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Personal Punk get All Shook Up by 'The Crazed'

"As the mid-80s approached, the UK punk scene cast off all remaining commercial aspirations and headed underground. Egged on by the rock ‘n roll trash of THE CRAMPS and the emergence of South London’s THE METEORS, an unruly off-shoot rushed into the resulting vacuum. Earthy, working class, apolitical – Oi!’s bass-slapping little brother, if you will – Psychobilly imbued fifties rockabilly with punk speed, its fashion sense borrowed from punks, skins, and teds. My own dalliance was suitably short-lived: briefly drawn to a mix of horror/B-movie imagery and hedonistic punk energy, I was eventually worn down by its macho posturing and aforementioned lack of political nouse. That said, I was keen to read from the perspective of someone quiff-deep: enter Paul Wainwright, who found himself in the eye of the storm, notebook in hand to document the demented madness for his fanzine, The Crazed."

"Craig ‘Bracko’ Brackenridge (Vintage Rock magazine) proffers a forward before we’re up and running with the author’s origin story. Inspired by some daffy correspondence with KING KURT, Wainwright built his ‘zine amid friends forming bands, getting into scrapes, and peacocking quiffs. That nascent effort featured questionnaires – bands were initially wary of face-to-face interviews – from WIGSVILLE SPLIFFS, THE COFFIN NAILS, THE OUTER LIMITS, THE GO-KATZ, THE PHARAOHS, LONG TALL TEXANS, TORMENT, and Nervous Records. Once the first issue hit the streets, word spread, and he found himself interviewing a surly P. Paul Feneche (THE METEORS). By its fourth and final issue, both zine and scene were running on fumes, though during its short run the band’s featured reads like a who’s who: THE CARAVANS, GUANA BATZ, SKITZO, THE TERMINAL CLUB, GET SMART, RESTLESS, SHARK BAIT, DEMENTED ARE GO, FRENZY, THE QUAKES a guarded KREWMEN vocalist, and a cracker with Baz Boorer of THE POLECATS & MORRISSEY fame."

"Despite the youthful frisson of those early fanzines, interviews undertaken during the compiling of the book are the real treasure. The participants are older and, mostly, wiser so these chats are way more engaging. Woodie Taylor’s fascinating story of joining original Croydon punk band THE DALEKS, going from METEORS fan to band member, and his time in the original TALL BOYS, photographer, writer and COFFIN NAILS’ drummer Nick Kemp talks about cross-pollination (psychobilly and death metal anyone?), an enthusiastic chat with Dave Diamond, promoter, record collector and member of THE BLOODSTAINS, as well as catch-ups with THE PHARAOH’s Glenn Daeche, TORMENT’s Simon Crowfoot, young Psychobilly krew RED HOT RIOT, THE DEFIANT ONES, and RESTLESS."

"Though no music scene truly dies, it’s interesting to ponder just how short-lived the 80s Psychobilly scene was. The closure of its nexus – Hammersmith’s Klub Foot – really did spell the beginning of the end, evidence of the scene’s shaky foundations, in the UK at least. Even the final issue of The Crazed was compiled in an atmosphere of impending collapse. A possible clue to its ephemeral nature can be spotted in a common thread running through those early interviews: most of the bands seemed ill at ease with the ‘Psychobilly’ tag, and bemoaned, rather than celebrated, the lack of mainstream music industry attention."

"The book looks great, thanks to some eye-popping cover art from renowned French artist Paskal Millet. The original fanzine covers are reprinted, along with photos, flyers, and ticket stubs, and Paul intersperses the reprints with contextual comments, even digging out some originally unpublished material. A fittingly breezy read, The Resurrection Of The Crazed enthusiastically captures a scene that shied away from politics and wallowed in trashy, B-movie aesthetics, dragging fifties rockabilly through a testosterone-fuelled teenage rampage."

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