ‘Punky Reggae Party’ in 1977 the B Side of ‘Jamming’ name checking The Clash, The Damned, The Jam etc etc. The Clash’s finest moment ‘White Man In Hammersmith Palais’ from 1978 name checked, Dillinger, Ken Booth, Dillinger and Leroy Smart! There was a quiet respect between the white and black youth trying to get through the weekly stresses of defending themselves from the street fascist bonehead, rockers and Hoxton psychos and there protectors (certainly felt like that at the time) the Metropolitan police force.

Kuurschluus: Were you involved with punk in any way from the time you stopped doing the printed zine until you started doing the internet site? What were you up to all those years?

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Tony D juggling (Mick Mercer collection)

Mark Mob began getting everyone interested in his vision of a travelling group of musical / circus performers; this was around 1983 and caught up in this I learned to juggle, fire-eat and unicycle. I took to these circus skills like a duck to water, the more so as the performance of them also lent itself to dressing up and wearing crazy make-up.

Mark’s concept never took off as a group but as an individual I began performing these skills, and took more and more clown-school and juggling classes. A later side effect of this was performing at the Club Dog nights and seeing exciting new bands such as Another Green World. But I’d moved on from reporting to the world about new music, as I became a world-travelling circus performer from 1984 to 2012.

Notably, when Benazir Bhutto took power in Pakistan in the mid-eighties I was one of the acts brought in to perform as part of her strategy to catapult the country into the current century. Now that was something, especially as I was living in a Hackney squat and went from that to chauffeur driven cars and being treated like royalty by the British Ambassador.

Kuurschluus: Do you like any new punk bands? Are you familiar with the current punk scene?

I feel like an old man when I hear new punk bands (I AM an old man) because I can’t stop thinking, ‘that sounds like that, that sounds like that, that sounds like that.’ It annoys me that my mind does that, and now I can appreciate some of the Americans around the London punk scene like Leee Black Childers and Peter Crowley. These guys were enjoying the bands of the times yet they had seen live stuff like Velvet Underground, Gene Vincent, the Stooges and the New York Dolls where all the tunes were coming from.

I try to put myself into the mind of Leee or Peter when I see new bands but it’s hard. I don’t mean I’m being cynical or closed-minded with my thoughts; it’s just they get in the way.

Back to the question; I like every band I see live and often buy whatever musical merchandise there is available on the night. But I don’t seek out new punk bands or go to places where I might read about such bands in order to find them. As for the current punk scene, it’s only people in bands who I meet at Hagar and Mob gigs, such as The Pukes.

If there’s another current punk scene I’m unaware of it.

Kuurschluus: Your thoughts on all those old @punk bands that reformed and are playing again? Is the UK as fucked, or worse, now with Cameron in power as it was back in the 80#8217;s, and punk is a logical reaction to the situation? Or they are just a bunch of old jaded fucks trying to make a few quid and score a nice young girl or a guy?

The UK is worse than the fucked situation Thatcher left it in, now Cameron is in power. The country is in a grip of media propaganda that the only alternative than the Fascist Conservative party is the even more fascist UKISpit option.

The chance to oppose this situation has changed dramatically since MacLaren’s time, and Crass’s time: the two major cultural chances in my lifetime. But a lifeline is strange stuff like an ABC reunion, or an 80’s tour of pap bands – because the people who go to those things are people who start to remember a time when this country wasn’t so fascist, when it was more free and easy.

And so the 80’s revival created by the media (air-brushing out anarcho-punk, and all punk) feeds into the low-key, off-radar anarcho-punk gigs and whammo – Adam Ant is out of the asylum and all over the media and he remembers the support from me as a person and all I represent.

There are big festivals now all with old punk bands with massive audiences. I love it, though couldn#8217;t handle being at one, there#8217;s also bands with punk roots doing revivals such as Simple Minds, Depeche Mode, U2: these are feeding the punk / resistance fever with every on-stage breath they make, saying that Sting probably thinks he is too. And I think he’s right.

Anyone who straps on a guitar and goes in front of an audience and gives it some punk rock is a hero. I would never call anyone a jaded old fuck for trying to do what they love.

