Crass – Toxic Grafity Fanzine – 1979

First pressing of flexi

Second pressing of flexi

Crass – ‘Tribal Rival Rebel Revel’ flexi disc

This particular issue of Toxic Grafity is probably the most well known of the handful that were produced. It was also one of the best selling (of all fanzines, not just Toxic Grafity!) due to the free flexi disc of a (then) unreleased track by Crass being included.

It should be noted that Throbbing Gristle are also featured in this issue which was always a bonus for fanzines in the late 1970’s.

I am indebted to Toxic Grafity’s writer and editor, Mike Diboll for supplying the following information below on how this particular issue of Toxic Grafity got produced. All artwork on this post is from this issue of Toxic Grafity.

This edition of Toxic Grafity was put together while I was squatting in New Cross, south London and originally printed during late 1979, but it didn’t really get into folks homes until early 1980, when a substantial reprint was done. Originally 2,000 came off the presses, quite how many were eventually printed, I am not sure.


Joly from Better Badges (who also printed the first three KYPP’s fanzines, the last three were printed by Little ‘A’ Printers) used to always swing things so it seemed that I owed him lots of money (quite large sums for those days); I’m sure he may well have been diddling me, but that was my fault, because I was very naive in those days and thought that anything do with business, copyright etc, was bourgeois and reactionary, so perhaps I deserved it. Also, it must also be added that I was off my head a fair bit in those days, but of course so was Joly! Judging by the number of flexi’s that were sent to Better Badges, I suspect the actual print run was over 10,000, perhaps well over.


A year before the release of this particular issue of Toxic Grafity, in 1978, and also during 1979, there had been some really nasty rucks at Crass gigs at the Conway Hall in Red Lion Square in west central London. These rucks had mainly been fought between boneheads and bikers brought in by the SWP.


I can’t remember what the gigs were in aid of, but it was something the SWP had a hand in. The boneheads were used to pushing punks around, but got far more than they bargained for when taking on the bikers, some of whom were grown men in their 30s and 40s armed with bike chains, knives etc. After those experiences at there concerts Crass seemed to get a lot more edgy than they had been previously about sharing any sort of platform with members of the ‘hard’ left wing.

The lyrics to the Crass 7″ single ‘Bloody Revolutions’ is based on that feeling from the band around this time.


Basically it was the left wing causes that Crass would sometimes support, that seemed to aggravate the boneheads, and of course the boneheads would generally mill around the halls looking dangerous, and on occasions causing some real trouble.

Toxic Grafity didn’t really have those left wing associations, and (luckily) I also knew a few of the bonehead contingent quite well. I had always despised their ideology, but on a human level I was quite friendly with some of them. This I think helped diffuse things when Crass performed at the Toxic Grafity event staged at the Conway Hall late on in 1979.



It was not a violent night at all, which was obviously good news at the time considering the previous gigs at the Conway Hall. There were of course some minor problems, but those situations were quickly nipped in the bud by some friends of my family that had come to witness the gig.


The flexi disc followed on from the Toxic Grafity benefit gig, it was Penny’s idea, he bought it up one evening at Dial House, the Crass commune, way out in North Weald, Essex.


The original Toxic Grafity benefit was staged because of an incident late on in 1978 when I was pulled by the police in Soho, the seedier area of the west end of London. The police stopped me on one of those charges they used to pick punks and other ne’r-do-wells up on, the infamous SUS law. I had stopped off in Soho on my way back from a visit to Dial House, and had the artwork of an earlier Toxic Grafity on me. The police found this highly amusing, as you might imagine, destroyed the artwork, treated me a bit roughly, threatened me, and said that they’d put me on some sort of Special Branch terrorist watch list. Looking back on this as a 50 year-old I can see that this was almost certainly bullshit, but I took it seriously enough at the time!

As a result, Crass decided to help Toxic Grafity out (a previous issue had carried one of the first in-depth interviews with them), and the gig at the Conway Hall and the flexi disc followed on from that.  


