'77 Sulphate Strip

'77 Sulphate Strip

Red Planet Books
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An updated reissue of what, along with England’s Dreaming, has become the acknowledged seminal work on punk. Cain was at every major gig and interviewed all of the acts at the time. He was viewed as an ‘insider’ and his access was unrivalled.This book is a vibrant and fast- paced trip through an extraordinary year. Includes major new interviews with Sex Pistol Johnny Rotten, Strangler Hugh Cornwell and Rat Scabies of The Damned.

Here's an excerpt from the book,

The Jam

A break in the band’s massive 38-date tour culminating in a Ham­mersmith Odeon blaster. The reason? They should have played Lincoln tonight but The Damned had some trouble at the same gig a few days back and the decision is made to pull out. So, whaddya do on a day off? Make a single, of course.

 But, first, an aspiring rock star’s survival kit. 

 Ever wanted to know what highly personal belongings a guitarist in a successful band carries around with him while touring? Come with me now into Bruce Foxton’s bag, hidden beneath a control panel in the recording studio – Air Studios off Oxford Circus. Sssh. What have we here? Large tube of Colgate, spray-on relief for legs, orange vitamin-C tablets, Kiwi Guard liquid polish (for children’s shoes), Clearasil (for spots), Capriton nasal congestion tablets, Dequadin throat lozenges, Silverkrin pine herb shampoo ( normal hair), Arid roll-on (extra effective, phew) Vicks Wild Cherry lozenges, Triomink catarrh tablets, Otrivine nasal spray and a toothbrush. No self-respecting pop star would be seen dead without his Otrivine.

At the moment the boys are laying down the music and vocals to ‘All Around The World’. The song is two-minutes 20-seconds long. ‘Great,’ says Bruce. ‘That means we’ll have eight more seconds on ‘Top of the Pops.’ ‘In The City’ was two minutes 12-seconds. Recording studios are no more than hospital waiting rooms with rows of knobs, upturned dog ends on the control desk, lager cans in the corner, lacklustre sandwiches, dissection and disappointment. Then, through the sterile gloom, Paul’s bare, untipped, navy-cut vocals, stripped of all music, honeydrip from the speakers and spill across the floor like quicksand. You try to step out of the way but you can’t because it’s already covering your shoes and you’re sinking into the painful sweetness. A Surrey boy of barely 19 has no right to sing like a man hung out to dry, like a man disenchanted, like a man with the smell of death in his nostrils. But he does, and whatchya gonna dooo about it? ‘Carnaby Street’ is the B side to ‘All Around The World’. They cut both songs in ten hours. 

Just like Pink Floyd.