Punk heritage

IF IT was once claimed that early Beatles recordings unearthed at the BBC were the most important archaeological find since Tutankhamen’s tomb, where should we rank the discovery of 1970s graffiti daubed by punk pioneer Johnny Rotten?

Significantly below either, many might reply. Not York University’s Department of Archaeology, however, which speculates that this “powerful representation of a radical and dramatic movement of rebellion” may be worthy of a blue plaque to mark its historical significance.

Never mind the fact that punk, of course, deplored the very notion of honouring heritage, that it believed the past must be forgotten and that only the present mattered. Indeed, punk heritage is a contradiction in terms.

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However, as the York academics justify their salaries by pondering such weighty matters, it is worth remembering this. Musically, punk may have had its limitations, but without the punk movement, we would all still be walking around in kipper ties, paisley shirts and flared trousers. For that, if nothing else, punk deserves all the historical kudos it can get.