HAPPY 30TH BIRTHDAY TO KILL YOUR PET PUPPY FANZINE…AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL THE KYPP ONLINE BROWSERS FROM ALL THE KYPP SITE OPERATIVES!
Intro / Physical / Deutscher Girls / Cartrouble / Cartrouble2 / Cleopatra / The Idea / Whip In My Valise / Lady / PuertoRican / Press Darlings / Zerox / Tabletalk / Beat My Guest / Fall In / Red Scab / Fat Fun / A.N.T.S / Lady / Puerto Rican
This is the concert that the Kill Your Pet Puppy Collective went to en masse to celebrate and to see the first ever run of KYPP fanzine volume 1 sell out completely. New Years Day 1980.
All the copies of the first KYPP taken to the gig were snatched up by eager punkers, a reprint was arranged later on that month with a slightly superior typeface courtesy of Joly down at Better Badges, and the rest of course is history.
WHEN A PUPPY IS BORN:
Some notes on the beginning of creating Kill Your Pet Puppy, by Tony D, Bob Short and Val Drayton.
Bob Short remembers thus;
Out near (what seemed like) the wilds of Old Street, we moved into a new squat. The Fire Station on Tabernacle Street was a five story building enclosing a central courtyard. Most of the upper levels were coated in a snowy white covering of petrified pigeon droppings.
Downstairs was a very large basement where some amps were set up at one stage. This basement may have descended a further two or three floors but I can’t remember if I dreamt that labyrinth up or not. Life can get a little weird when you mix chemistry, trauma and rumour. I certainly remember a stairwell descending into the kind of darkness you’d do your level best to avoid in a horror movie. If it was real or not, who can say?
It wasn’t a completely punk squat; there were a variety of other miscreants to hang around with. The media may have told you that punks hated hippies but punks had a lot more in common with hippies than we did with the media.
On one of the first days I was there, a mad artist came running out into the courtyard; naked and with penis half erect. He threw his canvases into a massive pile and proceeded to set them alight. I believe his girlfriend had just told him his work was shit or something. He departed that evening and one can only imagine which bank he is working for now. There but for the grace of God go we all.
There was Steve on the ground floor running some kind of illegal car repair shop and Ray who took photos. There were a couple of would be metal monsters planning the return of the fifteen minute drum solo and there was Guy who seemed to planning on becoming Buddha at some point.
On the punk side, Tony D, Brett, Dave and I were joined by Val and Mitch, Jessica, Lee, Lou and Ruthless. There was also this mad little Scottish kid whose entire raison d’etre seemed to be taking whisky bottles he had emptied, refilling them with his own urine and leaving them on the step in the vague hope that somebody might be stupid enough to drink it. Time has robbed history of his name but his deeds remain in our memories.
One dreary Saturday afternoon, we all decided to sniff glue which – in retrospect – seems an absurdly stupid thing to do. We had already dropped a television set off of the roof and watch it implode on the courtyard below. This had made a fairly impressive noise so we decided to dump a cooker from the fifth floor balcony. Its impact had made the entire building shudder. Even at the top of the building, I had felt the shock wave in my legs. Such excitement had demanded escalation and the freshly discovered pot of Evo-stick seemed to demand our attention.
The perceived experience of sniffing glue is rather different to the image the glue sniffer projects to the outside world. Walking past the drooling, collapsed form of the sniffer at play, one can only speculate on how a human could fall so low. A sniffer could never picture him or herself as that gurgling floor bound wreck. To sniff glue is to enter into the most vivid of dreams whilst maintaining a self delusion of consciousness.
One of the most interesting hallucinations glue can cause is a delusion of shared experience. As eyes remain open, the hallucinations tend to include physical surroundings including the people around you. You therefore become convinced they see what you see because, in the dream, they converse and interact with you.
I’ll be straight with you. There are a whole lot of ways to open the doors of perception. Solvent abuse is not an advisable course to take. There is too much medical evidence of brain damage, not to mention unpleasant fatalities and the fact it makes you smell really bad. I am lucky enough to be able to share my stupidity with you but, having been somewhere dangerous, it is necessary for me to report on what I have found there.
