244 words on punk rock from David Bowie
Charles Shaar Murray • New Musical Express • 29 October 1977
You must find it interesting seeing elements
of inputs you made five years ago coming back at you filtered through
various other things?
(Thinks: "Let's introduce the subject of punk rock
in a sneaky, subtle way… ")
(Thinks: "He must mean punk rock") I don't get that
feedback. It's not apparent to me. It's made apparent when I come
to London for a few days, but not as marked as it would be if I
lived in this city. Most of the time when I'm not working I've been
travelling in quite obscure countries.
And you come back here and find out about Johnny
Rotten et al.
Right then! PUNK ROCK!!
It's therefore unreasonable to expect you to have
a neat, tidy, ready-made statement about punk rock.
Oh yes, I do. Of course I do!
Okay then… neat ready-made statement about punk
I think it's a crying shame that the category has
dissipated its importance. What it is is a lot of very individual
people doing very individual things, and I also think it's a shame
that the guys who are being called this and put into that category
are so willing to accept themselves being put in that category.
I think that they are blinkering themselves - possibly crippling
their writing - and will eventually… I know what will happen to
them, because it happened to me. They'll lose their enthusiasm for
the very things that they held sacred when they started, and they
won't expand as far as excitingly as they would wish to if they
allow themselves to be branded now with a category. Already, while
they're still wet behind the ears, they've been branded. I can't
stand sets of people in any way, shape or form; politically, artistically
or socially, a set of people has the most devastating effect on
one's chances of producing anything.
You've been through - and played - enough elitist
games yourself in the past.
Absolutely! So am I talking (adopts crusty middle-aged
voice) from thirty years experience. That's easily the worst thing