Post-Punk: A View from Those Who Fell in Love in the 90s

iancurtis1These days, when fewer and fewer people interested in rock music know what it feels like to live without an Internet connection at home, I would like to take a quick nostalgic leap back into the days when it all begun – for me, at least. It’s not like I feel old (even though back in the early 2000s, I would definitely consider my present self an old, terribly old and terribly boring man), but it’s kind of funny how the digital natives generation explores completely different paths to rock music. I don’t presume their way is wrong; but our road was entirely different. So here is my typical post-punk story — Present-day teenagers might find it amusing. 

First of all, in the late 1990s, cassettes were not quite dead yet (that is a pretty weird plastic box with two holes and a dark brown tape inside, and, if you want to, you can manually rewind it with a pen or pencil). And let’s be quite honest — neither was the audio piracy. The tapes exchanged hands and, as they did, a bootleg copy on a blank tape usually followed. The originals were only for the band’s most loyal fans, as it took quite a lot of time and determination to collect enough of the school canteen money (yes, going hungry for days) to buy a tape like this.

One day, there it was — Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division. It was love at first sight for me. Or, at first ear, in that matter. In retrospect, I guess I was lucky enough to fall in love with the band that only released two studio albums — at least, I didn’t have to go hungry for weeks to get both of their original studio tapes. The tapes had it all, though: the pain, the suffering, the confusing sexual desires, the nihilism, the violence, and the melancholy. Definitely a nice outlet for a teenage boy — way better than a shrink slobbering about passive aggression.

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I, like many other loyal fans at school, knew all of the Joy Division texts by heart within a week of listening to their albums. Then, of course, we gathered all possible pieces of information about the band members, and I must confess — I envied Ian Curtis for having epilepsy. I sincerely wished I had it, too — it would have made me so much more dramatic.

But, of course, it cannot rain forever, and one of those days, the confusing sexual feelings ceased to be so confusing. The girls, the booze, rock’n’roll — all of it followed. As they did, I started to cheer up, too. The Offspring and Green Day were on all of the radio stations by then, and, to my deepest shame, I started listening to these bands, too. Needless to mention, I kept this new passion of mine a secret — after all, it would be hard to argue that both bands were way too ‘pop’. The Joy Division, on the other hand, was a ‘true’ thing, and a teenager always has to keep up appearances.

I kept the appearances for quite a while, actually, not mentioning any of my new music addictions to my friends and girlfriends. But, of course, one day, the number of bands ‘to hide’ elevated so drastically that there was no point in keeping up this ridiculous farce any longer.

Still, I believe the day I first laid my hands on the Joy Division tape was one of the defining ones in my personal and professional life. And, I am pretty confident — none of my current pet projects would have been possible if not for the genre that taught me to love music in general. All music. And yes — I am old enough not to hide my not-so-true addictions any more.

– Mike Rotts (http://ticketselect.co.uk)

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About Mike Rotts

Mike Rotts is a melomaniac from London, actively pursuing a full-time career and attending a wide range of live music concerts all over the UK. Eventually, his music addiction brought Mike to Ticket Select (https://ticketselect.co.uk). The site’s slogan — ‘one search, all tickets’ — immediately appealed to Mike’s active music lifestyle, and right now, he is one of the most active members of our growing team. Rotts happily shares his experience about the latest concerts and conveys his thoughts on the most promising bands that are yet to perform in the United Kingdom. In addition to that, Mike is always willing to review some of the leading local venues he’s been to.

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