The punk part of Johnny Anderson's Autobiography

Paul Cook, drummer of the SeX pIsToLs.


[Copyright © Johnny Anderson. TX 636 995 Washington DC. 1995]

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On Fridays and Saturdays, our household would migrate to the Cliff. Oh the Cliff pub! I think for most of us, at some point in our lives, have had a place that’s provided a complete haven. The total joy one feels in a spot where one is entirely welcomed. This gathering place was exactly that for me. My father was a bartender in this pub in the 50’s. I believe it’s always been a business that’s catered to the outcasts. Back then, it was more of a gay bar and even when we frequented this institution in the early 80’s and I’m sure hoards of punks prior to us, it was still primarily known as a gay establishment. The things that went on, in and outside of this place was amazing.

I lived for Friday nights and I couldn’t wait to get there. Most of the time, I was one of the first punks to arrive. Alternating Thursdays was when we’d get our dole checks, which was our long awaited unemployment money. As this was our only source of income we’d switch each week and buy each other a round. If I had no money one week I knew Pat the Hat, Sogg, or Slug would spot me a beer. Then I’d then return the favor the week that followed. Being the first in the bar however, did have its disadvantages.

On numerous occasions my friends would later find me in the alleyway next to the pub completely dead to the world and sprawled out on top of an old carpet. They’d just leave me there until closing time and then they’d either drag me back inside the thing or carry me to the party that lay in wait afterwards. One night I was so obliterated that I even went three up on a motorcycle. None of us wore a crash helmet and I’m sure the bike had no insurance or any of the other legal stuff that was required.

The management certainly catered to the towns outcasts so we most definitely felt at home. We took over the sleazy place with our leather-studded jackets, bondage’s, boots and blue, orange and green hair. When the pub closed, its occupants would end up at a party or back at my pad. Later on in 1985 I resided in a crazy house on Cambridge Road and that was even more insane. The latter would be over-run by people experiencing altered states of consciousness. The hallway was lined with bodies like the entrance to a rock show. Wired individuals would want to chat about the insides of potato chip packets while others lay horizontal in their unconsciousness.





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