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Before I start this post, I would like to point out that there are 100 ways to be a punk, so please, don’t waste your time with your criticism or arguments! Everyone can be a punk, with or without a look, without a tattoo, without piercings or even without beer … well, I must admit that it may be difficult but why not. And we can be punk, too, without knowing it or wanting it!
If you ask young people today how they see themselves as adults, I’m sure most will answer, “When I’m an adult, I’ll be famous or I’ll have a high-paying job, a big house, a big car and people will envy me! ”
But for me, when I was young, my dream was – “When I grow up, I’ll be punk!”
I want to be a punk
Much to the despair of my mother, who would have liked to see me become a doctor or a lawyer. In fact, I say that, but I don’t know. Because in truth, she never told me what she wanted me to be. But on the other hand, she often told me what she didn’t want! And she didn’t want me to become a punk!
However, despite her disapproval, I think I partly realized my dream. I became a “punk”. Still, I certainly had the ability to earn a diploma that got me a well-paid job, and pleased my mother. But I didn’t want a structured life. I didn’t want people to be jealous of me. On the contrary, I preferred that they hated me! To be quite frank, I wanted to annoy everybody!
At around 15-16 years of age, with some friends, I tried to look like the English punks I saw on TV or record sleeves. But living in Nice (France), it was very difficult to find clothes or accessories associated with this sub-culture. It was necessary to wait until I was 18, to arrive in Paris and work as a cook, before I could adopt the classic punk look: Doc Martens, hair in the air, turned-up jeans, tee t-shirts from punk bands and the faded denim jacket! I was “punk fashionable” and people in the street stared at me out of the corners of their eyes. I shocked them, I disgusted them and I was proud of it!
This is my point of view, but for me, being “punk” is not just the look. It’s also going to concerts, listening to bands playing this noisy, fast, aggressive, minimalist music. Smells of sweat, and wanting to dance the pogo and drink beer!
Once again, I had to wait to leave Nice before I could attend concerts and explore Paris and other venues. But what a pleasure I felt the first time I saw in concert “Les Cadavres” at the College of Sceaux! For me, this moment was phantasmagorical. A young provincial guy freshly landed in Paris.
And that’s when I realized that music was going to be an integral part of my punk life!
As a result of wearing my Doc Martens to concerts, I ended up making friends. Among them were drunkards, hooligans, clowns and girls, but also musicians. And I found myself, without really knowing how, first roadie then singer of the punk band “Coma Prolongé”. (Click here to read the interview with our bass player) We didn’t have a great career with this group (or with the others either!). We recorded a demo tape in 1992 and another in 1993.
But we still managed to go and play in Montreal, Canada, in 1992. At the “Foufounes Electriques”! Where all the biggest French and foreign punk-rock bands have also shared their music! (Coma video or Montreal pictures)
What good memories!
Time passed and I refined my look. I quickly found my balance by adopting the “punk-psychobilly” look. I liked the mix of genres and both styles of music. Although quite close, both styles had a slightly different feel and sound. I found myself still wearing my punk t-shirts, but I replaced my Docs with Creepers, and my hair in the air turned into a springboard cut to the millimetre. I went on to keep this look until my hair decided for itself that it was tired of being treated that way and stopped growing!
As for the music, I didn’t give up, and after having stopped all musical activity for a few years, with the last guitarist of the late “Coma Prolongé”, we founded the band “Georgette 2”. Again, it was punk, because, despite my psychobilly look, and I don’t know why, but I always preferred to sing punk. With “Georgette 2”, we self-produced a mini CD with 5 tracks recorded in the studio + 3 tracks recorded in support of FPP radio (plural Paris frequency). We did concerts in Paris and elsewhere in France, before we argued and broke up!
But despite my age that continued to advance, and my hair that was starting to thin, my punk attitude didn’t weaken. Against all odds, with 3 other friends, we founded “CPPN”. And again, we played punk-rock. And this time we managed to record a 10 track album! However, the adventure stopped when I left Paris to live in Moscow and, at that point, I ended my singing career.
A change of pace
But although I live in Moscow, I continue to frequent concerts, and not only in Moscow. Cheryl and I occasionally take a train, or even a plane, to attend concerts of our favourite bands.
And although I have less energy now, and I don’t dance like I did when I was 20, I still feel at home in concerts, and I’m always happy to see young people striving to continue this movement because, as the slogan says, “Punk’s Not Dead !!!”
What about you, did you have a dream when you were young? Did you realize it?
Tell us your story in the comments!
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