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One of the lasting legacies of punk is the idea that if you want something done you may well be best off rolling up your sleeves, knuckling down, and doing it yourself. If you want to put your record out, print your own t-shirts, or book your own gigs, get on with it. Will it be hard work? Yes. Will it be maddening and frustrating? Yes. Will it pay dividends? Absolutely.
The origins of this DIY culture are simple. Punks didn’t like what they saw in the music industry. They’d seen other people be ripped off and lied to, and they didn’t want it to happen to them. They didn’t want to see their work shoehorned into a form they didn’t want, in a cover they didn’t like, by record companies who stopped listening to them before the ink was even dry on the contract. So they decided that rather than lose control over what happened to their music, they’d put it out themselves. Doing this might mean they’d make mistakes, or that they’d lose out on a company’s dubious expertise and contacts, but at least they’d be in charge of their own destiny, and at least they’d know where the money went. At least they knew they’d always get a straight answer from themselves. Put like that, DIY was the obvious way to go.
For all those reasons and more I’m very happy to learn that my old mate Steve Ignorant has finally decided to print his own version of his autobiography, The Rest Is Propaganda, and make it available through his own online shop. It’s been a while coming, but at last it’s here, and on sale, and in the end that’s all that matters.
We know that a lot of you have already bought it – it’s four years since we worked on putting Steve’s life story together and getting it into print, after all – but if you know anyone who hasn’t bought it yet, or you need another copy, then Mr Ignorant’s Outstanding Online Emporium is the place to go. Here you’ll be able to buy a copy which has the edits and changes Steve has long wanted to see (making it a better book) and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing the money will be going into Steve’s pocket, rather than disappearing who knows where. And that can only be a good thing.
Oh, and spread the word, please. Steve deserves it.