The Roxy Book

I wonder if you can get a degree in punk rock studies, l’m sure it is possible, l mean, in the way it is a part of history, it did happen so why not. In schools today they teach history mainly on things like Nazis and the decline of london through plagues and fires and its rebirth. Things that can be found in this book( well almost) about the Roxy club and punk rock’s birth, and what happened next, so if your gonna study punk rock this will give you great information and much more.

The Roxy was the first main venue for up and coming punk rockers in 1977 it was a place to go to experiment and to meet like minded individuals whether you were wanting to start a band, get it going and play on its home built stage or wear your own style of clothing or you were so frustrated with life in general and you needed to challenge yourself into making some form of statement then this was the place to go to.

The Roxy was situated in Neal street in Covent garden, London, its not there anymore ,its now a clothing outlet, l never went to the Roxy l was very young and was to scared to be a runaway however l did once work opposite where the Roxy once stood l was doing work experience in a little Virgin shop l was only there for a few weeks and then moved on.

Anyway enough digressing, this is a really well thought out book by Paul Marko the books actually called The Roxy London A punk history it came out in 2007 and l finally got one to read. This book is so full of good information about the Roxy scene and what went on particularly the chapter that explains a typical night out at the Roxy with snippets from the people that attended, it is strikingly realistic you can almost smell the glue.

You know there was two Roxys( same venue different promoters) the one that is most famous and probably most urging is the first one started by Andy Czezowski (who would go on to start the Fridge in Brixton) and musician Barry Jones (who would go on to form The London Cowboys with Steve Dior) they even made an album called Live at the Roxy which featured the fist wave of punk bands such as Buzzcocks,Slaughter and The Dogs, X-Ray Spex etc…l own this record its very raw sounding, but gives out the right energy it was a good way to get to find out what the punk bands were up to, theres even been a film made by the DJ of the first Roxy Don Letts called the Punk Rock movie and has many scenes from the Roxy in it.

The other Roxy which was run by a certain Kevin St John is a somewhat more darker scene but at least it continued to give refuge for the punk scene and where the band UK Subs made a start and they continue to play and record to this day.

Its kind of a shame that the first wave of punks looked down on the second wave who got irratated wth the rich punks who could afford kings roads attires and its with great sadness to read about the violence that seemed to prevail almost everything from getting to the venue, the venue itself and the return journey it was a tough time to be a punk rocker in 1977 that’s for sure.

Chris McDougall

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