Thursday 8 September 2022

Third World War – "Third World War" (Fly Records – FLY 4) 1971

The inventors of Punk Rock,"The Joey Ramones" and their Dad,pictured circa 1875

Note from your author:
If you're bored shitless with the endless and on-going debate about who invented punk and who was or wasn't punk before punk before Punk, i recommend that you scroll down to the next notation point below to avoid more nit-picking on this very daft subject.

Wot is Proto-Punk...Discuss?

Hmmm, I must be bored?
So, we've established that the blame for The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal lays heavily on the doorstep of the Sex Pistols for making it fashionable again under a different name. So this gives me the chance to revisit that awfully tiresome subject of where did Punk start and who invented it.,which,if you're a proud American, all happened in a couple of clubs of rocking bohemians,self-proclaimed poets,junkies,and street punks in New York City around 1975 (waiting for someone to comment,1974 actually!). This is where The Ramones (the ones with the Paul McCartney inspired name!?)  ,basically played sped up metal with bubblegum lyrics atop, and,like their Glam Pop heroes,the Bay City Rollers, dressed strictly on a unalterable theme.
They had long Hair,and didn't play solo's because they weren't good enough to play them,as much as they would have loved  to. However their amped up Bubblegum Metal excited the small crowd at CBGB's and word crossed the ocean via professional trend spotter Malcolm Maclaren,then manager of New York's version of The Sweet, The New York Dolls, and said very little about this eccentric band of  long hairs...after all the UK already had Motorhead,and a plethora of long haired rockers. The Curly haired Svengali decided that he could also make a group of Losers into an art project and help promote his new shop of rubber gear.So a bunch of Kids ,some sporting hair like David Bowie,and DIY fashion,who liked Hawkwind,Roxy Music, The Who and the Small faces allegedly stole some instruments and tried to play some Mod Metal,which also seemed to excite a small audience in a small club for some obscure reason.....usually referred to as 'Boredom'.They moaned about having No Future,which I always assumed meant a steady job and a TV. If they had these things then this new wave of rockers would therefore had never happened?
Personally, my own unhappiness and anger came from far more desperate internal sources than having a few quid in the back bin. It always rankled me hearing the Clash moan about Career Opportunities,and Sham 69 whining about having 'Fuck All' was the prospect of having that unattainable future as a debt slave that made this new rock music,in inverted comma's, seem so attractive. It was after-all just another re-birth of Rock'n'Roll with better least from the British perspective. The american kids probably had career opportunities ,and were slightly more sophisticated in their existential plight,and left the Politics out of it. Therefore politics became prominent at the London end of all things Punk Rock.....a name lifted from the american garageland of the sixties(They had Cars?) by British journalists and clumsily applied to this new wave in the British Isles. Ironically, the American Sixties Punks were stylistically trapped in a fuzzier British Invasion rat-trap. Now the Brits were enviously accused of stealing american music ...again.....when no-one ever said that Rock'n'Roll was anything other than deeply American, with less acknowledged roots in Africa,.....Did you know that Elvis was ginger?He dyed  that black greasy mop Black kids.So there's some Scottish roots in this two piece jigsaw puzzle. This Pelvis person also had a backing band of middle-aged blokes....very uncool. Jerry Lee Lewis was ginger and never tried to  hide it, and Chuck Berry was still an influence in 1977,with his riffs resurrected by a bunch of pasty faced London teenagers.They cheered in the Vortex when it was announced that Elvis had died)
In the meantime,little Richard Hell was preening his naturally coloured Space-oddity spikey top, and Patti Smith was forcing Hippie Poetry down the necks of her New York captive audience saying look at us, not them; London had been taking it all back to basics since 1971 with the sweat and dirt of the thriving Pub Rock phenomena. This along with Glam were the main influences that informed the bored youth of Angleterre before the owner of 'Sex' had even alighted the plane at JFK airport. Of course that Legs O'Neil bloke will always turn up whenever the name 'Punk' is mentioned, because he thinks he invented Punk,and those limey plagiarists owe him some Dollah!.....mainly because he published a contemporary culture magazine and called it 'Punk',even then not an exclusive word,featuring the local pop culture,which inevitably included the Ramones and Dickie Hell. Glam legend Lou Reed was on issue number one, he points out...meaning precisely what exactly?
Once the Sex Pistols had been on the Telly in the UK and used sweary words,that was IT.'IT' was massive, defined and called Punk Rock.From that moment on, I put it to you, that anything from before that year zero moment onwards doesn't fall into the Punk bracket, and is therefore NOT PUNK as we know it.
It's proto-Punk at best, but more likely, something else.
You're always gonna get some smart arse who has found the new inventors of Punk,like the latest trendy candidate, Death,who were in the wrong time and the wrong place,and the wrong look (Black). What about Mozart, some fucker will always say,who struggles with the concept that something cannot be something from another established epoch. World War One didn't happen during World War Two,and the New York Bohemian Rock scene didn't happen during Punk...simples.What's not to understand? Whereas,the Californian 'Punk scene' did happen within the bracket,and therefore qualifies,as does Washington DC.
The Kinks playing "You Really Got me", isn't Punk, its sixties rock'n'roll, The Troggs, same thing, The Who etc,all Brtish eqivalents for the sruff these US Punk chumps come up with to find something which predates accepted rock'n'roll fact. The New York Dolls, a Glammed up Mick and Keef tribute band; The Stooges, sixties punk version of Glam, Dead Boys...bandwagon jumpers from US Proto-Punk capital Cleveland......and of course, The M......C.......5..groan...the British equivalent being....that's right, Third World War ,who didn't happen during WW2 either.Which brings us to the first part of an impending thread on British Proto-Punk, that doesn't need to mention the MC5,because all this Helter-Skelter mirroring stuff was happening in the UK at the same time,and never gets a knowing nod in it's direction.

