The Seeding of British Punk: Patti Smith “Horses” in London, 1976

On December 13, 2011 by Will Hermes

Live on The Old Grey Whistle Test.

This was Britain’s first glimpse of NYC “punk rock,” not counting the NY Dolls appearance on the same program in 1973. On May 16, a few nights after this aired on national TV, The Patti Smith Group played their debut U.K. gig at London’s Roundhouse. In the audience: John Lydon, Joe Strummer, Paul Simonon, Mick Jones, his pal Viv Albertine, and Chrissie Hynde, a young woman from Ohio who took part in the anti-war protests at Kent State where National Guardsmen shot and killed four students in 1970.

The Clash would form shortly thereafter. The Sex Pistols had already played some gigs. But clearly, notes were being taken.

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