100 Punks


In the 3 decades since Punk Rock first jolted into life like some bastardised Frankenstein monster, debates have raged back and forth in print, in pubs, Internet forums and university papers. The question: what is/was Punk? Was it a music movement, art school folly? - A sociological statement? Mere fashion? - Or a way of life? Is this Punk? That Punk? Can Punks do this - or that? As usual the answer is overlooked because of its simplicity. Punk is nothing but the Punks themselves, each an individual, each one dancing to his/her own drum. The 100 Punks project came about in the Punkest of ways, sheer frustration. I saw that in its 30th year, it would be repackaged by faceless corporations, the same tales regurgitated, retold and resold, while the actual participants would be either marginalized or ignored, having settled down many years ago. So I decided to get off my arse and do something about it. It needed to be done at the speed that Punk happened, so the 100 Punks in 100 Days idea was born.

A punk

These pictures relate to a generation that literally screamed for its own identity, created by mashing together what had gone before, scrawling on the fabrics of those previous generations, to make their own pattern. Each person getting involved for his or her own reasons - be it escape, the music and fashion, a lifeline from abuse, or just unadulterated youthful energy. There were no rules, it was up to YOU how it looked, sounded and moved. Without the Punks themselves, the bands, magazines, boutiques and promoters, would have had no meaning, after all, no audience = no show. Without these people prepared to actually put themselves in the firing line, none of the great Punk Rock n Roll stories would exist. The music, fashions and thought processes would lie dead on a table somewhere (in a packet in a lavatory). It’s difficult these days to understand how shocking they looked, how old ladies with purple rinses would tut at young girls with blue hair. How so called normal people could be so unsettled and offended, by another’s appearance that they felt it quite justified for grown men in packs to physically attack scrawny teenagers, both boys and girls. Surely that couldn’t happen here? Well it did, and still does, but the courage any individual must possess, in order to create change and not follow orders is great. Thank hell for that. Soo Cat-woman wonderfully captures this in her forward and was a true inspiration for so many. To be that original is usually going to hurt, but she had the guts and the vision, and the rest of the world looks on to this day. 100 Punks is my tribute to them, to us, and to you - if you are thinking about inventing or reinventing yourself. These are the faces of those that wanted to create change: hitching up and down the country in order to do that. They took beatings and snide remarks, yet continued with their own truth, in order to live a life much more than this, to be alive, truly alive - now that was something!

Two punx

Look upon these pictures and see the stories contained within, the hopes, fears, and dreams - and yes the sheer hell of it! I have used photo-booth pictures because they were accessible to all. The machines were the peoples David Bailey, Initially to be used for purposes of identity and authority; they were quickly perverted to the individual’s needs, recording love, friendships, fights, tattoos, haircuts and new relationships. The pictures are personal and allow the subject freedom. They are talismans of self. I have coloured them because that was the way I saw the world in those days. For a brief time, without drugs or computer graphics, the world truly did turn Day-Glo. We need another revolution - will you start it?

Punk chin


BTW: 100 Punks is an ongoing UK public access archive of the punk generation, if you live outside of the UK, why not start your own. Please send your photo-booth pictures to:


China Doll – tMx 25 – 06/06
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