Note 2:
It's ok you can open your eyes now, its gone.

This sounds like one of those man who walked into a Bar jokes, may be true?

"Joe Strummer(yeah i know!) walked up to me(jim Avery) of Third World War at the bar and said,
“Weren't you in Third World War?”
I (Jim) said “Yes”, and he shook my hand.
“You guys were doing it when everything else was dead...”

So Says Jim Avery,bass player for Third World War (2004)

Doing what exactly Woody Mellor (future Clash member)? Playing bad arsed bovver Rock while you were a Woody Guthrie clone folk musician with curly hair?

The stuff Third World war was playing in 1970 was what the music press would have labelled 'Blues Rock',and certainly would not have been called Punk Rock,like the MC5 and Stooges weren't called either of those epithets.Biker Rock was used for the MC5, and the Stooges were garage rock in 1969 and Glam in 1973.
Retrospectively,we lessening breed of 21st century rock librarian bores,tend to utilise our Dewey decimal system looking backwards,and apply categories that never existed at the time to all sorts of bizarre sub-species of the same thing.This never existed at the time.A case in point would be Post-Punk,which has been applied to all manner of stuff that,at the time, I would have just called 'Punk'. Its no longer 'Fuck You' its 'I'm Fucked',is the mantra attributed to things like Joy Division,where even the band members referred to themselves as a Punk group.
Basically, in the beginning, there was Rock'n'Roll, and on the 8th day someone invented Viking Funeral Doom Metal!

Third World War,without the Blues inflected vocals,by Terrance Stamp (Nooooo,not Michael Caines wing-man!), sounds like a sludge version of Crass,but from a time when even Penny Rimbaud was a young Beatles Fan.However,they had a guitar sound that would have happily graced any DIY Punk band from 1981,or even The Fall in 1980.
They had the Politics too.Fashionably 1969-style Communism in a Das Kapital by numbers kind of thing. Wouldn't have gone down well in the USA, but in post-hippy Britain this was ignored as normal.Expected even?
Apparently they have celebrity fans.....see if you can guess who they are.....yep,rather unpredictably,that charming married couple of professional punks Henry Rollins and Ian Mackaye. They come as a pair and count one point only; plus serial 'punk' namedropper,one Steven Albini for a miserly 2 points.
These commie bovver rockers tick many boxes,but I think they got it right in the Melody Maker in 1971....Blues Rock.....tick!
I will,however) allow 'Punk before Punk' used as an adjective for future reference.Punk after Punk can be,logically, contracted to just 'Punk',as that's what Punk is,although it is also debatable as to whether Punk still exists,at least within the medium of music? Tah Tah!


