Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday Evening, Thinking

Grave voices: but in spite of them, David Laws MP, you have stolen 40 grand from the British taxpayer. That is almost twice as much as I earn in a year, especially now I have been unceremoniously bumped from my job at the University of the West.
Grrr all round!

I am slowly finding people to interview from the paperback version.
Bethan Peters from Delta 5 has been in touch and I will meet Lucy Toothpaste, who wrote the fanzine Jolt, in two weeks time. I'd still really like to talk to Chrissie Hynde, Kate Korris, the Marine Girls and one or two others; my interview deadline is the end of July so I'm gong to rev up the research a little when I've finished marking at the end of this week.
I have just finished reading John Robb's book, Punk Rock: an oral history. There are one or two small interviews from Poly Styrene and Ari, for instance, but it has been most useful as a way to get my head back to that time; it's quite weird how it has done that and I feel disorientated this evening.
I suppose writing about Brighton when I first started the research took me back to that time and place, but we all knew a lot about what was happening in London even though a lot of us didn't go to the gigs up there (although I did see Television and Blondie at their first British gig in Hammersmith).
So reading detailed interviews about the London scene shines a light on a different aspect of it all, the rivalry, support, energy and dedication that everyone put into it all, and the constant accusations of fakery.
I looked for Rockin' Rina's site, The Women of 1970s Punk, and it seems to have gone.

I've probably told you about going to see The Damned at Sussex University; Rat Scabies' father extended a leather-gloved hand to shake hands and I found myself being gripped tightly by a set of metal fingers.
Surreal, and very punk in retrospect!

Generally, I'm feeling quite inspired to do-it-myself again, with ideas for fanzines and a possible self-publish if the paperback deal falls through.
Losing one job has made me anxious about losing the other and I have been making lists about what I could do to earn a crust should the unthinkable happen. It's amazing how little respect anyone seems to have for academics; if I wasn't a gigging musician I think I'd feel really low and miserable.
I wonder if people realise how much we care about the students we teach, and how much we hope that they will do well in the 'outside world'?
That's enough morose talk. Cup of tea, I think.


foolish girl said...

Rat scabies dadsounds like Dr Strangelove?

Claire said...

I'm really sorry to hear about the job, Helen. It seems to be affecting so many people in London colleges now, all very unpleasant. It's a good thing you have so many strings to your bow!