Books by Jon Savage

Jon Savage (born 1953) is a writer, broadcaster and music journalist, best known for his award winning history of the Sex Pistols and punk music, England's Dreaming (1991). Savage wrot e and published a fanzine called London's Outrage in 1976, and in 197

Released: April 23, 2019

"Neither easy hagiography or melancholy Curtis elegy, but a sober and illuminating account of a brilliant band's too-short career."
A deep dive into one of rock music's most path-breaking bands and cautionary tales. Read full book review >
TEENAGE by Jon Savage
Released: April 23, 2007

"Slow going at times, but with some fascinating characters and anecdotes."
From the author of England's Dreaming (1992), a dense cultural history of adolescence from 1875 to 1945. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 3, 1992

In an account packed with incisive social analysis, a London- based writer who contributes regularly to US music magazines (Spin, Rolling Stone, etc.) chronicles the lurid yet surprisingly complex rise and fall of Britain's quintessential punk band, the Sex Pistols. Taking his title from the lyrics of the band's ``God Save the Queen'' (``There is no future, in England's dreaming. No future for you, no future for me''), Savage begins with a long description of the nihilistic, in-your-face fashion world in which Malcolm McLaren, the group's manager, got his start. These first pages are decidedly slow, but they are the only slow ones in a long book that—among countless other things—describes McLaren's apparently seething, opportunistic ambition, and the ``miasma'' of violence that followed the Sex Pistols from an early, foulmouthed TV interview to a gruesome tour across America's South (recounted by Noel E. Monk and Jimmy Guterman in 12 Days on the Road, 1990) and the drug-induced death of bass player Sid Vicious. Throughout, Savage provides much intriguing background information, especially about the suffocating nature of recession-hit 1970's England, along with illuminating quotes from dozens of sources. His narrative is filled with pithy insights that keep their appropriate punch even when wallowing in verbosity (``The very English phlegm which had served as a powerful psychological metaphor for denial...was now, literally, expelled in torrents as...Punk audiences covered their object of desire with sheets of saliva''). Though at times overly detailed and wordy, still a compelling and intelligent narrative that's as much about the nature of anarchy as about the Sex Pistols and punk rock. (Sixteen-page color insert.) Read full book review >