The track on the flexi disc, was not one of Crass’ more in-depth or enigmatic tracks, rather it was what it says it is, a protest against violent political sectarianism screwing up the young. Of course I was extramely grateful never the less.

I’ve repudiated so much of what I used to believe in during those days in the late 1970’s, but the closing words for Crass’ ‘Bloody Revolutions’ track “but the truth of revolution, brother, is Year Zero” still appeals to the Burkeian in me!


Joly at Better Badges did the litho printing for the fanzine and sorted out the badges. Southern Studios took care of the flexi disc by Crass, but I can’t remember where they had it pressed, or how many exactly were manufactured. The Crass flexi discs were written in red for the original publication of Toxic Grafity, others were written in silver for subsequent issues of the fanzine.


Eventually there were five Toxic Grafity fanzines that were produced and sold from 1978 – 1981.


Toxic Grafity issue 6 and 7 were planned and in large part nearly prepared, but I became a father in March 1982 (I’m now a grandfather, twice), and ‘reality’ stepped in quite soon after so all those projects were cancelled.


The later Toxic Grafity’s, including the issue above, had dropped the whole band interview thing and had became more like an anarcho-punk agit-art magazine, similar to what Kill Your Pet Puppy would evolve into.


By 1983 I was doing a lot of dispatching and also a lot of ‘white van man’ work until sometime in 1989. While doing these small jobs, a friend of mine, Wayne Minor (from Brixton’s 121 Railton Road bookshop) and myself brought out one issue of “The Commonweal” which was a more mainstream anarchist publication in 1985.


In 1989 I entered university as a mature student.


I now live and work in the middle east.

To advertise this issue of Toxic Grafity, Crass arranged to press up a few hundred vinyl copies of the same version of ‘Rival Tribal Rebel Revel’ to give to record stores that were ordering the fanzine in bulk. This was so the shop had a ‘hard’ vinyl copy that the shop could play rather than play the flexi disc from the fanzine if any potential buyers wanted a snippet pre buying the product.

With thanks to Chris Low for supplying the personal letter from Mike to Chris

  1. alistairliv
    June 26, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Poking about on youtube found a whole wodge of Warsaw (band name before Joy Division) recorded in May 1978. Very punky. Listening to an early version (Warsaw) of Transmission now – quite different from Unknown Pleasures version.

  2. alistairliv
    June 26, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Just found that the Warsaw album (released in 1994) is still available and bought a copy.

  3. Mike Diboll
    Mike Diboll
    June 26, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    “Ah well…it wasn’t as if he was writing chirpy love songs before that. . .”

    Now there’s a scenario for you: Ian Curtis is cut down in the nick of time, jacks it in with Joy Division, and joins fellow Mancs The Buzzcocks!

    Alistair, I agree about “Closer”, it’s just that it was the only JD CD I had handy to pop into my car’s stereo on the way to work. A very toxic effect it had too: doing 120 mph to “Atrocity Exhibition” (second playing of CD on this trip), “This is the way, step inside. . .” croons Ian across a third of a century. “Stop, Mike, it doesn’t have to end this way. . .” says my guardian angel. Out comes Closer, in goes the MoS house compilation, back to 70 mph sanity.

    Yes, “Unknown Pleasures” is ur-JD for me, although “Means to an End” gives “She’s Lost Control” a run for its money as a JD anthem, if you can use the word “anthem” in the context of JD. The vaguely tango-ish rhythm track reminds me a bit of “Love is the Drug”, but instead of Ferry’s macho pop-crooner sex-addict we have Ian’s grown man whimpering “I put my trust in you, in you, in you. . .” Probably over a one night stand he picked up at a singles bar.

    I used to have a fetish for “She’s Lost Control” type druggie, existential crisis women, until I grew up belatedly some time in my mid-thirties.

