Don Letts: 'It's never too late to be a punk'
Friday 13 August 2010
It feels like punk never happened!" Don Letts is spluttering over his breakfast, and not because of an annoying headline. The cultural revolutionary is up in arms over the closure of rural post offices. Or, more accurately, he is up in arms that the rest of the country is not in arms over the closure of post offices, or schools or other public services.
"I don't get it," he rails. "I was taught about this great nation that didn't take shit and conquered half the world. All the things that fuelled punk in the late 1970s, all those socio-economic and political ingredients are there, but everyone is watching Big Brother. There should be some kind of backlash and it just isn't happening."
The documentary-maker, DJ, former member of Big Audio Dynamite and old mate of The Sex Pistols and The Clash, doesn't do apathy. He has made a film to highlights the efforts of young bands that are still carrying the flame of Joe Strummer, thanks to backing from the charity Strummerville, set up in memory of the punk visionary and supported by friends including Damien Hirst and Billy Bragg. Bands such as The Riff Raff and Nimmo & the Gauntletts have benefited from Strummerville's network of live events and rehearsal spaces. The otherwise exasperated Letts found himself "really encouraged by the project".
It's never too late to be a punk, he says. "Get an idea and get on with it. And I'm not talking about guitars and safety pins and Mohawks. I think we need more punk-rock teachers."
Don Letts's film 'Strummerville' will be on Sky Arts 1 on 22 August at 10pm
Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
- 3 Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Jeremy Clarkson courted by Russian Ministry of Defence TV station to present motoring show
One Direction fans campaign to buy the band after Zayn Malik quits
Kay Burley 'bias' against Ed Miliband prompts 130 complaints to Ofcom
Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest