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28 November 2011

Why am I Reminded of Devo?

Of cave paintings and the punk esthete: one writer is celebrating the human ability to give some of us an excuse for not progressing.

I had known of the Sex Pistols' association with 6 Denmark Street for a while, but a chance remark on a BBC 6 Music programme led to the discovery that the Pistols, and in particular John Lydon, had left a substantial body of graffiti there and that, surprisingly, it had survived. The findings are described in the latest volume of the academic journal Antiquity, published earlier this week.

The graffiti that fellow archaeologist John Schofield (of the University of York) and I recorded in an upper room at the back of a vintage guitar shop include both accomplished caricatures of Malcolm McLaren, Nancy Spungen and John Ritchie (aka Sid Vicious) and other items that record the use of the building by 4" be 2" (a band formed by Lydon's brother Jimmy), and later as the home of two members of Bananarama. But the importance of the site goes beyond the eye-catching graffiti.

Behold, the onetime shame and pride of Akron, Ohio

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