    The early “Ideal” sounds a bit like The Damned to me, especial the rhythm section and the vocalisation. The trademark jangly guitar is still there however, and sometimes its far back in the mix, as in the mature JD. Note how far JD’s visual aesthetic come on, compare the cool cover art on “Pleasures” with the silly Nazi chic Hitler Youth drummer on the sleve of the early “Ideal”.

    I’d say the Warsaw “Transmission” sounds less punky and more ur-JD than the early JD “Ideal”; this is an excellent track.

    Sam, I used to have a JD flexi-disc with two (maybe three?) tracks on it, one at least was very experimental mix-wise. I used to play it to death at 66a (I had several copies in my desk drawer as they wore out quite quickly). I can’t remember what was on it, or where I got it from. Can you or anyone else out there help me?

  4. Sam
    June 26, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Don’t remember the flexi disc Mike. They ditched the Fascist drummer boy chic in favour of the Unknown Pleasures-type stuff due to signing to Factory Records. The Factory story will hopefully stand the test of time as a glorious example of idealists committing commercial suicide again and again. I love the fact that the multi million seller ‘Blue Monday’s packaging cost more to produce than they were selling it for.

  5. Mike Diboll
    Mike Diboll
    June 26, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    Thanks so much for that, Luggy. How time flies. I can see why I would have liked it at the time. the drumming, particularly at the beginning, could almost be. . .Penny Rimbaud! Then I woke up.

  6. Mike Diboll
    Mike Diboll
    June 26, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    “The Factory story will hopefully stand the test of time as a glorious example of idealists committing commercial suicide again and again. . .”

    True, so true, Sam. That’s what’s so lacking today. Unless I’m missing out on something massively, which is also quite possible. Certainly that sort of thing would be unthinkable in today’s music and publishing industries. Perhaps the postmodern miracle that is the Internet offers alternatives. . . .

    (Mike Diboll is 93)

  7. Mike Diboll
    Mike Diboll
    June 26, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    Me again. I’m listening to the Warsaw “Transmission” as I type. What an awesome track.

    I love that deep, rolling bass, the trademark guitar that does its thing commenting melodically on the lyrics. The lyrics to are crisp and tinny and crude, almost like a voice over added after the music was laid down. Was that deliberate, or an effect of the technology available on whatever budget they had.

    It doesn’t come over at all punky until your here that crude vocal delivery about halfway through, where Ian’s natural speaking voice and accent breaks through the mix a couple of times, and for a moment you think of 101 garage bands. and meanwhile the whole thing pumps on, like a machine in, in a. . . . .factory! Wicked!

    That baby on the cover must be a 30-something now. My listening window is going to close in a moment, as my wife’s breastfeeding our six month old in the bedroom as I type. She’ll be back in a mo!

    Due to her getting an ear infection, I was spared her last night’s “girls’ night in” ’80s karaoke night with her girl mates. Otherwise I would have been relegated to being grumpy old git in the bedroom with the baby while her and her ’70s born mates catawalled to Madonna, MJ and such like.

    I love her to bits, though. Is this an appropriate forum to confess that in 1982 I bought the “Billy Jean” 12″? My first and last Jacko disc!

    Back to JD. Cheers, Luggy!

  8. Mike Diboll
    Mike Diboll
    June 26, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Now she’s playing Prefab Sprout, her obsession, her revenge!

  9. Sam
    June 26, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    “Is this an appropriate forum to confess that in 1982 I bought the “Billy Jean” 12″? My first and last Jacko disc!”

    Nought wrong wi’ that!

  10. andus
    June 26, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Billy Jean is a brilliant track, I had a copy of that as well, pretty much the only decent Jackson track. But did he really die of a heart attack or was he murdered by the c i a, I’m sure we can get a conspiracy theory out of it if we tried hard enough.

