England's Dreaming: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, and Beyond

Jon Savage, Author St. Martin's Press $27.5 (602p) ISBN 978-0-312-06963-6
With wit and authority, freelance writer Savage pens an entertaining, exhaustive chronological history of punk rock and politics through 1980. For the first several chapters the account focuses on attention-getting impresario Malcolm McLaren, who opened a series of outrageous clothing shops including Let It Rock and Sex during the early '70s with companion Vivienne Westwood. McLaren's visits to New York City left him enamored of such iconoclastic American bands as the New York Dolls and Television, and, using the nervy, bored adolescents he met while selling punk fashion, he nurtured a group that would become the Sex Pistols. McLaren and the Pistols' shenanigans are set against a background of such seminal punk bands as Iggy and the Stooges, the Clash, the Damned and the Ramones. Savage also devotes attention to McLaren's flamboyant shop maven Jordan, Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders and Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie and the Banshees as he chronicles the Pistols' ascent and decline. Even readers who consider this volume's length somewhat daunting will find it the definitive source of early-punk anecdotes. Photos. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Paperback - 656 pages - 978-0-312-28822-8
Paperback - 656 pages - 978-0-571-32628-0
Paperback - 632 pages - 978-0-571-22720-4
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