From Austin, Texas, c. 1982
Here’s an old flyer, ostensibly distributed in Austin, Texas, around the time of a Clash gig there, probably on the “Combat Rock” tour. It’s notable for its parasituationist politics, complete with Debord quote (using the ’77 translation of The Society of the Spectacle). I hate the Clash’s pomposity and political posturing as much as the next punk, but this flyer does strike me as a bit overwrought and humorless. Still, I thought this would be a pretty cool artifact to share. What I really would like to know is which bands the flyer’s creators did like. Really Red or AK-47 perhaps? Certainly this sort of political rhetoric was uncommon in the US punk scene circa 1982, prior to the LP by The Feederz and Bill Brown’s “Introduction to the Situationist International” published in MRR #19 in November 1984 (which generated a bit of a kerfuffle between Brown and The Feederz). I would love to know who was behind this flyer. The rhetoric is a bit tiresome today, especially because the acerbic tone used here has been reproduced ad nauseum by other parasituationists in the 25 years since, but at the time this must have been one of the most radical and articulate (though a bit wide-eyed) critiques of the Clash ever written. As the hagiography of Strummer, the Clash, and pretty much the entire original London punk scene grows apace, I wish there were more people talking about the other side of the story, the truly underground bands and fans, who took the lessons of these original punx to heart and kept their spirit alive long after being abandoned by their originators.