  11. Sam
    June 26, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    “Perhaps the postmodern miracle that is the Internet offers alternatives. . . . ”

    Although I obviously enjoy the benefits of the thing, I have come to the conclusion that the mindset brought on by modern technology is largely something to be fought rather than embraced. I’ve just quit the band I’ve been playing in for 3 years. We just spent 3 weeks in a van going to Colorado and back. Sounds like fun but 5 other people constantly on laptops and iphones updating their Twitter status and Facebook pages, taking pictures of food to share with the rest of the world, finding Walmarts and Starbucks on their personal GPSs drives me mad. That and there is no shared experience of music anymore. Someone puts in a CD, 3 other people are on their ipods. So I’m a grumpy old dinosaur but the self-obsession and fractured virtual lives that people lead is worrying. Maybe I’ll dispense with my PC. Or maybe not.

  12. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    June 26, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    M.D “Is this an appropriate forum to confess that in 1982 I bought the “Billy Jean” 12″? My first and last Jacko disc!”

    I still have my copy of the LP ‘Off The Wall’ which was my first and last Jacko disc, purchased when he still had an afro (or at least jerry curls!).

    Sam, shame you quit the band, the few times I went up to gigs with various bands was during a much simpler time when the distractions were far less, one or two tapes for the road. A bottle to pee in, and actually talking to the other folk sitting in the van. Your trip seems very sterile to me, as I am sure it was for you.
    It’s not technology to blame though, it’s how folk use it.
    Folk should be more than capable to use the new hand held/lap top gadgets and still be able to interact personally with the folk around them whether friends/family or other folk.
    If I have an ipod for a long journey and someone wants to talk to me I take it off and listen and talk, Enya I am sure can wait! (that’s a joke btw). Ditto lap top computers.
    All this new technology has an ‘off’ switch and that switch should be used more often than perhaps it is!

  13. Sam
    June 27, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    I tried to explain to one of them that, if they post something like ‘John is mowing the lawn today’ on Twitter, my honest first reaction is ‘who cares?’. There followed a lengthy conversation where I had to explain that this didn’t mean I don’t care about the person in question etc….
    I honestly can’t stand it. They will talk to you, but there’s always the clack of tiny keyboards in the background. Anyone ever read ‘Walking on Glass’ by Iain Banks? There’s a scene in that that always springs to mind regarding virtuality, written at least a decade before the internet.

  14. andus
    June 27, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    I read Walking on Glass, great story. The bit I like is towards the end where the Character is going on about billions of years of evolution resulting in a porno mag and a wank. I can’t remember the actual lines and I don’t have a copy of it anymore, its about 15 years since I read it, Its the one with the question, ‘What happens when an unstoppable force hits an unmovable object, and they’re trapped in this room until they can answer it, and this bird continually mocks them, If I remember right its 2 or 3 stories mixed up.

    I thought The Wasp Factory was Ian Banks best book, and his first I think.

  15. chris
    June 27, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    MIKE D: “as a corporate entity Crass especially was humourless, and encouraged an earnest humourlessness that is the mark of the fanatic.”

    just want to say I totally agree with that and your above post related to that position.

    the unfortunate fact being that extremity and fanaticism will always attract young impressionable minds.

    I actually wrote about this when I was interviewed for that ian Glasper book but none of my answer was printed:

    “being from a comfortable and loving family I didn’t exactly have anything to be AGAINST but a major part of it’s [Crass’ “Feeding of the 5,000″] appeal was that it seemed to articulate and somehow validate all these ill-formed feelings of pubertal resentment and negativity you felt. School was shit, the lessons were boring, and having to say prayers was for kids, no different to santa-clause but for some unintelligible reason treated otherwise… all your mates who were into football or wanted to join the army were stupid, coronation street and everything on tv seemed brain-dead, and with your hormones raging all your mates Jackanory stories of getting off girls after school discos made you think you were the only person on the planet not getting any. But suddenly, ‘feeding’ was there , providing, by proxy, an alternative reality and comfort-zone, that in essence made you think that as the things it was ‘against’ were things that you couldn’t relate to, it was a whole all-encompassing ethos and ideology of alienation and disassociation that you could derive an identity and sovereignty from”

