- For others with a similar name, see John Savage
John Savage may refer to:* John Savage, 2nd Earl Rivers * John F. Savage Hall, the basketball arena for the University of Toledo* John Savage , actor* John Savage , baseball head coach...
(born 1953), real name Jonathon Sage
, is a Cambridge-educated writer, broadcaster
A presenter, or host , is a person or organization responsible for running an event. A museum or university, for example, may be the presenter or host of an exhibit. Likewise, a master of ceremonies is a person that hosts or presents a show...
and music journalist, best known for his award winning history of the Sex Pistols
The Sex Pistols were an English punk rock band that formed in London in 1975. They were responsible for initiating the punk movement in the United Kingdom and inspiring many later punk and alternative rock musicians...
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...
music, England's Dreaming,
published in 1991.
He was a high-profile writer during the glory days of British punk and wrote articles on all the major punk acts. Savage wrote and published a fanzine
A fanzine is a nonprofessional and nonofficial publication produced by fans of a particular cultural phenomenon for the pleasure of others who share their interest...
called London's Outrage
in 1976, and in 1977 began working as a journalist for Sounds
Sounds was a long-term British music paper, published weekly from 10 October 1970 – 6 April 1991. It was produced by Spotlight Publications , which was set up by Jack Hutton and Peter Wilkinson, who left "Melody Maker" to start their own company...
was, at that time, one of the UK
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...
's three major music papers, along with the New Musical Express and Melody Maker
Melody Maker, published in the United Kingdom, was, according to its publisher IPC Media, the world's oldest weekly music newspaper. It was founded in 1926 as a magazine targeted at musicians; in 2000 it was merged into "long-standing rival" New Musical Express.-1950s–1960s:Originally the Melody...
. Savage interviewed punk, New Wave
New Wave is a subgenre of :rock music that emerged in the mid to late 1970s alongside punk rock. The term at first generally was synonymous with punk rock before being considered a genre in its own right that incorporated aspects of electronic and experimental music, mod subculture, disco and 1960s...
and electronic music
Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments and electronic music technology in its production. In general a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means and that produced using electronic technology. Examples of electromechanical sound...
artists for Sounds
. At that time, he also wrote for the West Coast fanzines Search and Destroy
, BOMP and Slash (fanzine)
Slash was a punk rock-related fanzine published in the United States from 1977 to 1980.The magazine was a large-format tabloid focused on the Los Angeles punk scene, though it did not restrict itself to local acts: its first cover featured Dave Vanian of The Damned. It regularly covered such L.A....
In 1979 he moved to Melody Maker
. A year later he moved to the newly founded pop culture magazine The Face
The Face was a British music, fashion and culture monthly magazine started in May 1980 by Nick Logan.-1980s:Logan had previously created the teen pop magazine Smash Hits, and had been an editor at the New Musical Express in the 1970s before launching The Face in 1980.The magazine was influential in...
. Throughout the decade, Savage wrote for The Observer
The Observer is a British newspaper, published on Sundays. In the same place on the political spectrum as its daily sister paper The Guardian, which acquired it in 1993, it takes a liberal or social democratic line on most issues. It is the world's oldest Sunday newspaper.-Origins:The first issue,...
and the New Statesman
New Statesman is a British centre-left political and cultural magazine published weekly in London. Founded in 1913, and connected with leading members of the Fabian Society, the magazine reached a circulation peak in the late 1960s....
, providing high-brow
Used colloquially as a noun or adjective, highbrow is synonymous with intellectual; as an adjective, it also means elite, and generally carries a connotation of high culture. The word draws its metonymy from the pseudoscience of phrenology, and was originally simply a physical descriptor...
commentary on popular culture
Popular culture is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed preferred per an informal consensus within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the...
In 1991, Savage designed a record sleeve for the (then little-known) Welsh rock band Manic Street Preachers
Manic Street Preachers are a Welsh alternative rock band, formed in 1986. They are James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire, Richey Edwards and Sean Moore. The band are part of the Cardiff music scene, and were at their most prominent during the 1990s...
. The single was called "Feminine Is Beautiful
"Feminine Is Beautiful" is a limited edition 7" single by the rock band Manic Street Preachers. 500 copies were released in July 1991 on the Caff Records label, owned by Bob Stanley of the band Saint Etienne. It featured live versions of "New Art Riot" and "Repeat After Me" copied from a cassette...
