Thursday, 1 November 2007

Rolling back the years: the punk era

When I was 17 I had black spiky hair - sometimes it was orange, blonde, with a blue streak - but mostly it was black. I used to wear a motley of clothes, mostly from charity shops. My favourite was a pair of skin-tight, drainpipe, turquoise, satiny trousers with a leopard-spot pattern which I had spray-painted on with car paint. Every time they ripped I put in a zip or a multicoloured patch. How I loved those trousers. One day though, I couldn't find them. Years later my mum told me she had thrown them away because she couldn't stand the sight of them.

I loved my life back then. Though I was at school still, most nights I went with a friend to go to one of the London clubs and watch a band - usually with free tickets. Being part of the punk scene was fun, it gave a feeling of belonging - of membership in an exclusive club, and despite the occasional violence, there was a good sense of cameraderie.

At one point I had a boyfriend called Rockabilly Steve. He was cool, and knew it. He kept a machete on top of a cupboard in his room and had a belt with a huge Triumph Motorcycles sign on it. He used to speak to me about ghosts and evil spirits. I was scared, but tried not to show it. Older than me, with great charisma, he'd wait for me outside my school gate and I was so proud.

His ex-girlfriend (whom, I later found was actually still going out with him) was a lardy but scary punkette called Dee. She was best mates with another very scary punk called Tampax, who used to wear a used tampon in her ear (nice!). They spotted me one night in a club in Soho. Tampax kept bitching at me and Dee threatened to beat me up. Sigh, those were the days.

For some reason, I just remembered all of that as I was walking home from taking my son to school and was struck by the contrast. How much has changed.

15 comments:

Mid-lifer said...

oooh look! the google ads by the side of this post have brought up ads on cheating spouses and Russian brides! What the???

Dee said...

ha! That's funny. The other day I was looking on ebay for clothes (I'm completely addicted to ebay, but that's another story) and I came across one of those jean shirts that we used to wear in the early 80ies, men ad women! I had a red one and a beige/white one, and I LOVED them. I wore them until the buttons came off and the sides were ripped.
And the jeans with self made holes in them... and all the fluorescent clothing that was in fashion in the late 80ies, early 90ies! iiiihhh.. I wouldn't wear any of it anymore. Ever. But boy I loved these things at the time.

And shoulder pads... don't get me started.

Flowerpot said...

I love the idea of the punk called Tampax... quite made my day that.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Don't you think life's better now? I remember my cousin being a punk, he had a shocking pink mohican and would parade around the local town with a group of other punks. I used to feel so cool when I saw him and he said "how ya doin'?" Now, he's happily married, grown up kids, grandchildren and a nice house. He's still a bit funky and very cool.

Crystal xx

Tina said...

Mind is boggling at thought of tampons as accessories.

Am having a lie down.

belle said...

Tampons as accessories isn't as uncommon as it may sound ... as a midwife I was interviewed as a hospital where they used looped sanitary towels as a way of preventing the doors closing ...

Lovely bit of memory lane in your post, thanks.

Mid-lifer said...

Best not talk about shoulder pads Dee (I used to cut mine out).

Crystal - life is different now - after all couldn't be a punk mum - my kids would never live it down (though I swore I'd be a punk till I was a granny).

Flowerpot and Tina she was seriously dog rough and mean too!! Along the same lines (sort of) my best mate went out briefly with a punk called Joe Rex (just say it with a northern accent). However, don't think he displayed it as an accessory.

Belle - those looped san pads could be multifunctional I'm sure...loads of uses!

Mid-lifer said...

p.s. I had a very naff punk name but as yet have not even told it to my children.

Casdok said...

Happy memories of old clothes! Hope you forgave your mum?!

Mid-lifer said...

Casdok, it's logged as yet another grievance - though on the surface I have forgiven!

Omega Mum said...

A used tampon? Now that's what I call dedication to fashion. I never did get the hang of it.

debio said...

Punk kit intrigued me - I observed from afar though; would never have the patience to do the hair every day and, as for tying my legs together, could never work out what to do if it were necessary to run.....!

Swearing Mother said...

How fab to be a punk. I sort of missed that era, having been more of a 70's chick myself. I've still got some of my platform sole shoes, and there's a pair of loons somewhere in the loft. Wish I could still get into them though, skinny size 12.

travelling, but not in love said...

You know, sometimes our memories take us by surprise with what they throw back at us.

I love getting caught by this kind of random reverie though.

I spent a flight from Paris to Milan once fondly remembering a van driver I met when I was was 19. His name was Danny and he was from Montreal.

The memory, if a little surprising, gave me a nice little hit of nostalgia that got me through the very dull and long day that followed.

It was as if my brain thought 'he's going to need a little bit of something extra to get through today'....

Suzy said...

Love the tampax in the ear....guess that's one way to never run out!!

Love,
Suzy