Bruce Carleton, mandarin, points the way.
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By the fall of 1978, punk rock was looking almost like it had run its course. Things weren't quite as exciting as they had been a couple of years earlier, and it was clear that Pop Culture would have to find another Next Big Thing. (What ended up being the Next Big Thing anyway? Rap? Techno? Nothing, I guess.) Punk Magazine was also teetering on the verge of oblivion. In hopes of keeping it going a little longer, we decided to put on a Punk Awards Ceremony as a fund raiser. It was set for Friday, October 13, 1978.

It's hard to say how it would have gone over. Maybe we could have made history and established the Punk Awards as the new Oscar... or maybe it would have been a colorless little flop that no one would have remembered. As it so happened, fate intervened in the form of Sid Vicious stabbing Nancy Spungen to death the night before. Now everybody wanted to be there, but none of the luminaries (or, more to the point, their record companies) wanted to have the suddenly interested media flashing their faces on screen next to Sid & Nancy's. The result was a minor spectacle. The "show" itself was a fiasco. I was holed up in the back room the whole time, so I can't tell you about it from personal experience, but you can go to the Punk Magazine Website to get a better idea (for John Holmstrom's version click here or click here instead for Jolly's version). I'm told that the audience was packed with boldface names (Lou Reed, The Ramones, Chris Stein & Debbie Harry of Blondie, The Dictators, Jerry Nolan, Peter Wolf, Danny Fields, Lester Bangs, Malcolm McClaren, Harvey Keitel and Legs McNeil).

This poster is one of the few tangible pieces of evidence that this event actually occurred. Most of the small print run was slapped on available surfaces in NYC before the gig, but a few survived in my personal collection, following me from the Punk office to my apartment, to another apartment, to my mom's basement in Kansas, and now to my very own basement. As far as I know, this poster is not available anywhere else. And it's in perfect condition. It's offset printed on heavy yellow stock. The size is 11 x 17 inches (28 x 43 cm). The main illustration is by me, and the lettering is by John Holmstrom, Ken Weiner (a.k.a. Ken Avidor) and me.

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