Jon Savage

Writer — London

Photo: Aubrey Meyer

Where are you from?
West London

Why do you love what do?
Autonomy. Plus writing is very natural to me.

Describe your style in three words?
Twisted mod.

What music did you listen to growing up?
1960’s pop, Ready Steady Go, Pirate Radio.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been too?
The Who 1969
Sex Pistols 1976
Joy Division 1979
James Brown 1983

What is the most influential British single ever released?
Oh god. 'She Loves You' I would say. Just made pop massive.

Which British music icons still influence your writing?
Pete Townshend, Ray Davies, David Bowie, Lennon/McCartney.

Do you think music is still a catalyst for political change today?
No, but it could be.

If you could choose one book to be added to the National Curriculum - what would it be?
Ian MacDonald 'Revolution in the Head'

You can spend an hour with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Andy Warhol, and I wouldn’t ask him anything.

What are you working on at the moment?
Exhibitions, events, compilation CD’s, next book bubbling away.


Jon Savage wrote and published a fanzine called London's Outrage during the heyday of British Punk, before working as a journalist for Sounds, Melody Maker and The Face. A respected cultural commentator, he has also written critically acclaimed books on the subject including 'England's Dreaming: Sex Pistols and Punk Rock' and 'Teenage: The Prehistory of Youth Culture'.

What was the first song you played on repeat?
No doubt the first one I owned, in 1958. 
'The Mole In A Hole' The Southlanders.

A song from your favourite album?
'She Said She Said' 
(Beatles, 'Revolver'). Psychological.

One record you would keep forever?
Most of them.

What was the last piece of music you bought?
Pet Shop Boys 'Super' for a friend. 
Top album fresh and up and intelligent.

A song you wish you had written?
None. No pop envy or musicianly hankerings.

Song that defines the teenage you?
'Live And Let Live' by Love.
Sulky and defiant.

A song lyric that inspires you?
‘she slept in caffs and coffee bars and bowling alleys'
Ray Davies, 'Big Black Smoke'

Is there a song you like that people wouldn’t expect you to?
Haircut 100 'Nobody’s Fool'
Top tune, sounds like Baggy seven years before the event.

Four songs by new bands you can’t stop listening to right now?
Not ‘bands’ but LPs by:

Vermont - 'II'

Brian Eno - 'Reflection'

'Kompakt Total 16' (compilation)

Lady Leshurr - 'Queen’s Speech Ep.3' (single track and Youtube video)

Photo: Aubrey Meyer

Where are you from?
West London

Why do you love what do?
Autonomy. Plus writing is very natural to me.

Describe your style in three words?
Twisted mod.

What music did you listen to growing up?
1960’s pop, Ready Steady Go, Pirate Radio.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been too?
The Who 1969
Sex Pistols 1976
Joy Division 1979
James Brown 1983

What is the most influential British single ever released?
Oh god. 'She Loves You' I would say. Just made pop massive.

Which British music icons still influence your writing?
Pete Townshend, Ray Davies, David Bowie, Lennon/McCartney.

Do you think music is still a catalyst for political change today?
No, but it could be.

If you could choose one book to be added to the National Curriculum - what would it be?
Ian MacDonald 'Revolution in the Head'

You can spend an hour with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Andy Warhol, and I wouldn’t ask him anything.

What are you working on at the moment?
Exhibitions, events, compilation CD’s, next book bubbling away.


Jon Savage wrote and published a fanzine called London's Outrage during the heyday of British Punk, before working as a journalist for Sounds, Melody Maker and The Face. A respected cultural commentator, he has also written critically acclaimed books on the subject including 'England's Dreaming: Sex Pistols and Punk Rock' and 'Teenage: The Prehistory of Youth Culture'.

What was the first song you played on repeat?
No doubt the first one I owned, in 1958. 
'The Mole In A Hole' The Southlanders.

A song from your favourite album?
'She Said She Said' 
(Beatles, 'Revolver'). Psychological.

One record you would keep forever?
Most of them.

What was the last piece of music you bought?
Pet Shop Boys 'Super' for a friend. 
Top album fresh and up and intelligent.

A song you wish you had written?
None. No pop envy or musicianly hankerings.

Song that defines the teenage you?
'Live And Let Live' by Love.
Sulky and defiant.

A song lyric that inspires you?
‘she slept in caffs and coffee bars and bowling alleys'
Ray Davies, 'Big Black Smoke'

Is there a song you like that people wouldn’t expect you to?
Haircut 100 'Nobody’s Fool'
Top tune, sounds like Baggy seven years before the event.

Four songs by new bands you can’t stop listening to right now?
Not ‘bands’ but LPs by:

Vermont - 'II'

Brian Eno - 'Reflection'

'Kompakt Total 16' (compilation)

Lady Leshurr - 'Queen’s Speech Ep.3' (single track and Youtube video)

Jon Savage at the British Library

Jon Savage on his documentary Teenage

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