Hgeocities.com/collaborators04/joedonnelly3.htmlgeocities.com/collaborators04/joedonnelly3.htmldelayedxkJ׍IOKtext/htmlw:Ib.HMon, 06 Aug 2007 16:06:35 GMTMozilla/4.5 (compatible; HTTrack 3.0x; Windows 98)en, *kJI Collaborators
Joe Donnelly was a member of Belfast's the Producers punk outfit, back in the late 70's Northern Ireland punk scene. He's currently still going to gigs, still into punk and contributing articles on punk and it's influence on many web sites. Nihilism On The Prowl is more than happy to get his gig reviews, comments and views on what's happening on the streets of Belfast these days. Here's one example...
Anyone who was around in the pre punk days prior to 76-80 will be able relate to memories like mine of childhood Christmas's past where amongst all the Chopper bikes and Sparky  annuals there were potential gifts like Action men in full nazi/SS and Russian uniforms, which looked great and were common place, but these days would be deemed politically incorrect because of all the history that goes with the images. He would have no chance of wearing the uniforms on a toy shop window display now. Or what about the Johnny 7 machine gun, remember that? It was the ultimate killing machine that had everything, rockets, knives, hand grenades, you name it every kid wanted one! There was enough firepower to obliterate mankind. No-one batted an eyelid, there was no outcry, they were only toys. Back then everything was a lot less complicated compared to everyones hectic lifestyle today. Yeah the 70's were both bleak and brilliant, but my generation look back on that time with great affection. And thinking about that era can sometimes be a calming influence and great escape from the high blood pressure and stress induced stroke, that's gonna kill us all sooner rather than later. We watched unmissable glamrock editions of the soon to be put out of it's misery.

"Top of the pops", which is currently heading for the TV equivilant of death row. Where our glam pop heroes put on even more glitter, tinsel and make up than usual, surrounded by twinkling tree lights, fake snow and sexy dancers in fake fur lined hotpants and low cut tops. Do you remember sitting in front of the TV speaker holding the mic of your little flat portable tape machine recording and telling everyone to shut up until the song was over? I'm a pushover for all this Christmas smaltz. I love all the build up but by Boxing day I'm ready to take down the decorations. When punk broke, my mates and me were all young teenagers. Back then you looked forward to reading your double X-mas issues of the
NME, Sounds, Melody Maker and Record Mirror with all
the best LP's/singles/bands lists for that year. It came
illustrated with pics of your favourite punks looking like
twats in santa suits, but it was all good festive fun. After
finishing reading the music papers you looked like you had
just surfaced from the murky depths of a coal mine, due to
the vast ammounts of ink that had transferred from the
papers onto your hands, face and every other surface
around you.

By nightfall and It was time to spike up your born blonde
bleached hair or whatever colour you dyed it that week (in
the punk era it was unusual to find anyone with matching
collar and cuffs!!) You put on your best bondage gear and
blue suede buckled creepers and prepared for the x-mas
overload. It was time to take a bus or taxi into the town,
pass through the security barriers into Belfast city centre
and hit the Harp or the Pound, hopefully without being hit
by the 'spidermen' on the way to your destination. In 1978/79/80 some of us were lying our way into the Harp bar for a few yuletide underage pints as we were still under 18. In fact thinking about it I don't think I ever had a legal drink in the place. Strippers in the afternoon and
punk rock mayhem at night, magic moments. The holiday spirit and any other available would be in full flow  as one of Belfast's finest tore the place up and we drank and messed around oblivious to the hangover we were constructing, that would innevitably be the drinks revenge next day. After the previous nights hi jinx you were out of action unable to get out of bed, so you listened to a tape of the recently deceased John Peels Festive 50 on a radio cassette player with a built in microphone this time...and quietly suffered. We were only kids after all, a couple of pints and we were hammered. Soup drinkers the lot of us! In those days you would usually be home before midnight, taxi's permitting, as the bars all closed around 11.00 pm. So it was possible to have your punk  christmas/new years knees up with all your punky mates and still be home in plenty of time to attend midnight mass if that was your thing, dressed in all your punk rock finery, but still join in with the family celebrations albeit sometimes with a headstart in the drinks department on everyone else.

