Punk Legend Penny Rimbaud Says the Sex Pistols + the Clash ‘Didn’t Mean It’
While Penny Rimbaud never became a household name, drumming for British punk band Crass cemented his status as a punk icon. In a new documentary about political action and the punk rock movement, Rimbaud made some bold statements about some of his contemporaries who did become household names.
In the video above, Rimbaud says that political motivations played a large role in punk rock culture, but some bands that seemed politically-minded weren't genuine.
People like the [Sex] Pistols and the Clash, who, on the surface, appeared to be saying rather similar things. But actually, they also were exceedingly ambitious. They were full of intent. And that ambition and intent was to basically benefit, by and through, commodity culture.
He also says his old band, Crass, held similar ambitions, but they were genuine because they were caught up in the moment and were having fun instead of always planning their next move.
They weren't having fun, because actually what they were doing was looking to their future as successful rock and roll stars. Like the bloke in bed looking to his orgasm, he forgets all the fun leading up to it.
This conversation comes from an interview with Rimbaud as part of the extras included in a new release of 'Positive Force: More than a Witness: 30 Years of Punk Politics In Action.' The film focuses on the political efforts and impact of the D.C.-based punk political activist collective Positive Force. It includes interviews with people like Ian MacKaye, Kathleen Hannah and Dave Grohl, as well as some live footage -- including Fugazi performing in front of the White House. Get more info on the release here.
'Positive Force: More Than a Witness' Trailer