My conversation with Jackie Leven was a long and fruitful one. Here are some fragments about his life at the margins of the London punk scene in the 70s and 80s:

“I was about ten years older than most people on the scene and had absorbed a lot of influences that put me quite a bit aside from it, but I also really admired a lot of the punk singers and the rawness they brought to it, and even the cunningness with which some of the very good singers in punk disguised how good they really were. Even people like Johnny Rotten, in his own way—I just thought what he did to the Pistols songs was really interesting. I worked in a band with [original Pistols bassist and songwriter] Glen Matlock called Concrete Bulletproof Invisible, and one day in our travels he said to me [puts on Cockney accent], ‘The thing about Johnny was, he really destroyed those songs I wrote for the band.’

“And I said, ‘What do you mean, Glen?’