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Crass - The Biography

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George Berger

Joined: 10 Sep 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:09 pm    Post subject: Crass - The Biography Reply with quote


I hope you don't mind me dropping in but I've written the official story of Crass and I thought you might be interested that you can read a free sample chapter here:

You can order the book here:



(At the moment its showing availability as 4-6 weeks but I'm told this message should change to within 24 hours in the next few days)

To give you an idea, here's the back cover blurb:

This work presents an amazing account of the subversive band that took punk to the limit. Crass was the anarcho-punk face of a revolutionary movement founded by radical thinkers Penny Rimbaud and Steve Ignorant. When punk ruled the waves, Crass waived the rules and took it further, putting out their own records, films and magazines and setting up a series of situationist pranks that were dutifully covered by the worlds press. Not just another iconoclastic band, Crass was a musical, social and political phenomenon. "They (Crass) sowed the grounds for the return of serious anarchism and the popularity of cnd in the early eighties." - Jon Savage, "England's Dreaming". Commune-dwellers who were rarely photographed and remained contemptuous of conventional pop stardom, their members exhausted the possibilities of punk-led anarchy. They have at last collaborated on telling the whole Crass story, giving access to many never-before seen photos and interviews.

Crass - The Biography is officially sanctioned by, and features exclusive interviews with, band members and friends. It also features never before seen photos from the bands private collection.

Compiled with a serious attitude problem and hours (or should that be days) of interviews with:


* Gee Vaucher - artwork / radio / piano
* Penny Rimbaud - drums / kettle
* Eve Libertine - vocals
* Pete Wright - bass guitar
* Mick Duffield - films and filming
* Phil Free - lead guitar
* Joy De Vivre - vocals
* Steve Ignorant - vocals


* Dave King: Ex-Dial House resident, designed the Crass symbol
* Dave Morris: political activist and free festival veteran who for years was part of the radical London Greenpeace group. Possibly better known as one half of the McLibel Two.
* Pete Sutton: old friend of the band who attended art college with Penny Rimbaud and Gee Vaucher. Dave lived in a caravan on a farm near Dial House for ten years.
* Bernhardt Rebours: got taught at college by Penny Rimbaud, played in Ceres Confusion and Poison Girls
* George Mackay: Professor of Cultural Studies, University Of Salford and author.
* Garry Bushell: journalist and sometime TV celeb
* Tony D: punk rocker, the man behind Ripped & Torn, Kill Your Pet Puppy and involved in the anarchist centres
* Alistair Livingstone: anarchist, also involved in Kill Your Pet Puppy and the anarchist centres
* Basil Brooks: member of Zorch, the only band to play at the first Stonehenge festival.
* David Tibet: Current 93 member, ex Sounds journalist, old friend of the band.

...and more.

Hope this is of interest to some of you!

- George Berger

PS If any of you are independent distributors and interested in getting involved, please feel welcome to email Steve Jackson:
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Joined: 07 Jun 2004
Posts: 76
Location: Shropshire

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Punk Is Dead! Indeed! Surely you could have come up with a more imaginative title? It is a story that needs to be told, but tell it in colour, not black and white.
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Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 8
Location: Bedfordshire

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A shameless plug indeed. Ive nearly finished `Englands dreaming`. Ive picked it up several times before and never got past the first 20 pages. Jon Savage is a clever man but analysing lyrics word by word and his constant comparison with the pistols as street urchins from a Dickens novel is a bit too much to bare. Intellecturising, and examining punk under the microscope, and looking for hidden meanings is crass. Ive read Penny Rimbaulds book, which covered very little of the band, but did mention licking his finger and sticking it up his mates bum in church. Im sure if they wanted a biography, they could `ve put one out themselves. If anyone is looking for an honest account of the early punk days, then read Andy Blades (Eater) book instead. I ve also got John Robbs book `punk rock` which I have`nt read yet, but as he was in The Membranes, was a music journo, and now sings for Goldblade (check them out), I should imagine it is a good read. Also out is `Rip It Up` which covers the post punk (bloody labels) era and `Britains Burning` which is waiting for me at the library. Im surprised Crass have sanctioned this book, as in the day they refused to appear in Sounds, NME etc. Probably the only true punk band with DIY ethics. Im sure they have a great story to tell, but i`d rather here it from the band themselves.
Condemned To Eternal Bullshit
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Joined: 20 Dec 2004
Posts: 29
Location: northampton

PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John Robb's book is terrible, covers no new ground and seems as worthwhile as the recent chris sullivan book 'Punk'. I loved Englands Dreaming and although John Savage does attempt to intellectualise every aspect of the period (some of which stands up, some of which does not) it is nevertheless the best reference book on the whole punk movement up to the late seventies.

Simon Reynolds 'Rip It Up' is also a heavy tome covering, in detail, the whole post punk movement including an (unfortunately brief) mention of Uk Decay; A good read and again a good reference book.

I read the sample chapter of this Crass book and it looks pretty good. I will no doubt buy it as I seem to be a sucker for any book from this time (music and social history or the two combined, the UK looks very different from here when you look back) and any book on the post punk scene period 79-84 is welcomed in particular as this was 'my period' and I think it remains lacking documentation (try finding books about bands like blood and roses and theatre of hate etc.)
were still living with the english fear
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Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 8
Location: Bedfordshire

PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found the Jon Savage book over detailed bordering on anal. Ive got a copy of Ian Glasper`s - Burning Britain - the history of punk 1980 -1984, which is repetitive and boring. It offers no real hindsights into the bands, and only concentates soley on the years 1980 -1984, so some bands material seems to fall off the end of the earth by 1984. The bulk of the bands included are`nt really worthy of the coverage . For example a band called Picture Frame Seduction got 4 page coverage, no disrespect the band (I actually did see them once) but I doubt if very few people have actually heard of them. I cant comment on John Robbs book as I have`nt read it yet, but it has received favourable comments on Radio 6 but as the old addage says - one mans meat is another mans poison.
Condemned To Eternal Bullshit
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Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 37
Location: leicester

PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 9:07 am    Post subject: crass where are they now? Reply with quote

my personal view on crass. we tried to see this band in 1979 4 times and when we got to the gigs they were cancelled, a lot of my so called punk friends, preached the crass beliefs. and wore armbands with 5 years to 1984. (what was suppose to happen then i thought).
these anarchists moaned about the buses being late. if there was real anarchy, everyone would be fighting for there lives, it would be gang warfare. there was already gang fights with nazi skins and trendy wankers. let alone crass punks argueing with other punks.
to me this was to political. i wanted fun. so a lot of my so called punk friends got into a different way of life.(crusties).
i never really understood what crass tried to do.
most of the anarchist punks who were against the system were on the dole.
even though the government are bollocks. (yes we vote, but havent really got a say in fuck all).
so where are crass now?
living in a commune?
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scary girl

Joined: 28 Jan 2007
Posts: 32
Location: London

PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

good to hear so many different opinion on Crass, as far as I've been told I heard different version.
some say they are still living in Epping Forest in a comune but others are saying that they gave everything up and joined the system....
anymore infos?
"if the music is loud enough we won't hear the world falling apart" ["Jubilee" ]
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