Drugs certainly did begin to blur the edges of reality. Even when sober, concepts drawn from this derangement of the senses found application in the straight world. For example, a vividly imagined telepathy made the concept of telepathy that tiny bit more plausible than it otherwise may have been.
Adding to this derangement of senses, I was hitting the occult text books pretty hard as well. I’d been brushing up on meditation techniques, astral projection and starting up a dream diary. One of the major effects this had was making my dream life incredibly vivid. With dreams becoming more real and reality becoming more dream like, the entire nature of reality was falling into question.
I woke up in the middle of the night imagining calamity in the floors below. Having heard what sounded like a German tank division coming through the front door, I got out of bed to see what was happening. There was a large crash behind me as part of the roof collapsed and fell on my bed. I doubt this would have killed me but it would have hurt like a bastard. This was a real event that appeared to go far beyond simple luck. The world was turning weird in ways no chemicals or their abuse could explain.
What was real was the violence of the Summer of 1979. Skinhead violence had moved on from being a mere extension of terrace violence and racist bashings into what amounted to a criminal lifestyle. Punks were pretty much considered fair game for street robbery because the police were never called in. As I had discovered two months earlier, even if you were hospitalised, the interviewing officers they were obliged to send out merely spent twenty minutes taking the piss out of you. Cash was skinhead’s immediate objective but unpainted or uncustomised leather jackets were easily resold. I even heard of boots being taken.
Was it a coincidence that punk fashion went totally post apocalyptic at this time until pants became little more than layers of shredded rags from a variety of tattered garments worn one atop another until skin was (mostly) covered? Whilst no High Street fashion chain leaped upon this latest street fashion, at least no-one would try to steal them from you in the street.
Skinheads would “storm” small grocery stores; entering a premises and taking what they wanted from shelves through speed and numbers. Asian shop keepers were especially targeted for the obvious political motives.
Graffiti was, by accident or design, a potent terror weapon in their hands. The more skinhead graffiti you saw, the more likely it was that you would run into a group of these bald headed freaks. Were the COD (Cash on Delivery) Skins an unstoppable army or two guys with a lot of spray cans? As the paranoia grew, who could really say?
British Movement Skinheads began specifically targeting Crass gigs at around this time. The audience, as opposed to the band, seemed to be the target of choice. At the Waterloo Community Centre, a group of around twenty to thirty skinheads entered the hall and drove a wedge through the crowd until they reached the point where the crowd became to thick to push forward. At this point, they turned and started throwing punches, quickly clearing the back of the venue. There had been a fairly large crowd in the Community Centre: probably around four of five hundred people. In the space of under a minute, the skinheads had bought the number down to about a hundred.
Once again, the skinheads turned towards the stage and laying into the audience at the front of the stage. If the objective had been to take the stage, destroy equipment and bend the band over the busted speaker cabinets, they could have easily achieved their goal and had their way with them. It wasn’t as if the audience were fighting back. There was too much shock and panic to organise any kind of legitimate resistance.
Meanwhile, the band were threatening to go of stage if we didn’t stop fighting. There was the usual tired rhetoric about “us all being on the same side.” This was no doubt true in text book terms and Ghandi should have been proud. However, non violent resistance is ultimately only effective against an enemy with a conscience albeit a deeply concealed one. Passive resistance on the part of the Jews would only have strengthened Hitler’s resolve.
Why would the skinheads target the audience instead of the band? In the eighties, right wing skinheads certainly physically targeted left wing skinhead bands like the Redskins. Perhaps one reason they were singled out was that the Redskins, in the eyes of the Nazis, represented an abhorrent mutation of their “culture” that required immediate termination.
“The Eagle Club”, a bare room in a Soho basement that tried to pass itself off as a night club. Later on, many of the same characters from both skinhead and punk camps who had been at Waterloo were in attendance. There was no trouble at all. One did, however, get the distinct feeling that the skinheads were in recruitment mode.
It worked as well. Up until this point, there had been very few punks who had seriously believed in a system of social organisation based on equality and the removal of all power structures. Anarchy had merely meant getting pissed and destroying what ever shit wasn’t nailed down.