    An “identity and sovereignty” that for many I believe simply created another highly confusing ‘guilt system’ to an extent just as oppressive as organised religion in that it critiqued everything that basically was fun, and kind of vilified much that is a fairly integral part of growing up. One instance in particular I recall being upon going to stay with a fellow fanzine-writer of similar age (13 or 14) the palable ‘fear and guilt’ he displayed when, going through his box of fanzines we came across a couple of porn mags. Whereas with any of my (non punk/crass fan) friends from school i’d gone to stay with probably the fist thing they’d have done was get the scud mags out.

    Not that I think many kids genuinely subscribed to this hair-shirted asceticism for long but several I met at the time did, and it was much to their detriment as developing children. For some, I perceived a feeling that there was a real feeling that somethings would be ‘bad’ and verboten in the eyes of Crass, just as Crass themselves wrote about their reasons for articulating the sentiments on ‘Reality Asylum’.

  16. Sam
    June 28, 2009 at 5:47 am

    “Its the one with the question, ‘What happens when an unstoppable force hits an unmovable object, and they’re trapped in this room until they can answer it, and this bird continually mocks them, If I remember right its 2 or 3 stories mixed up. ”

    That’s the one. Within this same subplot, the lead character eventually is shown into a room by the mocking crow, which is endless, white and filled with infinite ranks of people standing on chairs with their heads in these domes which go into the ceiling. The lead character succumbs to temptation and stands on an empty chair, puts his head into a dome and gets sucked into a virtual world whereby he becomes another character in the book and presumably stays there forever leading a completely meaningless life.

  17. andus
    June 28, 2009 at 11:27 am

    I’m gonna have to read that book again, I think it was about 1995 when I read it, I Don’t remember the bit you’ve just explained, Can you believe I sold my copy of that book a mere 4 weeks ago, now I wish I hadn’t, Now I’m gonna have to re-buy it, what a laugh, perhaps the library will have a copy.

  18. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    June 28, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    I uploaded two recent photographs of Mike Diboll onto the post above, one of which shows his lovely newborn baby.

    M.D. – “Anyhow, that’s enough of that. FYI, all you Puppy-ites out there, I’ll be on my summer vacation in the UK from 13th July to the 18th August. I’ll be staying near Brighton”.

    “If any of you fancy meeting up face-to-face for the first time in the best part of 30 year please let me know (I’ve still got to sell the idea to my wife, but there you go)”.

    Luggy is the main man for organising KYPP picnics (he knows everyone!). We were discussing doing one out of London for the next major one. Bristol was discussed, but the South Coast in late July early August would be great. I can not do 16/08 as I will be at this years Mini In The Park (50th anniversary of the Austin Mini) at Santa Pod, I go every year in my Mini Cooper so will not miss this ‘special one’. Other than that I am free all weekends between the dates you mentioned I think.
    Will contact Mike Lugworm when he returns from Ireland, and see if we can arrange something.
    Any forthcoming KYPP gatherings if and when arranged will of course be advertised on this site.

  19. Sam
    June 29, 2009 at 5:42 am

    Looking good Mikey D!

  20. Mikey D!
    Mikey D!
    June 29, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Cheers, Sam! I’ve got 101 things to say re recent posts, but a nasty tropical virus caught in a recent trip to SE Asia (no, not that virus!) and subsequent secondary bacterial infections have laid us all up. I’ll get back in a day or so with full feedback! Mike

  21. Sam
    June 30, 2009 at 6:25 am

    Whatever happened to ‘Iggy’ who lived at Westbere Rd? There was a strange taste for long (European) leather jackets and briefcases amongst Joy Division/ Kraftwerk/ Krautrock types around 1980. I bumped into Iggy on Kilburn High Rd around 1982. We chatted for a while then I asked for his phone number. He opened his briefcase which contained a pen, notepad and 20 Bensons. Made a mental snapshot and off I went, never to see him again.

