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.’