Main content
This programme is not currently available

A Punk Tale of Two Cities

Punk professor Vivien Goldman and a cast of punk royalty discover whether London or New York can claim to have really started the movement.

These days, Vivien Goldman teaches about Punk at New York University and they call her The Punk Professor. But back in the times we're speaking about, from about 1976 to 1982, when she was one of approximately two female punk rock journalists in the UK, the whole idea of teaching Punk in a university would have been laughable. Writing for what was then a thriving weekly throng of music papers, Vivien found herself embedded in the Punk community, sharing a flat with Chrissie Hynde, forming the Flying Lizards, being produced by John Lydon. She is an absolute authority on the musical, social & political impact of punk. She has also written extensively on reggae and its relationship with Punk.

As a popular anti-authoritarian mass youth uprising, Punk, was one of the most significant social movements of the late twentieth century, and now kids round the world, from Bahrain to Indonesia to Russia, still naturally turn to the punk genre almost automatically, to express their rage. The yell of our first sort, sharp punk shock is still echoing and at this rate, will never die.

A Punk Tale of Two Cities answers a question that Punk people love to debate - where did punk begin? London or New York? Other cities try to stake a claim - Paris, for example, or Los Angeles. But everyone knows they're non-starters, really. The tension, the energy of punk, crackled between London and New York. .

In this show, we'll rip the duality apart and see where punk really started. Or not. After all, Punk was never supposed to be an easy answer.

Along the way there are new insights from those who shaped Punk on both sides of the Atlantic - John Lydon, Talking Heads, Neneh Cherry, The Slits, Don Letts, Chrissie Hynde, Public Enemy, Lenny Kaye, Dennis Bovell and Patti Smith.

2 hours

Last on

Mon 18 Feb 2013 21:00

Music Played

  • Hour 1

    • Jimi Hendrix

      Star Spangled Banner

  • Richard Hell & The Voidoids

    Blank Generation

  • New York Dolls

    Courageous Cat Theme

  • Augustus Pablo

    King Tubby Meets the Rockers Uptown

  • Television

    Marquee Moon

  • Sex Pistols

    Holidays in the Sun

  • Sex Pistols


  • Sid Vicious

    My Way

  • Rupie Edwards

    Iris Feelings

    • Skanga.
  • The Damned

    New Rose

  • Talking Heads

    Psycho Killer

  • The Pop Group

    We Are All Prostitutes

  • Kilburn and The High Roads

    Rough Kids

  • Bad Brains

    Pay to Cum

  • Lou Reed

    Walk On The Wild Side

  • Clash

    I'm So Bored With the USA

  • Chic

    Good Times

  • Talking Heads

    Love Goes to Building on Fire

  • Television

    Little Johnny Jewel

  • Led Zeppelin

    Custard Pie

  • Patti Smith

    Piss Factory

  • Patti Smith


  • Richard Hell

    Blank Generation

  • Sex Pistols

    God Save The Queen

  • Ramones

    Blitzkrieg Bop

  • Ramones

    Rockaway Beach

  • Siouxsie and the Banshees

    Hong Kong Garden

  • Talking Heads


  • Blondie

    Rip Her to Shreds

  • X‐Ray Spex

    Germ Free Adolescence

  • The Damned

    Love Song

  • Roxy Music

    Virginia Plain

  • Clash

    Tommy Gun

  • The Velvet Underground


  • The Velvet Underground

    Rock & Roll

  • David Bowie

    Andy Warhol

  • The Velvet Underground

    Venus In Furs

  • Stiff Little Fingers

    Suspect Device

  • The Clash

    White Riot

  • MC5

    Baby Won't Ya

  • Clash

    Complete Control

  • The Stooges

    Down on the Street

  • The Damned

    New Rose

  • Clash

    Guns of Brixton

  • Sex Pistols

    Pretty Vacant

  • The Slits

    Typical Girls

  • Burning Spear

    Marcus Garvey

  • Sex Pistols

    God Save The Queen

  • Peter Tosh

    Babylon Queendom

  • Bob Marley


  • The Ruts

    Babylon's Burning

  • Dennis Brown


  • Junior Murvin

    Police & Thieves

  • Clash

    Police & Thieves

  • King Tubby

    Wicked Can't Ruin this Dub

  • Janet Kay

    Silly Games

  • On-U Sound

    Private Armies Dub

  • Chantage

    Same Thing Twice

  • The Specials

    A Message To You, Rudy (feat. Rico Rodriguez)

  • The Selecter

    On My Radio

  • Tapper Zukie


  • John Holt

    The Tide is High

  • Blondie

    The Tide Is High

  • Blondie


  • Tom Robinson Band

    Up Against the Wall

  • Funky 4 + 1

    That's the Joint

  • Clash

    London Calling

  • Clash

    Safe European Home

  • Bo Diddley

    Who Do You Love

  • Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five

    The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash

  • Clash

    The Magnificent Seven

  • Grandmaster & Melle Mel

    White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)

  • Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five

    The Message

  • Public Enemy

    Rebel Without A Pause

  • Grand Wizard Theodore & Kevie Kev Rockwell


  • Afrika Bambaataa

    Party People

  • Timezone

    World Destruction

  • Malcolm McLaren & The World’s Famous Supreme Team

    Buffalo Gals

  • Neneh Cherry

    Buffalo Stance

  • Billy Ocean


    • Feel Like Getting Down.
  • Beastie Boys

    You Gotta Fight For Your Right

    • To Party.
  • Sham 69

    If the Kids Are United

  • Sex Pistols


  • New York Dolls


  • Bob Marley - Punky Reggae Party

  • Belle and Sebastian

    Lazy Line Painter Jane