As he states in his introduction, Ogg’s intention of providing ‘a reference work that documented everything that moved in the punk era’ was plainly insane, though he did plenty of groundwork before realising it. The amount of material amassed would, he admits, have comprised ‘comfortably more than double what you will read here’.
Eventually, we may get to see some of the edited stuff. More important, however, is what Ogg’s 727 pages brings to our alreadygroaning punk book-shelves.
Naturally, he covers all the main London and Manchester acts in detail, but wisely carves himself out a niche among some of the more stylishly presented books of this kind on offer (the cover is, it must be said, rather gaudy, even by punk standards), by giving heavy coverage to the more provincial and obscure acts that have grown in importance among collectors and fans over the years.
These bands’ trials and tribulations are more entertaining than those of the big boys. They make for an interesting and informative read, helped by Ogg’s usually reliable opinions and always sardonic wit.