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Toby Mott - Oh So Pretty: Punk In Print 1976-80 book review

Turning rebellion into money

Oh So Pretty: Punk In Print 1976-80 book cover

The surviving punk generation can be divided into two groups: those who’ve got all of the stuff curated here mouldering in their loft, and those who’ve thrown it all away. Toby Mott, The Mott Collection’s keeper is clearly one of the former. Unprepared to keep his careworn punk ephemera (flyers, ‘zines, newspaper snips, posters etc) to himself, he’s decided to publish it in a fat, floppy, newsprint-tastic tome.

Students of graphic art may soon find this on their reading list. It’s a gold mine of ingenuity and influence, but essentially an exercise in nostalgia, a Denis Norden’s Looks Familiar Annual for the blank generation, history’s hardest demographic to please. Take me, bang in the middle of its target market, livid that my fanzine isn’t in it.

Classic Rock’s Reviews Editor for the last 19 years, Ian stapled his first fanzine in 1977. Since misspending his youth by way of ‘research’ his work has also appeared in such publications as Metal Hammer, Prog, NME, Uncut, Kerrang!, VOX, The Face, The Guardian, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Electronic Sound, Record Collector and across the internet. Permanently buried under mountains of recorded media, ears ringing from a lifetime of gigs, he enjoys nothing more than recreationally throttling a guitar and following a baptism of punk fire has played in bands for 45 years, releasing recordings via Esoteric Antenna and Cleopatra Records.