It has been three months since the Punk 40, a British Library Exhibition closed its doors on us at the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens back in February.
We wanted to find some old Sunderland Punks to tell us their stories from their Punk days to share with our SAINT viewers.
Lindsey Haswell, 48 from Seaham got in contact with us to share her Punk past. From hiding in toilets at gigs to bleaching her jeans to meeting her husband and even using a cheese grater to roughen her jeans up, she tells SAINT all:
“I was 10, in 1979 and remember Sid Vicious being on the news because he had died. My sister had his singles C’mon Everybody and Something Else. While my friends were watching Dallas & playing with Cindy dolls at sleep overs I was playing those records on a plastic portable record player and by the time I was 14, I bought Glad It’s All Over by Captain Sensible, on the B side was Damned on 45, I heard that and that was it – I became heavily into The Damned and remain so today.”
The Punk Fashion in the 1970s/80s was high on trend and with no shops in Sunderland that sold Punk inspired clothes other than the Army & Navy shop on Derwent Street, Lindsey used to travel through to Newcastle to a shop down a back lane and would join band fan clubs in order to buy their merchandise:
“My inspiration did not come from any women in punk, it was from Johnny Rotten. I liked his pin striped trousers & safety pinned shirts – all of which were by Vivienne Westwood. I did not like the black clothes look at all instead I had bright pink or orange oversized jumpers with holes in them like Captain Sensible, the only skirt I owned was my school skirt; I was very tomboyish. I would bleach my jeans in the bath and use a cheese greater to rough them up.” (Should we try this?)
In the 21st century, the majority of people have tattoo’s and piercings. According to The Telegraph: “One in three young adults have a tattoo.” (Proud, 2015) “Back in the late ’80s, getting a tattoo was a guaranteed way to make your mum cry.”
“I got a huge tattoo on my arm when I was in sixth form and I had my nose pierced which my friend did with a darning needle on the way to school – my dad thought it was stuck on with glue. I also shaved my hair off from my Parton to my ear – I loved to dress like that.”
“A few years later, me and my mum were walking through Newcastle train station and a woman came over to us and said she was from the Sunday Sun and asked what did we think of women with tattoos, my mum said: ‘I think they are disgusting.’ I said: ‘Oh, I have one.’ and she asked to have a look at it. My mum started telling this woman that my dad does not even know and she took a few photos. It wasn’t until we were on the train home when I thought: ‘oh shit, my dad will find out!'”
“I remember shaking as I frantically opened the newspaper. Page after page and I got to the middle of the paper with the headline: ‘Her Dad Does Not Even Know’ and there was a huge picture of me with my tattoo. I showed my mum, then went to my room, she shouted me downstairs shortly after and my dad was there, he just laughed. All those years of covering up & wearing jumpers in the summer and he just laughed.”
Lindsey has seen a huge amount of Punk bands over the years. From The Damned, Toy Dolls, The UK Subs and The Crass. But one band has a special place in her heart for a heartwarming reason.
“The Exploited are pretty special to me. Five years ago I went to see The Exploited in Newcastle and for the first time ever despite all of the gigs, I was knocked off my feet by about five big blokes that had broke away from the mosh pit and I was squashed underneath all of them and I just felt these hands grab me and lift me to my feet; a complete stranger, he is now my husband!
I have seen them many times and the line up has changed over the year, with the Exception of Wattie. Their Troops of Tomorrow album is one of the first I ever bought; I love it. It’s hard and fast and I love the album cover.
I still have all of my records my music means so much to me, shaped my life in many ways. The majority of punk songs have meanings or stories unlike other types of music, I like a lot if people have the misconception that Punks are horrible or violent which couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Do you have any Punk Stories to tell us? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for your chance to be featured on our website.