  22. luggy
    June 30, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Saw Iggy about 12 years ago, had moved back to Scotland & had a young family. Looked well, think he may have been doing some sort of social work but may be wrong.

  23. Mike Diboll
    Mike Diboll
    July 4, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Hi Andus,

    “But did he really die of a heart attack or was he murdered by the c i a, I’m sure we can get a conspiracy theory out of it if we tried hard enough.”

    The conspiracy theories have already started out here in the Middle East. The Arabs like nothing better than a good conspiracy theory to get their teeth into as a way of avoiding reality. (They still go on about the Diana and Dodi thing out here.)

    The Jacko ones are along the lines that he had converted to Islam, or was about to annonce his conversion to Islam, or whatever. So he was bumped off by the CIA/Men In Black or whoever as part of an evil Satanic conspiracy to prevent the onward march of God’s True Faith, &ct.

    Bahrain has an interesting twist to the Jacko stuff, since MJ skanked a local shiekh out of a few million dinar the shiekh had put up to finance MJ’s comback concerts, that were supposed to have been held in Bahrain.

    So perhaps it was the shiekhs that bumped him off, or the Illuminati, of the International Zionist Conspiracy, or The Fish In The Atmosphere, or Aliens.

    Or maybe he was a middle aged one-time superstar who was overdoing the preparations for a 50 date concert tour (one for every year of his life?), got all the predictable aches and pains, then OD-ed on prescription opiates. A likely story!

    Still, mustn’t speak ill of the dead, especially not since I turn 50 tomorrow! And Billy Jean was indeed a wicked track!

  24. Mike Diboll
    Mike Diboll
    July 4, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Hi Sam,

    “Although I obviously enjoy the benefits of the thing, I have come to the conclusion that the mindset brought on by modern technology is largely something to be fought rather than embraced. . .”

    I have mixed feelings about ICT. On the one hand I very much share your frustrations. My 12 year-old son Ben has about a dozen digital devices of one sort or the other at which you’ll find him gazing mindlessly for most of the day.

    This drives me fucking nuts, although obviously it’s my fault for buying him this junk in the first place, I suppose. Misguidedly I didn’t want him to miss out on this ave and that of new ITC applicaions, but I’ve risked turning him into some kind of geek.

    The mot pernicious thing is bloody Runescape, some sort of fantasy/wargame thing he plays with virtual friends (insomniacs) across the globe. This is a genuine addiction, and I get genuinely worried as to what route his Internet addiction will take when the hormones start to kick in in a year or so.

    It’s a pity, as he’s an intelligent and also quite a physical lad, who’s enjoyed and proved himself at all manner of things from chess to Rugby, karate, and off-road driving. Yet you try and drag him away from the computer, Playstation, Wii, or whatever. Added to that, my wife’s a Facebook addict, or if not a full-on addict, at least a problem user.

    On the other hand, ICT enables me to contact all sorts of people professionally and socially from across the globe in real-time. It’s an invaluable resource for research and writing, to the extent I can’t imagine how I ever did with out it. It even enables me to reach across time and get in contact with people I’ve not seem for nearly 30 years! (Assuming that’s a good thing!)

    Even my ‘net-addicted son does good Internet research and stuff for his homework, and can genuinely multi-task with about 5 different screens up all at the same time combining virtual socialising with homework and bloody Runescape.

    True, Facebook drives me nuts. I have an FB page which I visit once every few weeks or so, but that’s only because one is thought to be weird of one doesn’t. Twitter is even worse. What’s the fucking point of it?

    “Just did wet fart” 2 Hours Ago, &ct.

    Perhaps stalkers find it useful:

    “Liz H has just gone indoors”, 5 Minutes Ago, &ct.

    Or perhaps revolutionaries do. Recent events in Iran (very hot news here in Bahrain since Iran has a territorial claim over the island and there are many militant, pro-Iranian Shia here) has shown the usefulness of social networking sites, even the idiotic Twitter, since it has proved virtually impossible to censor them.

