Punk Food

So you’re just in from a hard day walking up and down the Kings Road sneering at tourists, you’ve loosened your dog collar, prepared a cassette for this evening’s John Peel show and now your thoughts turn to food. But what was Punk Food? Here’s some thoughts…

Ruth : I think Punk food had to be workaday but unconventional. Crisp sandwiches obviously, instant mash, anything a bit futuristic. Siouxsie probably would have settled for something a little more exotic….possibly from a takeaway…

Polly : I like futuristic! I’ll go with a packet of Space Dust washed down with a tin of Orangeade, bright colours, fizz, all as full on as possible, Punk food would be loud food.


I like to think that X-Ray Spex might have eaten loads of E numbers, then they could have written a song to warn us about it! The Damned would have eaten custard pies, The Clash didn’t eat at all, and the Pistols mentioned being “out to lunch” in Pretty Vacant. Back in the day, I think I thought of “Punk Food” as being something that punk bands might eat, which in turn, having weighed up all the options, I thought was probably chips. From the safety of my teenage bedroom I imagined bands being on tour, and fans travelling to shows, and if that was in the UK then you could be fairly certain that there might be a handy chip shop somewhere nearby. Plus of course, choices were limited in the late 70s, there was no Pret or Wagasushi Express, so yes, Punk food = chips. Later on, in the 1990s, touring experience taught me that I wasn’t far wrong about this.

Any thoughts? What’s your Punk food??

In the 1970s, fancy food looked like this – it was exactly the kind of thing we were trying to get away from. This food is why Punk happened.


4 thoughts on “Punk Food

  1. Honest answer- in NY for punk food pizza was number one. True story, on the block I worked on (St Marks) Joey Ramone would hang out at the pizza place on the corner of 2nd and eat slices with fans (including me- he really was a really great person- they say don’t meet your heroes but in this case one was lucky to). But yeah, in NY it came down to cost and convenience- so, pizza, sometimes 3 AM diner meals, sometimes Hare Krishna free food in the park. And for awhile I got into the dumpster diving thing, but that’s kind of a whole different story- lots of punks doing that too, though. And I am kind of ashamed now (thinking of the shop owners) but there was a bit of looting from shops.

    1. Hi Andy, these are all great stories, especially Pizza with the Ramones! In 1970s UK we didn’t really have Pizza places in the same way we do now. All the shops closed at 5.30pm, we only had 3 TV channels, so we had to make our own fun. Fizzy orange drinks was about as fun as it got!!

      1. The silver lining there is how great it is to be bored enough to make your own fun. I mean, it’s probably a big reason why so much incredible punk (and other art) came out of the UK in those years. Something exciting needed to happen. I can’t resist one amazing memory- Joey invited me to his birthday party and I got to meet his mother. She told me about driving him and his friends to the lower east side. Patti Smith, Tom Verlaine, Jonathan Richman, Ronnie Spector, Darlene Love- those were just some of the people also at the party. Crazy. I remember years later when a friend called to me across the street that Joey died. So sad. It was one of the reasons I decided NY was over for me and it was time to try someplace new. He really was one of the good ones, having met most of them I’d also say he was one of the good Ramones!

      2. Wow! and more Wow!! Joey really does seem like he was one of the very best, but great that you had a window into that whole scene. Punk was an incredible time, we were only 12 in 1977 but the impression it made on us is still there. Thanks for the reply btw!

Tell us what you think! Did you like the post? Do you agree? Do you have some information or experience to share? Please let us know by commenting!

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close