What an entertaining selection of stories editor Chris Duncan has compiled. These are easy to bite off two and three page stories of people’s first exposure to a Punk Rock Show.

From the moment I heard about this book I had it on my ‘to read’ list. I am not a Punk fan, in fact I can think of no Punk song that I like. But I am fascinated by the society that it created. Over the past couple of months I have had the opportunity to interview a number of musicians from the late 70’s that suffered from the punk invasion, as Dave Cousins put it “Overnight we were dinosaurs”.

My First Time certainly does shed some light on the subject. What surprised me was the age that many of the people were when they got into the Punk scene, early teens seems to be the norm. They were disenchanted with the Arena Rock of the 70’s, the flashy sets, and the unapproachable superstar bands. Punk was an adrenaline rush where skill was often traded for enthusiasm. A big percentage of the bands being garage warriors playing local venues.

Many of the tales in the book are highly amusing anecdotes concerning spilled blood, concussions, and the various other health hazards of playing in ‘the pit’. Darren Walters story Love is a Battlefield sums it all up so well, “Blood splashed everywhere as his skull exploded upon impact with the hardwood floor…..The violence was plentiful, seemingly endless, and strangely Carefree….. The body count rose with each song”. My mind boggles as to what it must have been like at this concert!

A number of the short stories are written by people ‘in the industry’. One of my favorites being I Used To Do Acid by Joe Queer. Joe is a highly entertaining guy, and for the past 25 years has been the frontman and powerhouse behind ‘The Queers’. His entertaining ditty concerns the problems of LSD induced paranoia that can occur at a Punk event. Unlike Bill Clinton, in my youth I did inhale, and I have to fess up that I did try acid more than once! I have the deepest sympathy with Joe Queer and His friend.

Several stories also shed some interesting light on the interplay between the various counterculture groups, the Punks, the Goths, and the Skin Heads. These three factions shared an uneasy truce through the music.

I mean no disrespect, but this is a classic bathroom book! Each story only takes a few minutes to read, and hours of fun are contained between the covers. You can get your own delightful copy from Amazon.
Simon Barrett


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