Crass - Best BeforeBEST BEFORE

Crass - Best Before
Steve Ignorant

Crass - Best Before
Eve Libertine

Crass - Best Before
Joy De Vivre

Crass - Best Before
Hari Nana

Crass - Best Before
Phil Free

Crass - Best Before
Pete Wright

Crass - Best Before
Penny Rimbaud

Crass - Best Before
Ge Sus

Crass - Best Before
Mick Duffield


Fuck the politically minded
Here's something I want to say
About the state of the nation
The way it treats us today
At school they give you shit
Drop you In the pit
You try and try and try to get out
But you can't
Becauise they've picked you about
Then you're a prime example
Of how they must not be
This is just a sample
Of what they've done
To you and me

Do they owe us a living
Of course they do
Of course they do
Do they owe us a living?
Of course they do
Of course they do
Do they owe us a living?


They don't want me anymore
Cos I threw it on the floor
They used to call me sweet thing
But I'm nobody's plaything
And now that I am different
They'd love to bust my head
They'd love to see me cop-out
They'd love to see me dead


The living that is owed to me
I'm never going to get
They've buggered this old world up
Up to their necks in debt
They'd give you a lobotomy
For something you aint done
They'll make you an epitomy
Of everything that's wrong


Don't take any notice
Of what the public think
They're so hyped up with T.V.
They just don't want to think
They'll use you as a target
For demands and for advice
When you don't want to hear it
They'll say yol,'re fllll of vice



Read the evening papers
about the National Front
They go out and they do it
they're such a bunch of cunts
They make safety-pins
of silver and gold
The bastards who buy them
they know what they've been sold

Who's side you on?
Who's side you on?
Who's side you on?
Major General Despair
Major General Despair
The ex-Wing Commander
who's confronting you With
school, church and our mamma
Play his game and you're fucked
now be reasonable
Respecting the law
so where does it get you
You've been there before, renember?
Who's side you on?
Who's side you on?
Who's side you on?
Major General Despair
Major General Despair
Who's side you on?
Who's side you on?
Who's side you on?
Who's side you on?
Who's side you on?
Who's side you on?
Major General Despair
Who's side you on? Get in line
Who's side you on? Get in line


We burn our mistakes and we watch as they burn
We've been here so long we've got nothing to learn
And we put all the nastiest bits in your media bag
Angela Rippon
Kenneth Kendal
Robert Dougal
Richard Baker
We put all the nastiest shits in your media bag
Feel pretty solid, can move pretty smooth
Yeah, but I'm learning I've got nothing to lose
And you put all the nastiest licks in your media slag
Fucking watch out
I am About I can
And I don't have to pretend anymore


