Revisiting Don Letts' Documentaries "Punk: Attitude" (2005) and "The Punk Rock Movie" (1978)!

Let's face it, you can never go wrong with a great rock documentary, especially one that features most of the major players in the London and NYC punk scenes.  "Punk: Attitude", Don Letts' great punk doc, came out in 2005 and then spent many years completely unavailable until Shout Factory! re-released it with tons of bonus footage in 2010.

Letts, of course, is best known as a member of Mick Jones' post-Clash band Big Audio Dynamite and a video director.  Being tat he was there when all the great moments in punk went down and was a confidant of the Clash, his perspective is refreshingly informed.

WHat's truly an amazing accomplishment considering Lett's involvement in the UK punk scene is the great coverage of the NYC punk scene, as well as bands like the Stooges and MC5 who laid the foundation all the while basking in screaming obscurity.

What makes Letts' '78 doc "The Punk Rock Movie" so absolutely essential is the Super 8 footage he shot as a DJ at London's Roxy, thereby documenting all the major players on the punk scene who happened to hit the Roxy stage during their 100 days of punk celebration in '77.

The footage is seedy, horribly lit, but what you walk away feeling as that you were there like a fly on the wall as the Pistols, Sham 69, Slaughter & The Dogs, the Slits, and others took the stage.  This is not some posthumous, overly-romanticized celebration of what once was but a report from the front lines as punk was happening.

Most notable (for me at least) was the performance footage of Generation X (not to mention a pantsless Billy Idol backstage before the show) and Shane McGowan in a Union Jack jacket with most of his original teeth.

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