A1 Ascension Day 4:50
A2 M.I.5's Alive 8:07
A3 Teddy Teeth Goes Sailing 1:50
A4 Working Class Man 4:29
B1 Shepherds Bush Cowboy 4:35
B2 Stardom Road Part I 5:36
B3 Stardom Road Part II 3:43
B4 Get Out Of Bed You Dirty Red 1:24
B5 Preaching Violence 5:03


Richie Muster said...

I've never been able to find out much about these. Perhaps i'm just not trying hard enough. Whatever. I found both albums years ago and play them maybe once every couple of years. It's been a while since i last did. Perhaps now's the time.

Ifor Biggwm said...

Malcolm McLaren was a spook, a liar and a fantasist. The Grundy interview was scripted, EMI is the label of MI5, anyone on that label are spooks, and are hyped way beyond their talents/lack of talent.
Oasis brothers used the SAME script as Steve Jones, nicked a guitar, toughs of the street, blah blah blah, guess who used it before them? The Bee Gees!

Jonny Zchivago said...

I knew the Bee Gee's had something to do with it the reptilian blooded bastards that they aren't.
I think you have issues.

rev.b said...

Ok, give the 'who started punk?' prize to these blokes then. In the US they'd say it was MC5 outta Detroit in the 60s. My Russian friend would say, 'Is stupid question.' Got any Pussy Riot? They didn't start anything, but I cam across on of their ant-pootin tow tappers today…

Jonny Zchivago said...

Rev mate....I think the MC5 probably invented The Clash, but,something is that punk was something more than just raucous rock'n'roll,it was a style too (not an attitude),and the MC5 looked like a bunch of dirty hippies.DISQUALIFIED!
Whereas Pussy Riot have more in common with the Baader Mienhoff gang than the Damned ,so they're out too for actually meaning something....great record by the way,got my heart beating fast.
Lemmy gets it right,as always...."It's just fucking Rock'n'Roll innit?

Fanny Blancmange said...

"I think you have issues."

I have a few issues of Fortean Times too.

As the Goodies showed so well in their 'Punkarella' story the London press memed Punk-as-we-came-to-know-it into existence (as the US alt-right claimed to do with the Trump presidency) and have never forgotten the sense of mover-shaker culture-power they had, hence the endless BBC4 and Grauniad revisits/invocations.


Fieldhippie said...

Thank you. Your niceness is only surpassed by kindness.

Fieldhippie said...

Thank you. Many thanks. I appreciate it.

kevinesse said...

I was told by a fanzine that "funtime" was proto metal, so I bought it. I bought it, but it was no unleashed in the east, but I iked it regardless. Henry Rollins, Ian Makaye and Steve Albini all died in a horrible car abortion well before they were born, and I urge you to never mention any of those 3 cunts again!

Jonny Zchivago said...

The 3 Cunts....weren't they an american slapstick act from the late eighties?

rev.b said...

Yeah, The 3 Cunts, always loved those guys.

parmalee said...

You got it all wrong. Punk was born in 1967, when four decidedly non-working class youths from the mean streets of Charterhouse School decided to form a "beat combo": Anthony Phillips, Anthony--who goes by "Tony," for street cred--Banks, Michael Rutherford and Peter Gabriel. Need I say more?

Jonny Zchivago said...

Parmalee you just described The Clash,with all their real names.

Noises From Apt 2A said...

"I'd Rather Cut Cane For Castro",from the album "Third World War II" was one of their best .