When I was 9, I traveled to the UK with my family.
We saw trendy punks in London. There were hundreds of them. They wore a lot of tartan and leather and had bright hair and they used to play chicken by leaning out over the subway platforms to make people think they were going to fall onto the electrified lines.
I thought they were annoying. My sister, who was 11, thought they were cool.
There were no punks in Canberra at that time. Or if there were, they probably just looked like skinny guys in black coats. So these ones were pretty different, for us.
In the midlands we went to Birmingham and there were hundreds there, too. We walked into a town square and it was completely full of them. We wanted to sit down but there was nowhere to sit. One of them got up to give us a seat. He had a mohawk. My mother was charmed.
On the way back we stayed in London again and I went to a record store in Soho and brought a Cure album and the Local Heroes Sw9 on cassette. I also used to listen to the Pretenders a lot, at that age. But the Clash were still three years away, for me.
I could have gone and seen them, if I hadn’t been, y’know, nine.