Genesis To Revolutions

Much has been written about the bands and the music scene surrounding Crass Records, and their relative merits both as art and as a vehicle for change. Not all of it is entirely accurate. Joseph Porter has been drummer, singer and songwriter with Blyth Power since forming the band in the aftermath of his involvement with the anarchist punk scene in London in the early eighties. This, his second book, cannot shed any real light upon the hopes and endeavours of those who took the whole thing seriously, but – cursed as he is with a very good memory – it does paint an accurate picture of some of the events and people as he saw and experienced them at the time.

'When I grew up I had decided, I was going to be a Train Driver. The Summer of Love faded into the Winter of Discontent but I still had my Genesis to come, or to be more precise my brother's Genesis, for these were among the first of his records that I was slowly beginning to find an interest in.  

By early 1980 the stringent political system that was later to become known as Thatcherism was still in its infancy, and the squatters and anarchists of London’s underground still laboured under the belief that ‘if voting changed anything they’d make it illegal’ and that ‘whoever you vote for, a government gets in’.

In the hazy fog that perpetually surrounded famous Crass Records anarcho-punk band Zounds, things were going according to plan. Somehow, possibly through the good offices of the fairies, who take a mischievous delight in meddling with the affairs of men, they had secured a recording contract with Rough Trade Records.

Henceforth, Zounds’ records would not be retailing at 75p.'


Going Down With Alice
Alice woke from fitful dreams of hearts and diamonds clubs and queens
Left her childhood passed her teens drove her own reflections underground
She changed her name foreswore her youth burned all the books that told the truth
Wiped the tapes to hide the proof combed her hair and pulled all her posters down
But Alice scorned and Alice spurned sometimes frets and sometimes burns
Then to her mirrored image turns am I still the fairest of them all
With malice to the looking glass did the tribe increase she asks
Will you part and let me pass shall I walk among them as before
Now Alice waits on bended knees will they yet remember me
Mirror let me enter please there's no way through the looking glass replied
They bred like amoeba splitting in half they foaled they farrowed cubbed and calved
These knights and squires and wives of bath forged them at the board like men deprived
Since big years turned and left behind the thirsts they slaked in vats of wine
Empty rooms and narrow minds are all the wonderlands you've ever known
With no reflections no relief in solitude to bear your grief
Instead she bares her yellow teeth the mirror breaks and Alice stands alone

Now I’ve got 5-4-3-2-1 come ye thankful people come
To thee they went the blind the dumb they say you can’t cheat Karma well I’ve seen it done
Man made power man made pain for profit loss and for private gain
And man made plans for social change and fraudulent social security claims
Now I don’t know but I’ve been told
We owe them a living but I don’t think so, now this is a message to Persons Unknown
You can strive to survive but violence grows and you’ll get knocked down in the middle of the road
Big A little A DVD or a benefit compilation EP
What’s the cost of your new CD?
Is it worth any more than the price on the sleeve?
Now I’m not 5-4-3 too young, beautiful days are yet to come
Make no concessions under twenty one and the child care costs will cost you some
When Jack was younger he cherished a view that if you look out for others they’ll look out for you
But Jack was a simpleton, Jack was confused, and his gifts freely given were accepted as dues
But Jack gets vindictive when Jack gets vexed, and though he’s been patient awaiting redress
He hasn’t forgiven and will never forget so give him a box and he’ll fill in The Ex
I’ve got 5-4-3-2-1 I don’t want to go to Holidays in the Sun
I want 5-4-3-2 more I want women and horses and power and war
If it’s a question of my survival
I’ll steal from the rich I’ll shit on the poor
I’ll fuck their doves and I’ll eat them raw

Now one is one and all alone and ever more shall be so