Sunday, March 23, 2008

Mixing Pop and Politics (7)

Obscure Factoid of the Day

OK, I know that with this post I'm stretching the whole theme of 'mixing pop and politics' a tad but I do love this anecdote about the late seventies punk band, Crisis, that I spotted on the excellent 'Always Searching For Music' music blog:

"I can still remember when one of their protest songs nearly got their drummer Luke Rendall (also played with Theatre of Hate) into trouble. One of Crisis onstage favourites was a track called SPG, which for those of you who can remember was the abbreviated name for the Special Patrol Group (a controversial unit of the metropolitan police force of which in 1979 became notorious for the alleged murder of protester Blair Peach. In the inquiry the SPG officers were found to have weaponry such as Baseball bats, sledgehammers and crowbars - No SPG officer was convicted but an out of court payment was made to the Peach Family, the SPG were also cited as a major factor in the 1981 Brixton riots)

The SPG often hassled punks (and I guess anyone young), I can personally remember a number of occasions where they were over the top and over aggressive for no real reasons.So they had a reputation that you didn't muck around with.

Luke was wearing the Crisis SPG badge (see scan) when we were pulled up by the actual SPG. They looked at Luke's badge and said "Whats this then".

Luke replied "I'm in a band and it's a song about the SPG"

The SPG officer said "oh, what's it all about then"

Luke stood their silently thinking "Oh shit, the chorus is "smash, smash, smash the SPG (something like that I'm struggling to remember now)"

then replied "It's an instrumental"

Check out the links above if you want to hear some *samples* of Crisis. Excellent stuff. 'White Youth' is especially fine.

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