Diary: The Ultimate
Trainspotter's Guide to
me ask you something.
Did you know that in 1978 there was a band from East Texas called The
Vomit Pigs Make Believe Blues Boobs Band?
No? How about this.
Did you know that on October 24th 1977 a band named Spizz 77, which was
actually just one guy with a guitar, who went by the name of Spizz, played
a gig at The Vortex in London . . . a few days earlier he had played at
a festival in Birmingham and was on stage for a full ten minutes doing
nothing but feedback before the promoters cut the electricity on him .
. . eat your heart out Lou Reed!
Didn't know that one either huh? Okay, let's try one more.
Speaking of Lou Reed, did you know that on March 28th 1977, Lou was banned
from playing four gigs at the London Palladium because of his "punk
image"? Lou responded to the ban saying "I'm on my way to Stockholm
where the temperature is below zero, but it's much colder in the heart
of the person who banned me."
So what am I getting at here? That I know more punk rock trivia than you
do? No, that's not it at all. What I'm getting at, is that a guy named
George Gimarc knows more punk rock trivia than you do. But don't worry,
George is willing to share.
His new book, which isn't actually "new" but we'll get to that
in a second, is called Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to
Underground Rock 1970-1982. In it, there are literally thousands of entries
like the factoids above, on over a thousand bands and it covers what happened
in punk rock on just about every single day of the twelve year span stated
in it's title!
The book is the quintessential Punk Rock reference book, and has been
for years. I told you we'd get to the fact that it's not quite a new book.
I first bought Gimarc's Punk Diary in 1994 when it was called simply Punk
Diary 1970-1979. Then I noticed a while later that there was a second
book floating around called Post-Punk Diary 1980-1982. This new book,
in case it's not obvious, combines the two prior volumes, and if I'm not
mistaken adds a bunch of new entries as well.
The book also comes with a CD that features about twenty five interviews
Gimarc has done over the years with some of the bands covered in the book.
There's one with U2 on their first American tour, and there are others
featuring The Cure, Gang Of Four, Devo and The Ramones. It's pretty great.
The only thing missing on the CD are the handful of actual punk songs
that were included with the original edition. Those were by a band I had
never heard of called Hagfish, and they were great. I just wish this new
volume exposed me to another great new band. What can you do?
a few more entries:
Sid Vicious plays Max's Kansas City in New York with a new band called
The Idols. The band also features ex-New York Dolls members Arthur Kane
and Jerry Nolan. They play mostly Sex Pistols songs but also do covers
of songs by The Monkees, The Heartbreakers, and Eddie Cochran.
The compilation album "Yes Nukes" is released featuring "14
Atomic Powered Cuts" including "You're Fat (And I Like It)"
and The Bakersfield Boogie Boys version of The Beach Boys classic "I
GREAT NEWS! After two breakups in just three years, The Vibrators are
getting back together again!
There's like 700 pages of this stuff! It's incredible. Plus all of the
entries I mentioned above are paraphrased because Gimarc's actual entries
all contained much more detail, and I wouldn't have been able to use six
of them if I quoted them verbatim. If you have any interest in Punk Rock
or early New Wave, you need this book. This is the Punk Rock Encyclopedia!
There could be more words in it than there are in War And Peace, and there
are definitely more pictures. A+