Didn’t You Used To Be Tony D?

September went a bit mad for my old Ripped & Torn past, as two events dusted it down and included it in their various retrospectives of punk and DIY culture.

The events were the launch of a book called ‘Fanzines’, authored by Teal Triggs and an exhibition of punk memorabilia – Loud Flash: British Punk On Paper –  at a Mayfair art gallery curated by the fashion designer Toby Mott.

Press interest in the exhibition led to covers of Ripped & Torn being published in such mainstream papers as The Observer and Shortlist magazine (plus honourable mentions in many more). See these pages by clicking here or go to our photobucket gallery on your own steam and look in the ‘Nowadays’ album.

The book launch was held in the bowels of the London College of Communication at Elephant & Castle, and was well attended by a large crowd of mainly young and enthusiastic writers / designers / self-publishers.


I spoke with the author who told me that the art of fanzines is flourishing as new writers are reverting to the printed page more and more and she has never seen so much interest in the fanzine culture: both looking at the old and writing the new.

This KYPP site is mentioned in the book and Teal said, “the book shows how important your zine has been both in terms of content and also graphically. I certainly have enjoyed   keeping up with things from your website”.

This event is written about here by Jeremy Leslie at Magculture.com, he also took the picture of Teal and myself.

Three days later was the private view of Loud Flash: British Punk On Paper, and after the LCC I wasn’t prepared for how posh was the Haunch Of Venison art gallery where the exhibition was being held: or how many people would be attending this event.

It was heaving, and heaving with the most significant people. We formed a punk corner with people like Spizz Oil and other fanzine writers, venturing out into the mass only to run into Adam Ant!

There’s an enormous amount of stuff on display – interestingly there are walls of both National Front and Rock Against Racism stuff showing that young Toby Mott had a grasp of the bigger picture of punk – well worth a visit. It’s free and on till 30th October, address: 6 Burlington Gardens W1S 3ET.

I behaved myself well enough at the private view to be invited to join a roundtable discussion about punk to be held the next week.

The roundtable discussion held on Wednesday 29th September at the Haunch of Venison Gallery turned out to be very interesting for those of us on the panel but not so sure what the invited audience made of it.

Photo by Heather Blockley

The panel consisted of Toby Mott, Ray Gange (actor from the Clash film ‘Rude Boy’), Teal Triggs, myself and a literary hero, who turned out to be my nemesis on the night, Peter York.

Peter, who wrote about punk in 1977 for Harpers and Queen and some of these pieces are in his book Style Wars, gave a picture of punk as middle class kids posturing as a form of art. “It was never working class kids from tower blocks”, was his view, and he coloured this in with several stories and anecdotes. Even worse his version of punk was that the first wave was the only wave and that soon these kids found something else to do which allowed them to dress up and be pretty.

I gave the continuing story, that 1977 and the emergence of bands such as The Lurkers, 999 and The Ants was when punk really began to mean something; how 1978 was the year of the Ant and the beginning of mass punk squatting; then the galvanisation of Crass and the evolution of anarcho punk through the eighties.

If I hadn’t been there it would have been the Peter York vision that was propounded, as Toby and the Haunch of Venison MC – Mark ? – were from that side of society and comfortable with that revisionist history. Indeed, toward the end the three of them eagerly supported the proposition put to the panel that Thatcher was a punk rocker as she supported the entrepreneur and the ‘little guy’!

If this site / blog hadn’t existed I would have instigated it at that moment.

Made me realise why Puppy is more important than Ripped & Torn, because what we did at the time – and are doing now – is to show in a positive manner that punk didn’t neatly ‘die’ when New Romantics came along. And no matter how people like Toby Mott show the wider picture  – vis a vis the fascist / RAR stuff and materials up to and including Crass covers – punk is still too easily compartmentalized and stored away in Sex Pistol shaped boxes.

The discussion was filmed and it is hoped to have it available on either Youtube or Vimeo in the near future.

At the end a smartly dressed lady came over and introduced herself. It turned out she’d been to gigs at St John’s Church on Pentonville Road at the beginnings of anarcho. Which just goes to show something, she was of the Mayfair set and pally with the Tobys and the Peters yet she knew exactly where I was coming from and congratulated me on saying what I did. She too felt that this part of punk history was unfairly swept under the carpet. Goes to show something, but what I still can’t express.