, published by Faber and Faber
Faber and Faber Limited, often abbreviated to Faber, is an independent publishing house in the UK, notable in particular for publishing a great deal of poetry and for its former editor T. S. Eliot. Faber has a rich tradition of publishing a wide range of fiction, non fiction, drama, film and music...
in 1991, was lauded as the definitive history of punk music, and remains the single most comprehensive analysis of the phenomenon. It was used as the basis for a television programme, "Punk and the Pistols", shown on BBC2 in 1995, and an updated edition in 2001 featured a new introduction which made mention of the Pistols' 1996 reunion and the release of the 2000 Pistols documentary film, The Filth and The Fury
The Filth and the Fury is a 2000 rockumentary film about the Sex Pistols directed by Julien Temple.-About the film:The Filth and the Fury is the second movie Julien Temple made about The Sex Pistols. His first effort was The Great Rock and Roll Swindle, which was released in British cinemas on 15...
. A companion piece, The England's Dreaming Tapes
, was published in 2009.
Savage continues to write on punk and other genres in a variety of publications, most notably Mojo
MOJO is a popular music magazine published initially by Emap, and since January 2008 by Bauer, monthly in the United Kingdom. Following the success of the magazine Q, publishers Emap were looking for a title which would cater for the burgeoning interest in classic rock music...
magazine and The Observer Music Monthly
. He wrote the introduction to Mitch Ikeda's Forever Delayed
(2002), an official photobook of the Manic Street Preachers.
Savage has appeared in the documentaries Live Forever
Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Brit Pop is a 2003 documentary film written and directed by John Dower. The documentary is a study of popular culture in the United Kingdom during the mid to late 1990s...
Several compilation CDs based on his tracklistings have also been released, including England's Dreaming
(2004) and Meridian 1970
(2005), the latter of which puts forward the argument that 1970 was a high-point for popular music, contrary to critical opinion. His most recent compilation has been Queer Noises 1961-1978
(2006), a compilation of largely overlooked pop songs from that period that carried overt or coded gay messages.
Jon Savage's latest book, Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture
, was published in 2007. It is a history of the concept of teenagers, which begins in the 1870s and ends in 1945. Teenage
aims to tell the story of youth culture's prehistory, and dates the advent of today's form of "teenagers" to 1945.
- The Kinks: The Official Biography Publisher: (Faber and Faber, 1984, ISBN 9780571133796)
- England's Dreaming: Sex Pistols and Punk Rock (Faber and Faber, 1991, ISBN 9780571139750)
- Picture Post Idols Publisher: London, Collins & Brown, 1992 ISBN 9781855850835
- The Faber Book of Pop (edited with Hanif Kureishi
Hanif Kureishi CBE is an English playwright, screenwriter and filmmaker, novelist and short story writer. The themes of his work have touched on topics of race, nationalism, immigration, and sexuality...
) (Faber and Faber, 1995, ISBN 9780571179800)
- Touching From a Distance
Touching from a Distance is a biography written by Deborah Curtis. It details her life and marriage with Ian Curtis, lead singer of the 1970s British post-punk rock band Joy Division...
(Foreword) (Faber and Faber, 1995, ISBN 0571174450)
- Time Travel: From the Sex Pistols to Nirvana - Pop, Media and Sexuality, 1977-96 Publisher: London, Chatto & Windus, 1996 ISBN 9780701163600
- Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture Publisher: Viking Books, 2007 ISBN 9780670038374
- Joy Division documentary film, screenwriter, 2008
- The England's Dreaming Tapes (University of Minnesota Press, 2010)
- England's Dreaming (Trikont
The leftist publishing house Trikont was founded in 1967 in Munich. The name "Trikont" means "three continents", in German a not very common synonym for Third World Countries....
- Meridian 1970 (Forever Heavenly 2005)
- Queer Noises - From the Closet to the Charts (Trikont 2006)
- The Shadows Of Love - Intense Tamla 1966-1968 (Commercial Marketing 2006)
- Dreams come true - Classic wave electro 1982-87 (Domino Records 2008)
- Teenage - the invention of youth 1911-1945 (Trikont 2009)