The Story of Crass in The Guardian (UK)

The Story of Crass

By John Robinson
The Guardian (UK)
September 2006

Even at their peak a band on the margins, the main players in Crass were plugged into the radical activity of a good quarter of a century. Whether it was communal living, free festivals, or the anarcho punk with which they made their biggest, early 1980s impact, stalwart Penny Rimbaud was present with the “why not?” attitude that seems to characterise the counterculture of any period. To the distinct benefit of this book, he and his fellow players are also happy to talk about it all. Lucid in recounting their dealings with freaks, coppers and punks – there’s a sweet account of Gee Vaucher looking after a comatose John Lydon – the band’s voices predominate, and that’s for the best. There are Crass fans still, possibly, but it’s the band’s attitude which rings truest. “I had a lot,” says Rimbaud of his comfortable upbringing. “So I thought whatever I had, I’d share.” Appealing words, in any era. 

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