BEEN THERE DONE THAT - THE FINAL MIDDLE FINGER?
"Weird and dangerous things happened to me and my friends -- known then as The Bromley Contingent -- a pack of fucked-up suburban guttersnipes with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time."
by Bertie Marshall
COPYRIGHT © 2002, 3 A.M. MAGAZINE. ALL RIGHTS
"We all had one thing in common, we all hated EVERYTHING"
How right you were Malcolm! 25 years later, London's National Film Theatre is putting on a month's worth of punk and punk-related films, videos and stuff curated by authority/punk dowager, Jon Savage, called Never Mind the Jubilee.
There isn't one drop of nostalgia in me, but as I'm featured in one of the documentaries Punk and the Pistols yacking on about my notorious party for The Sex Pistols at my parents' house in 1976 or "being Siouxsie's dog" -- alarming (no, fucking freaking them out) the naff patrons of Bromley shopping mall wine bar, one evening in 1976, when I got down on my knees, on a lead, with La SIOUX, pretending to be her dog! I had first met her at a party given by Steve Severin (then Bailey) and Simon Barker -- Sioux turned up with her face splattered with swastika beauty spots.
I'm looking forward to seeing my face up there in the dark, 50ft by 30ft. Punk and The Pistols is a good collection of stories, part of history now. Weird and dangerous things happened to me and my friends -- known then as The Bromley Contingent -- a pack of fucked-up suburban guttersnipes with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, talent for putting together a look and a persona... reinventing ourselves. Taking my cue from Mr Bowie, an overdose of Christopher Isherwood, Liza Minnelli, William Burroughs with just a smudge of good old Nazi aesthetics (the only people to wear all black were the American fashion designer Halston and the S.S.), I became Berlin.
I wore all black and smoked white ciagarettes.
I saw punk icon Jordan [photo by Jill Furmanovsky] in a pink baby doll nightie, in a living room at St James Hotel, owned by 'Trashby Ashby' -- a lesbian kinks prostitute [photo: Linda Ashby, right, with Sue Catwoman]. Jordan practicing her 'dance routine' for Derek Jarman's Jubilee -- think, slab of pink chewing gum melting or elephant in fluffy mules doing high kicks! I loved Jordan though, she was the face of 1976-77.
But now, I feel like I've been dragged back into the grave along with the Queen Mother who was in fact a shape-shifting reptile alien who liked nothing better than to slurp on mushy abortions and sacrifice new-born babes...well, look at her teeth! As for Princess Margret, perhaps she was escorted up to heaven by two 13 year-old Arab boy angels, no pubes. See them puffing on multi-coloured Russian cigarettes, piss dripping from their little pistols, cascading to tears in dear Elizabeth's eyes.
Arena: Punk and the Pistols: Wed 12 June 8.40 NFT2; Mon 17 June 8.45 NFT2. Major retrospective documentary on the origins of Punk filmed for BBC Arena. New interviews with Punk legends are set against rarely-seen footage from the time and as well as the social context, the sexual perplex of Punk is finally examined. This is the uncensored version with transmission cuts restored. UK 1995/ Dir Paul Tickell. With Jordan, John Lydon, Berlin [aka Bertie Marshall], Siouxsie Sioux, Malcolm McLaren, Vivienne Westwood. 93 mins. This screening will be introduced by director Paul Tickell.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
was born in 1960, grew up in Catford, South London, dropped out of school to follow the Sex Pistols in 1976, and became part of the legendary Bromley Contingent. His first novel, Psychoboys
was published in 1997. For more info read our interview with Bertie
and visit his website