Jon Savage's 1991 book, "England's Dreaming: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, and Beyond," was hailed by the "New York Times Book Review" as "the definitive history of the English punk movement." Widely imitated but never equaled, it remains that rare work of music history that appeals to music fans, critics, and scholars alike. In researching "England's Dreaming," Savage conducted hundreds of hours of interviews of which only a fraction made it into the finished book. Now, in "The England's Dreaming Tapes," Savage makes available for the first time the full, uncut, sensational story behind the cultural moment that was punk.
Here is the story of a generation that changed the world in just a few months in 1976, as told by the scene's major figures: all four original Sex Pistols as well as Joe Strummer, Chrissie Hynde, Jordan, Siouxsie Sioux, Viv Albertine, Adam Ant, Lee Black Childers, Howard Devoto, Pete Shelley, Syl Sylvain, Debbie Wilson, Tony Wilson, Jah Wobble, and many others. Together, they offer a sweeping history of the late 1960s and the 1970s-not just the era's music, but also its radical politics, social issues, fashion, and culture.
An invaluable source of information about a movement that has become obscured by myth, these vivid, unvarnished interviews were conducted when punk was only a decade old. In many cases, this was the first time that the subjects had talked about the period. The interviews describe the founding of the Sex Pistols; 430 King's Road, site of the legendary boutique Sex, which helped establish the punk aesthetic; punk rock New York; the cultural landscapes of London and its suburbs; the writers who covered punk; and the Manchester music scene centered around Factory Records.
With "The England's Dreaming Tapes," Savage gives us the first and final word on the music, fashion, and attitude that defined this influential and incendiary era.
"The England's Dreaming Tapes takes you back to the genesis, to the very beginning of the cult, back to a time when Poly Styrene was a hippy, when Steve Diggle and John Lydon had long hair, when Siouxsie Sioux was a disco kid. This book holds the provenance of punk, and identifies, through the words of the 59 people Savage interviews, its very essence. . . .Everyone is here-all the bands, all the protagonists, all the club-runners, all journalists, shopkeepers, photographers, and the rest-and it is an absolute joy." -Dylan Jones, GQ (UK)
"A journalist on a British music weekly at the time of punk, Savage succeeded in assembling a comprehensive cast of interviewees when he was writing England's Dreaming in the late 1980s, and their unedited voices, presented in this new context, bring the epoch alive with the force of oral history." -Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, The Financial TImes
"The England's Dreaming Tapes is undoubtedly the best interview-based book on British punk published thus far. It's an indispensable documentary resource that offers panoramic insight into UK punk's most innovative and influential stage; it manages to immerse the reader in the visceral rush and the sheer creative energy of the period at the same time as it provides measured, incisive commentary on that period." -Wilson Neate, Blurt