Kuurschluus: Thanks a lot for your time and dedication.

No problem, this jaded old fuck liked the attention.

Questions for Doomed To Extinction collated by Kuurschluus #8211; 2014



Image


Tony D (Mick Mercer collection)

3/

THE HISTORY OF KILL YOUR PET PUPPY BY TONY D FOR MAXIMUM ROCK AND ROLL



I was the editor of one of the earliest punk fanzines ‘Ripped And Torn’ from 1976 to 1979.

After a brief self imposed exile to Europe, I got out my typewriter again and started the Kill your Pet Puppy fanzine which went on public sale at an Adam And The Ants concert in Camden, north London on new years eve 1979.

Some thoughts:

Kill Your Pet Puppy was started by Tony D, founder of iconic punk fanzine Ripped amp; Torn (1976-1979). Shortly after Thatcher was elected as prime minister in May 1979 Tony moved to Europe and lived a bohemian lifestyle. Upon his return Tony started work on a more extreme and uncompromising fanzine, initially as a reaction to the way the original punk movement had been sucked into the hated Record Industry establishment: something he’d seen and experienced at first hand.

Kill Your Pet Puppy also reflected punk life as it was under the newly-elected Thatcher cosh: squatting, skinhead NF and British Movement attacks, speed being replaced by tunial and scraping a rainbow life from the hell of reality.

Kill Your Pet Puppy was at the forefront of a cultural landscape and an alternative world of squats, squatted venues and self-sufficiency that became known as ‘anarcho punk’. They were liberating times.

Getting the new fanzine out onto the streets proved a problem until Joly of Better Badges agreed to print the new publication (then title unknown) in as many crazy colours as Tony wanted. Both wanted to experiment.

A name was born in the puppy collective hell of one room squatted by eight people with no bathroom or running water. Kill Your Pet Puppy was the chosen moniker.

The name #8211; Statement from Kill Your Pet Puppy issue number one #8211; 1979

“The words kill your pet puppy are not about harming animals, they are about stripping away false and externally imposed responsibilities in order to see through the illusion of society’s conformist ‘real life’ that pins down, stifles and suffocates us.

The ‘puppy’ is symbolic of implements of the state forced upon young children, the puppy being often the first in a long line of instruments designed to teach dependence on worthless objects, enslaving the kid into a lifetime of obedience to an outside agent that demands sacrifice of independence to serve. The puppy’s cute helplessness forces an emotional responsibility that subverts our natural nurturing instincts as the kids parents use the puppy to force the kids experiences of the world into a state-prescribed conformist view of the ‘family’.

‘Kill’ means moving beyond enslavement and experiencing life at first hand; experiencing the explosive euphoria, which follows”.

The first issue was finished in time for the Adam And The Ants new years eve concert at the Electric Ballroom, Camden, north London in December 1979 / January 1980.

The Kill Your Pet Puppy collective who wrote articles, supplied photographs and helped with the layout of the fanzine were a loosely affiliated group of individuals that were drawn mainly from shared squatted accommodation at any of the times that a fanzine was being produced.

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Lou and Lugworm (Tarquin collection)

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Wolfen, Tony D, Nikky and Greenhair (Lugworm collection)

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Gary and Min (Lugworm collection)

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Gary, Greenhair, Val and Lugworm (Lugworm collection)

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Wolfen (Lugworm collection)

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Al Puppy, Brett and Elaine (Lugworm collection)

The collective would have contained at various times, Tony D, Al Puppy, Jeremy Gluck from The Baracuddas, Brett, Val D, Lou McGrew from Youth In Asia, Elaine from Hagar The Womb, Mick Lugworm, Wolfen, Min from Zos Kia, Dave from Sex Gang Children and Nikky.

Five further issues were produced throughout the following years by the collective up to the final issue, number six, which went public during the summer solstice of 1983.

The Kill Your Pet Puppy Myspace page started in March 2007

The Kill Your Pet Puppy blog site was launched on Halloween 2007.

