Beat Me, Bite Me…Then Get The Fuck Out

“Beat Me, Bite Me, Whip Me, Fuck Me Like The Dirty Pig That I Am, Cum All Over My Tits And Tell Me That You Love Me.

Then Get The Fuck Out.”

The year was 1977 and this was a damn good slogan for a punk t-shirt, as you can see on Joan Jett, Adam Ant and punk photographer Eileen Polk sitting at CBGB’s backstage staircase.

 

 

 

A Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood design, many researchers have attributed the slogans and images of Seditionaries clothing to The Anarchist Cookbook (William Powell, 1971), however, the text and illustrations bear little resemblance to those contained in Powell’s book. In fact, the instructions are more in line with those provided in Abbie Hoffman’s 1971 Steal This Book.

 

The Anarchist Cookbook

Instructions for building a Molotov Cocktail as found on this Seditionaries design from c.1977 (text on bottom left):

Quart Bottle (BEER IS BEST)
Fill bottle ½with gasoline and ½ with Styrofoam (break up Styrofoam into small pieces and letmixture sit from 2 to 24 hours, the longer the better (you can use soapflakesinstead of Styrofoam)
-Advantages- Can be used immediately/Disadvantages/ not as explosive in either case should be sticky.
In either case solution shouldbe sticky.
Soak a tampax or rag ingasoline, keep part of it 3-4 inches outside bottle and make sure bottom is below gasoline level.
Light the Tampax and throw. The cocktail
THE COCKTAIL WILL NOT EXPLODE UNTIL BOTTLE BREAKS. SO BE SURE YOU THROW IS AGAINST SOMETHING HARD.
Timing- instead of tampax use M-80 (firecracker) put lit cigarette on fuse of M-80, when the cigarette burns down in 11 minutes, the M-80 explodes breaking the bottle and exploding the gasoline- no throwing needed. You have 11 minutes to the scene

 

Instructions for building a lightbulb detonator found on the back of Seditionaries Vive Le Rock/Punk Rock Disco design c. 1977, originally taken from US Army training manual for improvised munitions, 1969

 

Westwood and McLaren publicized their ideas through their joint design ventures, McLaren launching the Sex Pistols and the Pistols in turn wearing clothes from a rubber and leather fetish wear shop called SEX (featuring a screaming 4 ft sign of pink foam rubber letters spelling just that out) that Westwood and McLaren opened on the Kings Road, London in the 1970’s. The interior was covered with chickenwire and graffiti from the SCUM Manifesto. Red carpeting was installed and rubber curtains covered the walls. Later the shop was renamed Seditionaries.

 

Jordan outside SEX

 

There is nothing wrong with being nasty and rude. It provokes reactions from other people, it leads to release. It ends confinement by inhibition and hypocrisy. People are hung up about sex. All this protest is very hypocritical. I want to change things and let kids realise themselves and their own potential. If you want change, the best thing to do is to attack sex because there is so much hypocrisy about sex in Britain.

– Vivienne Westwood in an excerpt from The Guardian 3rd December 1976

 

The store’s designs confronted social and sexual taboos, and included T-shirts bearing shocking images of the Cambridge Rapist’s face hood, semi-naked cowboys touching cocks from a 1969 illustration by the US homoerotic artist Jim French, trompe-l’œil bare breasts by Rhode Island School of Design students Janusz and Laura Gottwald in the late 1960’s, and pornographic texts from the book School for Wives (“I groaned with pain…in a soft corrosion”) by the Scottish beat author Alexander Trocchi.

 

There were T-shirts left over from the Wembley Rock & Roll revival festival in our cupboards in South Clapham; we had to do something with them. Sid Vicious liked them just the way they were and was often photographed in the original Vive Le Rock! design. But I needed to throw a few messages across them and reinvent them. So, I married the slogan and images of Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis with words and drawings from various texts, using the title of The Anarchist Cookbook as well as the famous phrase of the Spanish anarchist Buenaventura Durutti.

– Malcolm McLaren, 2008

 

Finishing off the subversive look, McLaren and Westwood sewed cotton patches featuring Situationist slogans written in bleach. Many of these slogans came direct from graffiti sprayed in the May ‘69 Paris riots.

 

No you can’t say that this is clothes and that’s music, it’s a state of mind, a complete thing.
Like trousers, like brain.

– Joe Strummer in an interview with Sniffin’ Glue, October 1976

 

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The Author

Kate Baudelaire

Kate Baudelaire

Chronic disillusionment. I like cats and Danzig.

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