Ancient Punk Rock History

Slits, Raincoats, 101ers, Malcolm McLaren... If some of these names aren't familiar to you, brush up on your punk rock history here.

Unfortunately, transcribing all those fascinating biographies and articles is very time-consuming. More information will be added to this area in the next few weeks, so stop by again in the near future for your complete Paloma Punk Rock Primer.

Features we have now:

The Slits

This UK, feminist punk group formed in 1976 with a line-up featuring Ari-Up (vocals), Kate Korus (guitar), Palmolive (drums) and Suzi Gutsy (bass). Korus soon left to form the Mo-Dettes and Gutsy quit to team up with the Flicks. They were soon replaced by guitarist Viv Albertine and Tessa Pollitt and it was this line-up that supported the Clash during the spring of 1977. The group were known for their uncompromising attitude and professed lack of technique, but their music was as aggressive and confrontational as the best of the punk fraternity. Their failure to secure a record contract during the first wave of the punk explosion was surprising. By the time they made their recording debut, Palmolive had been ousted and replaced by Big in Japan percussionist, Budgie. Signed to Island Records, they worked with reggae producer Dennis Bovell on the dub-influenced Cut. The album attracted considerable press interest for its sleeve, which featured the group naked, after rolling in the mud. The departure of Budgie to Siouxsie and the Banshees (replaced by the Pop Group's Bruce Smith), coincided with the arrival of reggae musician Prince Hammer and trumpeter Don Cherry (father of Neneh Cherry). A series of singles followed, including a memorable version of John Holt's "Man Next Door." By 1981, the Slits had lost much of their original cutting edge and it came as little surprise when they disbanded at the end of the year. Their unorthodox, tribal-influenced rhythms single them out as one of the more underrated units of the late 70s.


Cut (1979)
purchase the Cut CD from CDNow

Bootleg Retrospective (1980)
out of print

Return of the Giant Slits (1981)
out of print

The Peel Sessions (1988)
purchase the Peel Sessions CD from CDNow

The 101ers

Formed in London in May 1974, the 101ers made their performing debut four months later at the Telegraph pub in Brixton. Led by guitarist/vocalist Joe Strummer, the group established itself on a fading pub-rock circuit about to be undermined by the advent of punk. Support slots by the Sex Pistols confirmed Strummer's growing agitation and he left to join the Clash in June 1976. The 101ers then broke up with Clive Timperly (guitar) later joining the Passions. Dan Kelleher (bass) moved on to the Derelicts and Richard Dudanski (drums) went on to work with the Raincoats and Public Image Limited. The group was commemorated by "Keys to Your Heart," issued on the independent Chiswick label the following month. In 1981 Strummer sanctioned the release of Elgin Avenue Breakdown, a collection of live recordings, BBC sessions and studio out-takes. The material ranged from traditional R&B -- "Too Much Monkey Business," Route 66" -- to ebullient originals which showed the singer's abrasive delivery already in place.


Elgin Avenue Breakdown(1981)

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