Contributions to the site mainly come from Penguin, who uploads the music and the band biography posts (plus occasional other stuff), myself (Tony Puppy) and Al Puppy, when we find the time, contribute essays relevant to the era. Some of the biggest contributions though are entered by browsers in the comments sections attached to the posts, where topics take off and build to a life of their own.

The focus of the site and of the Myspace page was originally on the culture and life-style of anarcho-punk. This was inspired as an answer to the anarcho-punk book ‘The Day The Country Died’ by Ian Glasper released in late 2006 that only concentrated on the music which missed the point slightly…

As one who lived and survived throughout this exciting time I felt a major part of what the scene was about was being disregarded, and decided it was important enough to do something about. What mention of The Conway Hall and the meetings with The Persons Unknown and London Autonomists which begot The Autonomy Centre in Wapping, the Centro Iberico in Westbourne Park, colourful and chaotic free festivals at Meanwhile Gardens, Hampstead Heath and Stonehenge, the Stop The City protests in the City Of London (precursor to the G* protests), Gay Punks, Squats and housing co ops including the Black Sheep housing co op set up by Kill Your Pet Puppy collective members and B.A. Nana from Crass. The Zig Zag squat all day festival featuring The Mob, Crass, Poison Girls, Null And Void, Amebix, Flux, D.I.R.T, Conflict and many other bands, set up by the same folk mentioned previously.

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Al Puppy (Mick Mercer collection)

Al Puppy, contributor to the original Kill Your Pet Puppy fanzines and ex manager of the All The Madmen record label was feeling the same way as I was, and would write up essays about this incredibly productive era of our youth on his greengallaway blog.

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Brother Rob and Penguin (Penguin collection)

Remarkably Penguin, an ex All The Madmen record label slave, around the same time was also creating digital archives of this period specializing on the All The Madmen record label, the same record label Al Puppy had briefly been the manager of.

Penguin was also heading a site dedicated to one of the better bands of the era (and on the very same All The Madmen record label) The Mob. This was a site specifically requested for Penguin to create and moderate by Mark Mob, the vocalist and guitarist from that band.

Both sites were endorsed at the time of construction and are ‘official’ outlets of information to browsers interested in finding out about this record label and band.

The first plan was to write a book about the era, with contributions from various people such as Bob from Blood and Roses (whose pieces on the 3am site were inspirational).

As life got in the way of this plan, the Kill Your Pet Puppy Myspace site was launched to keep the momentum going, this site also managed to draw in bits and bobs from other people, notably some original Mick Lugworm photographs. This site attracted a lot of attention and photos and stories from other sources started to appear after a hiatus of several decades.

We quickly outgrew the space limitations on Myspace (at that time – there is now no limit on photographs uploaded, but there was in early 2007) and set up a photobucket site for the ever expanding photo-collection.

Al Puppy and myself discussed and decided to attempt a blog site away from Myspace and incorporating the photobucket photo archive.

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Gerard with Flowers In The Dustbin (Gerard collection)

Gerard of the band Flowers In The Dustbin (another great All The Madmen record label band) offered to help me set up a blog site, which we discussed, worked on and was completed and launched in October 2007.

The focus was initially on the life-style and culture of anarcho-punk, what we felt was an untold and important story. However when deciding what to put on the site we thought that the cassette only releases of the time would be a good part of this forgotten history to start with, and went about tracking them down and putting them on the site to download. Gerard was an inspiration behind this as he had started putting Flowers In The Dustbin tracks on his own site from old cassette tapes.

During the discussions with Gerard about the construction of the site, it was agreed by both of us, that I should ask Penguin who had previously helped out at the All The Madmen record label, and who was now creating interest in that label and interest in The Mob on the internet, whether he would be prepared to sacrifice some time helping us start up the site with uploading his collection of old cassettes and rare vinyl.

Penguin agreed to be part of the then embryonic site, and stated that he was happy to do whatever it is he does to put the posts with up loadable material onto the site.

All musical uploads on Penguins posts are from original vinyl or cassettes recorded onto his hard drive through his stereo system. Penguin has informed me in the past that he has not listened to these rare tapes or dusted off some of those rare records he uploads onto the site for many many years! The material is mostly from his personal collection but if a cassette or vinyl is lent to him, then the donor is mentioned in the post.

