Burgess CHART London Calling

Mapping the British punk scene — influences and connections late-70s into the 80s — with The Clash at the center of the Universe (because that’s the way it was for me).

Chart from 1977: A Punk History coming from Ravenna Press (2018).

“Spleen” is a riff on a Baudelaire line from “Good Dogs” in his Le Spleen de Paris. 

I sing in praise of destitute dogs, under-dogs, whether those who wander all alone through the tortuous ravines and gullies of the vast metropolis, or those who have said to some old outcast, with a wink of their witty, spiritual eyes, ‘Take me along with you, then perhaps we can make some sort of happiness out of our two poverties!’

Samples by James “I Wanna Be Sedated” Nugent.

ElvisCostelloElvis Costello releases My Aim Is True on July 22, 1977. E L V I S  I  S  K  I  N  G  E  L V I  S  I  S  K  I N G is repeated in reversed single letters in the black squares of the checkerboard pattern. 25 days later the King, Elvis Presley, dies on Aug. 16. It is a symbolic death — how bloated rock and roll has become — and ironic — just days after a new King is declared. That fall “Watching the Detectives” goes into high rotation in my dorm room at Mohawk Hall.

Burgess CHART NY NY

Influences and connections. Mapping the NYC punk scene from the mid-70s. Chart from 1977: A Punk History coming from Ravenna Press (2018).

Burgess CHART Release

40 years ago today I was bored. Listening to Blonde on Blonde (Visions of Johanna and Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands) on repeat. Drinking beer. Working as a stock boy at a small-town department store. Reading Camus and Sartre. Writing poems no one read.