    During the ’78-9 revolution it was cassette tapes and the fax machine enabled people to side-step government censorship.

  25. Mike Diboll
    Mike Diboll
    July 4, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    “The bit I like is towards the end where the Character is going on about billions of years of evolution resulting in a porno mag and a wank.”

    Don’t forget the Pot Noodle!

    Seriously, the thing I don’t like about ICT is the way it breaks down real, human, face-to-face communication and interaction.

    I’m a big fan of Martin Buber and his “Ich-Du”, I-Thou” philosophy, where he equated the I-Thou relationship as one which generates mutual self-discovery and existential authenticity, where as “Ich-Es”, “I-It” relationships bring about objectificationand commodification:

    “He explained this philosophy using the word pairs of Ich-Du and Ich-Es to categorize the modes of consciousness, interaction, and being through which an individual engages with other individuals, inanimate objects, and all reality in general. Philosophically, these word pairs express complex ideas about modes of being – particularly how a person exists and actualizes that existence. As Buber argues in I and Thou, a person is at all times engaged with the world in one of these modes.

    The generic motif Buber employs to describe the dual modes of being is one of dialogue (Ich-Du) and monologue (Ich-Es). The concept of communication, particularly language-oriented communication, is used both in describing dialogue/monologue through metaphors and expressing the interpersonal nature of human existence.”

    (From Wikipedia. . .Ooops!)

  26. Mike Diboll
    Mike Diboll
    July 4, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Hi Chris,

    “. . .the unfortunate fact being that extremity and fanaticism will always attract young impressionable minds.”

    Right on, brother! I bear the scars on my back from this. I see it every day out here in the Middle East, where angry young men (and women) get artached to off pat Islamic solutions (like /islam huwa al Hall/, “Islam is the Solution”, Hamas’ slogan), which in fact are solutions to nothing, but make sense if you are angry and not able or prepared to ask “Yeh, but. . .”

    “. . .being from a comfortable and loving family I didn’t exactly have anything to be AGAINST. . .”

    Me too Chris. So one makes up some phoney narrative about how oppressed one is, and then internalise this narrative so that it becomes THE TRUTH; like all ideologues the first person I lied to was myself, so once I’d convinced myself of the truth of falsehood when I spead the lie to others I was in a sense not really lying since I’d convinced myself that what I said was true. What a crazy mixed up kid I was!

  27. Mike Diboll
    Mike Diboll
    July 4, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Hi Penguin,

    “I uploaded two recent photographs of Mike Diboll onto the post above, one of which shows his lovely newborn baby. . . .”

    That’s my daughter Rebecca Beatrice. Rebecca and Benjain, two wonderful kid’s names to have in this part of the Middle East (not that I’m Jewish, well only on my mother’s side, and they’d converted to Catholicism long ago).

    This picture was taken earlier this year at a South African friend’s Braii party, with a 1960s theme. “Braii Fleisch”, “Broilled Flesh” is the Afrikaans BBQ with balls. God, those guys know how to cook meat, put the Aussies to shame. “Braii Skeep” is a broilled whole sheep, cooked on a spit, Medieval style. The ostrich was good too, farmed across the Causeway in Saudi.

    There are loads of Afrikaners in the Gulf. I really like them, salt-of-the-earth, no bullshit types, although PC they aren’t and the way they talk about race &ct reminds one very much of the way (white) people in Britain used to talk crica “Love Thy Neighbour”, &ct.

    The theme was 1960s, so my wife is in costume with a slightly colourful take on the Mod look. She wouldn’t have looked out of place at a Jam or a Buzzcocks gig actually, although back in 1976 she would have been a baby, and I a nonce, were I going out with her then! I don’t have to look 1960s, being born in 1959 I was there mate. . .sort of. . .kinda just remember the end. . . .