As the music started appearing we had lots of offers from bands to put their material up, and soon it was becoming a major focus of the site, all this unimaginably rare music being available to interested parties in digital format for the first time for decades.

And of course, there were a lot of interested parties: I’m not very good at the figures but I think we have been getting around 60,000 hits a week on the site.

Penguin has continued to source and upload the most incredible stuff, such as a clutch of Crass rehearsal tapes and many many live recordings from the most obscure venues of the most obscure but much loved bands of the time. He has also uploaded many alternative mix cassettes by bands like Lack Of Knowledge and Poison Girls. Nowhere in the world have these tapes ever been issued, premièred only on Kill Your Pet Puppy (although no doubt by now, some bloggers would have ripped Penguin’s original links of his original material for their own sites – but that is cool).

It has been great to see the site grow through all the comments left on posts, which is the reason it was set up as a blog rather than a web-site: I wanted it to be a participatory experience and it has done that in spades. The site has over 700 comments on one post alone, and over 500 on another. The site to date has over 800 individual posts with over 15000 comments attached to said posts. Many many old punks that were around in the scene in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s have now found each other again through this site a long way before Facebook style ‘punks reunited’ sites were existing.

One young punk who was convicted of ‘murder’ in the squats of Campbell Buildings, Waterloo in the summer of 1980 when he was still a teenager has recently been sent letters of support and presents from Kill Your Pet Puppy browsers to his prison cell, and it is a pleasant feeling to know that the ‘Free Gary Critchley’ campaign was started from the comments section on a post from Kill Your Pet Puppy. A fact which I still find rather remarkable and touching, even more so if he were to be rightly released. [Gary Critchley was released with some of the support and flagging up of the case from the KYPP post]

These would be the best posts for interested new browsers to start reading or listening to, but of course there are 790 more which we could not possibly list.

Get on the site and fill your boots!

The Adam And The Ants new years eve 1979 post with information on the fanzine [URL=http://killyourpetpuppy.co.uk/news/adam-and-the-ants-electric-ballroom-camden-town-london-nw1-311279/]HERE[/URL]


One of the Crass rehearsal tapes [URL=http://www.killyourpetpuppy.co.uk/news/?p=126]HERE[/URL]

The Wapping Autonomy Centre post [URL=http://www.killyourpetpuppy.co.uk/news/?p=2408]HERE[/URL]

The Mobs ‘No Doves’ post with Mark and Josef commenting in the text [URL=http://www.killyourpetpuppy.co.uk/news/?p=4057]HERE[/URL]

Campbell Buildings squat (inc early Gary Critchley comments) [URL=http://www.killyourpetpuppy.co.uk/news/?p=370]HERE[/URL]

Heretics [URL=http://www.killyourpetpuppy.co.uk/news/?p=639]HERE[/URL] and [URL=http://killyourpetpuppy.co.uk/news/the-heretics-private-tape-19791980/]HERE[/URL]

Mike and Toxic Grafity Crass edition fanzine [URL=http://www.killyourpetpuppy.co.uk/news/?p=2045]HERE[/URL]

and finally Killing Joke written by Malicious Damage Operatives [URL=http://www.killyourpetpuppy.co.uk/news/?p=4109]HERE[/URL]

Thank you for your interest in our site

Final bullet point

Kill Your Pet Puppy, the website, was started in October 2007 as a way to not only document the fanzine but also the culture of the time.

This was because we could hear cultural archaeologists beginning to restrict this history to a mere musical framework.

This website has developed through many people’s photos, scans of printed material, downloadable music and written contributions into a communication point for those who were there, those who wish to know more about the time and as something that is as culturally significant today as it was then.

Tony D #8211; Submitted to Maximum Rock And Roll on the magazines request for #8216;Blog Of The Month#8217; #8211; 2010



Published on 2014-9-09 10:59am GMT


Source / Link : http://killyourpetpuppy.co.uk/news/recent-interviews-with-tony-d-about-kill-your-pet-puppy-for-noisey-vice-and-doomed-to-extinction/

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