Even the Clash’s left wing agenda was more of a marketing illusion than a serious exercise in insurrection. The polemics of Messrs Jones and Strummer are a Boys Own version of Red Army Faction propaganda. Besides, there are far more references to drugs in their lyrics than there are to revolution.
The Clash defended “White Riot” and said it wasn’t a racist song. It wasn’t racist in the overt sense of the charges levelled against it. However, when they sang “Black People got a lot of problems but they’re not afraid to throw a brick” they just continued to propagate the myths of the noble, virile savage so beloved by the sexually repressed.
The influence of politics on a lot of the early punks was largely overstated. Obviously, there were many exceptions who proved this rule but punk had exploded with little more than a dress code. It had scooped up many people who had merely signed up because they had just bought a copy of the Strangler’s great revolutionary opus: “Peaches”. By mid Seventy Seven, it almost seemed like everybody and their pet dog had become punks (at least on the odd weekend).
This had not led to any real rise in political consciousness (at least not in a radical left wing sense). The Jam’s Paul Weller had told us he would vote Tory. He and many like him did. Chelsea (the band, not the team and not the Borough) had at least gone so far as to suggest we had “The Right to Work.” What some of us wanted was, however, a little more radical. We would have preferred the right not to work but none of the major political parties would frame that into policy. They wouldn’t even make it a non-core promise.
Whilst I am obviously trying to be humorous, my humour hides a seriousness. The State would like you to believe that Welfare Benefits are gift from on high that you should, in some way, be indebted for. Whilst there is a kind of mutual obligation involved it is not the kind of contract they would have you sign.. The laws of the State protect property and, if you have no property, you are fundamentally left on the outside looking in.
Both Western Capitalist governments and the former Communists can exist only by limiting lifestyle choices. The flexibility of Capitalism has ensured its longevity. Piercings, tattoos and alternate lifestyles might shock parents (who should know better) but it is all good for the country if the cash keeps turning over.
Welfare Benefits are the price of doing business. They are there to stop the great unwashed from rising up and tearing the whole playhouse down. You don’t believe me? Why did the so-called race riots that hit Britain in the early eighties follow staff lock outs at Social Security offices so synchronously?
Crass certainly had a political stance and an ability to express these ideas through lyrics and artwork. Strangely, Margaret Thatcher could have also held them up as an example of her brand of Capitalism in action. I would like to think that they were in some way aware of this irony.
But Crass were not alone in developing a new ideology through their art. Killing Joke’s “War Dance” shared both the rage and a visual sense of design. Discharge were also beginning to replicate the sound of an industrial drilling tool being gang raped by Motorhead. Love them or loathe them (I’m a long term loather), they were clearly doing something.
Then there was UK Decay who must have been doing something because I’ve read about how much influence they had on me. Unfortunately, I didn’t actually get to hear them until we did a couple of supports years later. I’m not saying they weren’t great because they were. It’s just I didn’t get the chance to hear them. It was wonderful being around in a time when you couldn’t keep up with everything.
A movement creates a band wagon and, after a while, the wagon is abandoned. The people who stick around are generally those who have found something in that form that they can build on. When a scene comes to an end, it is generally painted as a time when there is nothing left but the dregs. Alternately, you can look at it as a levelled field and see the opportunity to plant seeds.
For those without an ideological connection to a notion of what punk could be, a quick change of clothing ultimately meant very little. If the price of not getting the crap beaten out of you was a shaved head and a Fred Perry shirt, there were a couple of barbers and merchants near Petticoat Lane who had finally come out of economic recession.
By creating a campaign of terror more easily joined than avoided, the political right was, consciously or unconsciously, recruiting in the same way it did on football terraces. I obviously suspect the former because, even though I believe Fascist ideology to be morally bankrupt, I do not believe that necessarily means its practitioners are congenital idiots. The assault on the Waterloo Community Centre gig had been too well orchestrated to suggest any notion of random attack. Besides, as Sigmund Freud would have told you, if there is one thing an anally obsessed Nazi loves, it is organisation.
This violence escalated over the summer. The first rumours began to filter through of attacks on a punk squat in Camden. The story that was going around was that they had busted through the door and beaten everyone up. Then they had individually dragged each occupant into a room and sodomised them with a broom stick..