    Apart from my shirt, jacket, hair, &ct my other 1960s genture is my old Range. Actually it’s a 1984 model, but it’s one of the very last old ones made before the Range Rover brand started to go seriously up market, and as such differs very little from the original Range Rover of 1970, except that it’s got four doors, wind-up (not sliding) windows, no quarter lights, mirrors on the doors not the wings, a fifth gear, a rev counter, and a (period) stereo radio. Other than that it feels very much like a late 1960s car to drive, complete with that whirring noise in reverse that one never hears these days.

    I have two other Land Rovers: a 2002 4.0 V8 Discovery, and a 2005 2.5 V6 Freelander (my wife’s car, actually). The latter is quad-cam 4 valve per head, electronic engine management, &ct goes like like shit off a shovel, quite like a full-on rally car circa 1979 in fact, with more or less indentical performance to something like a Ford RS 1800 or a Sunbeam Lotus. Except that it’ll do the school run, carry five people in comfort along with loads of shopping, &ct.

    But for me it has to be the V8. The Rover V8, memories from my mispent youth. I’ll explain another time. Now I’m turning 50 I’m turning into an old fart who wants a sports car. An MGB V8 would do nicely, better still the TVR with the 5.0 version of the venerable old Rover (formerly Buick) V8.

  28. Mike Diboll
    Mike Diboll
    July 4, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Hi Penguin,

    What sort of Mini Cooper do you have? There are so many cool vehicle that have had/are about to have their 50th anniversary: the Austin Mini, the Ford Mustang, the Harley Sportster, the Series II Land Rover, the Lotus/Caterham 7, the Triumph Bonneveille, &ct. And last years was Land Rover’s and Porsche’s 60th.

    Personally I must confess I’m not a Mini man: too small, too square, too much like a two wheeled scooter.

    As a punk I used to prefer the Punk Rocker look, like Sid: biker jacket, ripped jeans, &ct., rather than the Mod.Suede/Skin look. Or at least I did until I hooked up with Crass, donned the Pol Pot-like black uniform, and forgot how to have a laugh. In fact, immediately before punk (75-6) I was a bit of a Greaser geezer.

    So I held the poor old Mini respoinsible, along with the Vespa and the Honda responsible for killing off the British bike industry. After all, who’d buy a motorbike and sidecar as family transport like they did in the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s when circa 1960 you could buy a Mini for 500 quid?

    So the Mini helped democratise British motoring, and unlike scooters it stuck to the road like shit to a blanket (at least by late 50s, early 60s standards). Then of course there was the Cooper winning consecutive Monte Carlos in, what was it, ’64, ’65, ’66? And the Italian Job, Minis with Union Jacks on the roof, containing Twiggy, &ct.

    So an icon, yes; good on you Penguin.

  29. Mike Diboll
    Mike Diboll
    July 4, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    “Looking good Mikey D!”

    Cheers, Sam. Today is my last day of 40 somethingdom, tomorrow it’s Jack Lord Is Steve McGarret in Hawaii Fuckin’ Five-O time. Eeek! My life already!

  30. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    July 5, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Here you go Mike:

    The 1996 Mini Cooper –

    The 1965 Vespa Sprint –

    And finally my late father’s 1960 Austin Seven Mini that the family is restoring from the way it looked previously, all should be finished this year.

    I have also owned a Mini 850 City when I passed the test at 17, then a Mini 1000 Mayfair a little bit later, then the 1996 Mini 1300 Cooper bought from new which I still own.
    The dad’s 1960 Austin Seven Mini (1 year after production) was the car I was driven around in until 1966 – 1972, then he upgraded to a BL Mini 1000 at thet time until 1976 (while storing the 1960 Mini in a falling apart wood and asbestos garage til we cranked it out a couple of years ago to get the restoration done on it). From 1976 he purchased Austin Maxi’s (two of them) and then various Rover ‘yawn’ cars till his death.

    Happy Birthday btw.

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