My Millwall and the associations of living in South East London:This article was originally published in blog:
Taken from a thread about Skinheads & punks.
"From punk to middle class 'New Wave' to what can only be described as embarrassing revival Ska ... No wonder the disco clubs took over across the country at the end of the 70s?"
Like so many people of my age at the time, you were pulled from pillar to post. One week you were 'punk', the next you were hitting the dancefloor at clubs like Crackers. Once the punk scene knocked the 'discos' out of the water, by mostly taking over 'disco nights' we (the yoooof) had limited choices for nights out. Like most people I got on the snot train for about two years, then via Sham (who were never Oi) I veered towards a rough street sound and pointless violence and destruction. This was my first involvement with trouble at Millwall.
It's strange that once I left school I was sucked into the right wing element that surrounded punk music. I was anti-establishment (god knows why?) and wanted to go against the grain of the media and the liberals. I joined the NF, even though Webster was already being suggested as a nonce. Tyndall was something out of the 50s and in truth the party was a load of old bollocks. Whilst on a coach trip with the Woolwich section of the NF to Leicester for a march, myself and a few mates got to meet up with some of the dedicated individuals within this political party. There was a mixture of skinheads, suedeheads and just normal people who didn't like immigrants.
On the return journey I overheard two American bloke's chatting away about what the "British should do" - it turned out that these two bloke's were from the Ku Klux Klan (I'm not joking) and they were clearly quite religious. They freely used references to how 'we' (sic) should string them up and burn them - was shocking to hear to say the least. The actual fact that I wasn't really racist to the level of the NF at the time made for a strange three hours on the coach back to London.
Once I ditched the NF, mostly because I had now fucked off the punk nonsense in favour of the dancefloor and sorts, I started to realise what a complete cunt I had been. I had West Indian mates who frequented the discos/clubs, the Hilltop, Stage 3, The Island Hotel & Goldmine, so what a fucking contradiction to prance around saying how much I wanted them to leave? Doesn't makes sense ... And still doesn't? This was a time when the IRA were well into their violence mode in London, I attached myself to the anti-IRA supporters, with connections to the London UVF unit. This was getting serious, but as has been suggested, you just got sucked into a situation.
By 1981 I had saddled up with a gorgeous catholic lady, so the anti-IRA rhetoric thing was a difficult thing to continue with, but I still resented those cunts blowing people up! Punk had now completely gone, and only the socially strange were still pissing around with the SKA revival. The age of Hip Hop and electronic dance music had arrived, this was yet another example of how people around London and certainly Millwall, were changing with the times. By this time I think most average people accepted West Indians and Irish Catholics in London? The right wing dislike was now being turned to the influx from Asia and India, there were only the Oi Skins still in existence and they were roundly regarded as fucking odd bods. Football Casuals ruled the streets (far more than now?) and the rise of the designer label was well and truly part of London culture.
After discovering my eldest brother was a member of the British Movement, I sort of realised that the 'centre ground' was the place to be. Dipping into liberalism then veering off to semi-racist suggestions suited me best. Skins & punks had now gone ... this was the mid-80s, Samsons, Dun Cow the Bermondsey triangle were in full flow. Days like these? Indeed.
For any people reading this thread/post who were 'about' during these times, how could you better it? Millwall was a fucking great laugh, no proper CCTV, cunting bans or proper stewarding. The Hurlimann had been turned off at the Den, mostly because of cunts rioting at places like Luton ;-) - But no one cared? This was our time ... Until Acid House landed.