Now, I don’t actually know anyone who was there and I don’t know the address where this allegedly happened but, given the climate of fear, fact and rumour became indistinguishable. However, I have no reason to doubt the truth of this story because of what happened at Derby Lodge in Kings’ Cross.
Tony D remembers thus;
As the late summer of 1979 eviction and disintegration of the fire station squat in Old Street splintered into petty squabbling, fear and cliques we went our separate ways.
Bob Short and his crew had discovered a secret abandoned hospital and made their own plans to relocate there. I had enjoyed the glue fests at the fire station as much as anyone, but what was to become the genesis of the Kill Your Pet Puppy crew were being left behind as Bob and his gang hurtled off in their own druggy whirlwind.
We found our own ridiculous squat, a church near Liverpool Street. But we only lasted two weeks there. One day when all folks were out but Dave, he opened the door to the police and we were out. More bloody scenes. We had no choice to throw our selves on the mercy of St Monicas, Bob and gang’s secret hospital out on the Bakerloo line near Willesden.
Acknowledged but not welcomed, we were allowed to live in the garden. After reading Bob’s recent account of life inside the hospital, in his book ‘Filth’, I’m glad we weren’t allowed in!
We spent the days scouting around for suitable empty buildings to squat, and this led to a chance encounter with some punks in West Hampstead. The punks (one of whom was Adam’s ex-wife Eve, another was Kevin Mooney who later joined the Ants) let us in to their building so we could squat an empty studio flat languishing empty. So all of us living in the garden of St Monicas decamped to this studio flat that evening.
SHERIFF ROAD, PUPPY MANSIONS MK. 1
Val Puppy remembers it like this:
“Oh yes, Sheriff Rd – there were 8 of us in that one room, including Ross and Andi (singer of the Australian band The Urban Guerrillas and his girlfriend) who showed up at the door homeless and looking for Leigh and Andy (two members of The Last Words).
The lay out of the floor space went from the door, left to right – Ross and Andi, Leigh and Andy (two double mattresses) Tony D. (single mattress along the side wall) me and Brett (double mattress pointing out from back wall) Dave in the middle with whatever he could find I think.
Once we got the lec (electricity) on there was also a bar fire which I remember was also in the middle with Dave and his guitar.
Brett and I got through Lord of the Rings in that room, reading it out loud. I also read Salem’s Lot there (somehow on my own) and scared the bejaysus out of myself as I noticed the nailed shut windows and upside down crosses drawn above them! It backed onto the railway line and had weird lights and noises from out back all night as they shunted trains about doing maintenance and stuff.
The toilet was cemented up, so we were pissing in sauce pans. The way we found it – Tony, me and Brett were out from St Monicas looking for somewhere to squat and as we passed this house I saw a boy with tight red trousers on in the top window and suggested we go knock on the door.
We did and they invited us in – the red trousered kid was Kevin. Later to be in various bands (I have a mental image of him in frilly fronted pirate shirt on TV so one of the bands was the Ants mark III), and Adams ex wife Eve was also one of them.
They soon fled to Fulham and left the flat empty, so I used to climb out of our toilet window and up a drainpipe and into their bathroom to dye my hair, before we got the license for it”.
Tony D remembers thus;
At last, a stable base. A new source of income was discovered, a leaflet-distributor company was just down the road and so a stable routine evolved as well. Some of us would head off in the morning to deliver leaflets, come back and all would sit in the Railway pub and talk into the night about great schemes and drink the daily £6 wages of the days appointed leafleters.
The Railway pub at the time had the Moonlight Club attached to it, which played a part in many Puppy adventures.
During this autumn of 1979 I was still making trips to Rough Trade to collect mail for Ripped & Torn fanzine. I was always being asked about when I was going to get Ripped & Torn going again. The people down Ladbroke Grove had no idea of my reduced circumstances, and I let them believe I was biding my time, irons in the fire etc but cash flow meant I couldn’t get going.
