Top 8 videos capturing Britpunk beginnings in all its snarling glory

“Don’t accept the old order,” Johnny Rotten drones monotonously as he clips his nails for ITV’s cameras. “Get rid of it.” Host Janet Street-Porter was the rare mainstream journalist sympathetic to early punk, documenting the original vibrancy as record company contracts were first offered to the new order Rotten represented. Refreshingly, the reportage eschews all of the later sensationalism, presenting an organically grown culture as it was germinating. The original Glen Matlock-era Sex Pistols detonate “Pretty Vacant” in front of a pogoing audience—demonstrating what a powerful band they were—before fielding questions in their Denmark Street rehearsal room, Steve Jones rising from bed to pull on his trousers. The Clash vibrate chemically through their first televised interview, bassist Paul Simonon rocking and chewing his lip. Early punk fans known as “The Bromley Contingent” meet in a cafe, with future Siouxsie And The Banshees bassist Steve Severin lamenting, “We’ve been there for five years or more, just waiting for this to happen!” 100 Club booker Ron Watts insists that the punk scene “was the only thing that could happen. It…didn’t come from the industry.”

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