The story continues. Housman’s bookshop have been given an evening at the ICA on October 21st and have asked me to do a bit of a talk there about punk and all that. Penguin should be there too. The acclaimed writer Stewart Home will also be on the stage, whether at the same time it’s hard to say. But it should be good.

Tony posing with R&T cover at Fanzines book launch
  1. Jah Pork Pie
    Jah Pork Pie
    October 25, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    “I think this should stop now. we all know as good lefties that jews are nazis and islamo fascists are freedom fighters.”

    …and personally, I don’t think those bloody buddhists are completely blame free in this one either. 🙂

  2. Martin C
    Martin C
    October 26, 2010 at 2:06 am

    Has anyone else noticed that Peter York looks really similar to George, from ‘George and Lynne’?

  3. Chris L
    Chris L
    October 26, 2010 at 2:26 am

    haha!! Yes! Quality 😀

  4. Sam
    October 26, 2010 at 6:01 am

    Nicholas Parsons.

  5. Tony De Befuddled
    Tony De Befuddled
    October 27, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    The roundtable discussion is now on the internet here:


    It’s over an hour long. Be warned.

  6. baronvonzubb
    October 28, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    JPP, you mean no one is innocent? who founded ID and hung around iverson road then? another great gap in me memory…

  7. baronvonzubb
    October 28, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    says I D was started by a terry jones. who was he when he was around iverson? (btw thanks KYPP for MS ing me about this event. i just noticed it apologies)

  8. Sam
    October 29, 2010 at 2:25 am

    I’m not sure who he was but he had something to do with the first issues. I think he was one of that long haired goth mob from Brixton who later morphed into Sique Sique Sputnik. Keith’s mates I think. He had all kinds of semi-trendy connections. There was the original keyboardist from Dexy’s who also lived in Brixton. Then there was that bloke who went on to star in Eastenders. I went to Kensington one night and hung out with these two fashion designers who were making the dungerees for Dexy’s. How did he meet these people?

  9. baronvonzubb
    October 29, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    your memories coming up trumps again. keith loved to lig. and unlike meself he wasnt blinded by the fact that they had some kind of talent and/or ambition and therefore wasnt made to feel inadiquet by them.
    folk like that just didnt fit into my catagory of cool, narcoed as i was. think my catagory of cool had a membership of less than zero.
    or maybe they were all just prats? i dunno. mockney actor guy was called chris george? was funny seeing him on tele. real shame our mental health system kaiboshed kieth. but heh that’ll never privatise britain.
    we have something called structural unemployment. basically means all the moneys in the south where the work is. but all the labour is in the north.
    and they cant afford to move down south because theres fuck all social housing anymore, and unlike our eastern european brothers, and this is not a racist comment merely a practical observation, the brits wont live in a dorm for any length of time whilst looking for or whilst at work.
    USA has similar problems. that is why an open labour market is so advantagous for those that need low wage labour. so whilst we have our structural unemploymant they have to keep some kind of welfare state.
    as ‘european’ we cant tolerate the sort of poverty, or at least inequality, there is in the US. its beneath our idea of ourselves as being civilised. he he
    for all the talk of the present cuts, they’re actually doing fuck all. or at least not as much as they say they are.thatcher privatised some stuff but in the end alot of it still recieved government funding. it was all a nasty little scam.

  10. baronvonzubb
    October 29, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    “but heh that’ll never privatise britain” of course it should read…but they’ll never …

  11. Sandy Robertson
    Sandy Robertson
    March 31, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Sure would like to say hi to my old 70s buddy Tony D if anyone can put me in touch? I guess he gave persmission to Prof Triggs, but many fanzine editors weren’t asked, at least not until after publication of her book judging from flak online abvout how she refuses to answer her critics about this and book being full of errors. Or have I got it wrong?

  12. Penguin
    April 9, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Hi Sandy, Tony D is in charge of this site although I do most of the work on it. He would have seen your message I would have thought and would have full access to your email details if he has. Has he contacted you yet? If not I will swerve him in this direction. There is a piece I did for Tony D’s birthday a while ago that deals with Ripped And Torn that you might like to read and / or correct! https://killyourpetpuppy.co.uk/news/the-modern-lovers-home-of-the-hits-records-1976/

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