On one of my trips to Rough Trade Joly from Better Badges was in there and took me for a meal at the Mountain Grill cafe on Portobello Road. Good man, Joly, he could see I needed a hot meal. Whilst I stuffed my face Joly offered me a deal that he would pay for the print coasts of any magazine I wanted to put out, so long as he could distribute as many as he wanted through his mail-order business.
Any copies of the mag I wanted to sell myself I could buy off him at a trade price (I think it was 10p per copy). Basically this meant I could publish for free.
On the way home I bought a typewriter in a second hand shop for £6 (a days wages!) and back in the room I told the other people the news. “We’re going to write a new fanzine from this very room”, I declaimed, “and it’s going to be called ‘Fuck Your Mother’!” The people in that room would be the first FYM collective. So I guess they came first. Though some didn’t participate in the writing of the magazine. They were in bands called The Last Words and Urban Guerillas, and there was also Dave later to become a Sex Gang Child.
By the time I got back to Joly and agreed to his business proposal the title had changed to Kill Your Pet Puppy. I’ve always thought the title came from Val Puppy but she denies it.
KYPP1 was written very quickly. We were in the process of moving into another part of the building, and had some floor space to work on. Brett Puppy did the distinctive logo, girl with scissors and hair lettering, – he did that the same day we decided on the name.
After we saw Brett’s work we knew we had to go some to make something worthy of his effort. Jeremy Gluck of the Barracudas wrote his piece on glam and Abba after a Barracudas gig at the Moonlight club. He had no idea what the rest of the zine was going to be. He had of course written about the Vile Tones for Ripped & Torn.
(Still to be written up: The Crass gigs at the Moonlight club, their first since the Conway Hall, and skinhead violence that inspired the anti-Crass pacifism-stance KYPP piece “Pro-Crass-tination”. This entailed a trip by Leigh and myself to Dial House).
The zine was coming together, and then Joly suggested we get it done in time for the Ants’ New Years day gig at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, the most anticipated and hottest punk gig of the time. Adam was to supply a picture for the cover, DO IT Records were to supply exclusive photos for the inside and there was meant to be a pro-Ants piece prominent in the issue.
However whilst waiting for Adam to come up with his front cover photo – he’s promised something “special” – news was coming through about dissent in the Ant band ranks. The article that was written was from stories hot off the street (and inside the Screen on the Green).
Life being as it is, Adam was so late in getting his picture to us he had to take it direct to Joly’s printing presses on Portobello Road. Adam had to arrive just as the presses were churning out the Ant piece, slagging Adam off!
Joly remembers it was touch and go if Adam would or would not give up his picture. This is the picture on the cover of KYPP 1, the Polaroid. Luckily Brett had done the cover with that Black and Red anarchy flag style because we had no idea what Adam was bringing to the table. Lucky we did, eh?
One or two days after that Joly had set up his stall at the back of the Electric Ballroom and amongst the badges and other fanzines was issue one of KYPP.
The cry was out, “Ants, Tunial, Crass, new issue”. That may as well have been the name! 500 copies were printed up in time for that gig and the lot were sold that night. Joly told me his stall had sold every copy as the Ants came back on stage for yet another encore, a parody of Y.M.C.A. called A.N.T.S. All I remember is dancing to this song with a great big grin on my face then waking up in a strange house in Islington with a bunch of new friends”.
Hopefully some of the other members of the old KYPP Collective will add further comments relevant to this night…
The gig is absolutely vital in the history of the fanzine…And to think it all happened exactly thirty years ago!
I got this copy of the New Years day Antz performance from Tony D. Unfortunately the original tape was transferred onto a CD, a format which I do not upload from, I upload normally from just rare vinyl and cassettes, so there are slight gaps between the songs due to the ‘donor’ CD being spaced. Sorry about that…Still a marvelous performance by this great band, a band that would soon change both its members and its image!
NOTE: This post has been brought forward from January 20th 2008, as this gig was, as stated above, an important date in the fanzines history which also coincides nicely with todays date. The post has been ‘beefed up’ quite considerably with extra information and photos on this very day though.
HAPPY 30TH BIRTHDAY TO KILL YOUR PET PUPPY FANZINE…AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL THE KYPP ONLINE BROWSERS FROM ALL THE KYPP SITE OPERATIVES!