Rowman & Littlefield Int., Unit a Whitacre Mews, 26-34 Stannary Street, London SE 11 4AB, UK, www.rowman.com
If you think Punk Rock started in Great Britain and the U.S.A. and mostly happened only there and if you are interested in bands from a lot of other country’s around the globe then you need to read this book. If you are a long time follower of Maximumrocknroll or the worldwide punk scene, you know about the global punk virus and some of this here might be old news for you, I also did read some stuff here that I never heard of before. The author introduces the reader to bands from 38 country’s (i.a. Japan, Yugoslavia, the Philippines, South Africa, New Zealand, Chile, Mexico, Poland, Burma, Singapore and Turkey).
There is a ton of obscure information about a lot of bands you might have never heard of. Greeme usually starts with the first punk bands, but sometimes even goes back in history some more to explain the situation of rock music in the specific country. Now of course people who are into this kind of stuff might argue the hell out of why he has not mentioned this or that band and that the mentioned band was not a real punk band, etc. etc. – please do so. It can be great fun or a pain in the ass, in the end there is always something missing or someone is not happy, since there is just no way to please them all. Unless maybe the UNO starts a big project to authentically document all the punk scenes in the world for a couple of books…. In the introduction of the book Greene says that he is well aware that this compilation in no way is complete and of course he relies on his researches since he has not been around in those country’s at the time. But, that is for sure, his researches have been very detailed, documented with a long „Notes“ list at the end of each chapter. Luckily most of the chapters are not too long so usually it does not become boring learning about worldwide punk rock (sometimes, for my taste, he does too much of music description). There is also many historic and political facts in here, since in some country’s it was not so easy or even really dangerous to be punk. Not sure how accurate all the info is, but who should check on it (well, Die Ärzte and Normahl where not from East Germany as stated in the „Selected Discography“….)? That “Selected Discography” gives a few examples of bands/records from each country to start a world wide punk record collection. There is also a massive „Index“ at the end, so this book can also work as a reference book, if you can not clearly remember who was the first punk band in El Salvador. It is a great travel in the historical past of punk rock around the world and as the author says: „As many remind me during the course of working on this project, an entire book could be written about just the punk of Finland or Russia, or Japan or South Africa, or even the specific bands within those borders. I agree completely….“. Meanwhile this is the best start you get, as of today. 403 pages, bound, 34,49 Euro (dolf)
[Trust # 190 June 2018]