In the folklore of punks golden age and contrary to popular belief,
Sex Pistols played their last British dates (after cancelling a
headlining show at the London Rainbow scheduled for Boxing day)
at Ivanhoes in Huddersfield on Christmas day 1977, which was a
benefit for striking firefighters. The band played a Christmas day
matinee in the afternoon acting the bad santa's with good hearts for
the strikers families, supplying party food and handing out presents
to the kids and then an adult show in the evening. In keeping with
tradition John Lydon debuted Public Image Limited on Christmas
day the following year in '78 at the Rainbow theatre in London.
And in later years for the next punk generation there was the
Christmas on Earth
festivals (remember it well - PDC) etc .Thin Lizzy
and the Sex Pistols joined up in '79 as t
he Greedies which was a
shortened version of their full name
the Greedy Bastards for a
Christmas classic 45
'A Merry Jingle' which carried on the great
traditition of glam  x-mas pop singles. Although this one doesn't
turn up often on those 'Now That's What I call' compilations. Though you do get Shane McGowan (ex-
Nips) and the Pogues classic 'Fairytale Of New York' which is one of the greatest Christmas songs ever. I remember watching the Greedies perform on Top Of The Pops when it was essential viewing, where the Lizzy boys Lynott, Downey and Gorham professional as ever did a straight mime while ex-Pistols Cook and Jones messed about not giving a toss. It was great TV with the worst miming since Marc Bolan. In Dec. '78 Rudi returned home for a couple of Christmas gigs with tranny Glam/Punk band Raped in tow, after a failed attempt to make it big in London. With thanks to allegedly broken promises from McLaren and Rhodes and the unwanted attention of the SPG. They were playing two gigs, one in the afternoon in the Pound and another in the evening at the Harp. Though I must confess I don't have any memory of the second one as I was out of the game. Me and a mate called Davy who was a guitar player in a showband split from work a few hours early and made our way to the Pound for afternoon show, it was his first punk gig. On the way I had to get a Christmas present for my younger sister, so I bought this cuddly toy donkey and brought it with me and I put it on a stool under the table in front of the stage, were we were sitting. Needless to say it was a great gig, a band I'd never heard of then or since called Empire kicked it off, followed by an  excellent set by Rudi looking every inch a top punk outfit after their London experience. And then came Raped in their satin and tatt and boxer boots, rough as hell but very good. A few months later they changed their name to the Cuddley Toys! Do ya think the late Sean Purcell or Faebhean Kwest see the plush donkey? We may never know!? I'm claiming responsibility for the inspiration anyway. By the way it is a true story and not a porkie.

Currently rejuvenated as a born again
New York Doll 'David Johansen' acted in the late 80's big budget movie adaption of 'A Christmas Carol' as the time travelling cigar chomping noo yawk yellow cab driving ghost of christmas past, with the used to be funny Bill Murray in 'Scrooged'. Check it out the next time its on TV which should be in the next couple of  weeks, hours or minutes, coz D.J. does a good job! And right up to the present day punk connections with Christmas continue. A couple of weeks ago a news story was broadcast about the Damned being asked to turn on the Christmas lights in Cambridge, and they got banned for not being appropriate role models which is a hillarious story. It certainly brought a smile to mine and many other ex-punks faces. Fuck they were getting the Damned and we got Liberty X here in Belfast, which is the worst? There aint no sanity clause. Bet your feeling that warm glow of nostalgia after reading my reminisces aren't you, so why don't you settle down with a box of mini buds or whatever your poison is, and put on your old
crackly copy of
'The Yobs (AKA - The Boys)
'Rude And Crude' Christmas album and think
about your own happy days. Or you could get
yourself along to the Empire Belfast if your in
town for the
$hame Academy Christmas
bash on the 23rd December 2004.
They'll be supported by a reformed latter day
line up of my old band
the Producers, the
Ex Producers and you can pogo away your
mid life crisis with the rest of us sad geriatrics
and pretend it's the late 70's again for a couple
of hours. I know I've forgotten a million other
things here, but these are just some of my
own personal observations and recollections
that have stuck with me, everyone has their
own stories.
Merry Christmas and a punky new year to
And remember a dog/punk is for life not just for Christmas.
Joe Donnelly - Belfast  1/12/04.
David Johansen & Bill Murray in Scrooged! 1988 (Joe Donnelly)
What Are Yule Looking At? Punks At Christmas.
(A personal collection of memories)
Sex Pistols X-Mas Day 1977 (DC Collection)
NME December 24th Edition (DC Collection)
The Yobs - 'Rude And Crude' album (Joe Donnelly)