I am no feeble Christ, not me
He hangs in glib delight upon his cross
Above my body, lowly me
Christ forgive, forgive?
Holy He, He holy, He holy?
Shic He forgives, Forgive? Forgive?
I? I? Me? I? I vomit for you Jesu
Christy Christus
Puke upon your papal throne
Wrapped you are in the bloody shroud
Of churlish suicide
Wrapped I am in the muddy cloud
Of hellish genocide
Petulant child
I have suffered for you
Where you have never known me
I too must die
Will you be shadowed in the arrogance
Of my death? Your valley truth
What lights pass those pious heights?
What passing bells for these in their trucks?
For you lord.
You are the flag-bearer of these nations
One against the other that die in the mud
No piety. No deity
Is that your forgiveness?
Saint. Martyr. Goat. Billy. Forgive?
Shit He forgives
He hangs upon his cross
In self-righteous judgement
Hangs in crucufied delight
Nailed to the extent of His vision
His cross. His manhood. His violence. Guilt. Sin
He would nail my body to his cross
As if I might have waited upon him in the garden
As if I might have perfumed His body
Washed those bloody feet
This woman that He seeks
Suicide visionary. Death reveller. Rake. Rapist.
Gravedigger. Earthmover. Lifefucker. Jesu
You scooped the pits of Auschwitz
The soil of Treblinka is rich in your guilt
The sorrow of your tradition
Your stupid humility is the crown of thorns
We all must wear. For you. Ha. Master
Master of gore. Enigma. Stigma. Stigmata. Errata. Eraser
The cross is the mast of your oppression
You fly there, vain flag. You carry it
Wear it on your back, Lord. Your back
Enola is your gaiety
Suffer little children to come unto me
Suffer in that horror. Hirohorror. Hirrohiro
Hiroshimmer. Shimmerhiro. Hiroshima. Hiroshima
The bodies are your delight
The incandescent flame is the spirit of it
They come to you Jesu. To you
The nails are the only trinity
Hold them in your corpsey gracelessness
The image that I have had to suffer
These nails at my temple
The cross is the virgin body of womanhood
That you defile
In your guilt you turn your back
Nailed to that body
Lame-arse Jesus calls me sister
There are no words for my contempt
Every woman is a cross in his filthy theology
He turns His back on me in His fear
His vain delight is the pain I bear
Alone He hangs. His choice. His choice
Alone. Alone. His voice. His voice
He shares nothing, this Christ
Sterile. Impotent. Fucklove prophet of death
He is the ultimate pornography
He. He. Hear us Jesus
You sigh alone in your cockfear
You lie alone in your womanfear
You die alone in your manfear
Alone Jesu, alone
In your cockfear. Cuntfear. Womanfear. Manfear
Alone in your fear. Alone in your fear
Your fear. Your fear. Warfare. Warfare
Jesus died for his own sins. Not mine.


Shaved women collaboators
Shaved women are they traitors?
Dead bodies all around
Screaming babies
Screaming babies
Screaming babies
Screaming babies
Shaved women instigators
Shaved women disco dancing
Shaved women shooting dope
Screaming babies
Screaming babies
Screaming babies
Screaming babies

In all our decadence people die
In all our decadence people die


You talk about your revolution, well, that's fine
But what are you going to be doing come the time?
Are you going to be the big man with the tommy-gun?
Will you talk of freedom when the blood begins to run?
Well, freedom has no value if violence is the price
Don't want your revolution, I want anarchy and peace

You talk of over throwing power with violence as your tool
You speak of liberation and when the people rule
Well ain't it people rule right now, what difference would there be?
Just another set of bigots with their rifle-sights on me

But what about those people who don't want your new restrictions?
Those that disagree with you and have their own convictions?
You say they've got it wrong because they don't agree with you
So when the revolution comes you'll have to run them through
Yet you say that revolution will bring freedom for us all
Well freedom just ain't freedom when your back's against the wall

You talk of overthrowing power with violence as your tool
You speak of liberation and when the people rule
Well ain't it people rule right now, what difference would there be?
Just another set of bigots with their rifle-sights on me

Will you indoctrinate the masses to serve your new regime?
And simply do away with those whose views are too extreme?
Transportation details could be left to British rail
Where Zyklon B succeeded, North Sea Gas will fail
It's just the same old story of man destroying man
We've got to look for other answers to the problems of this land

You talk of overthrowing power with violence as your tool
You speak of liberation and when the people rule
Well aint it people rule right now, what difference would there be?
Just another set of bigots with their rifle-sights on me

Vive la revolution, people of the world unite
Stand up men of courage, it's your job to fight

It all seems very easy, this revolution game
But when you start to really play things won't be quite the same

Your intellectual theories on how it's going to be
Don't seem to take into account the true reality
Cos the truth of what you're saying, as you sit there sipping beer
Is pain and death and suffering, but of course you wouldn't care

You're far too much of a man for that, if Mao did it so can you
What's the freedom of us all against the suffering of the few
That's the kind of self-deception that killed ten million jews
Just the same false logic that all power-mongers use
So don't think you can fool me with your political tricks
Political right, political left, you can keep your politics
Government is government and all government is force
Left or right, right or left, it takes the same old course
Oppression and restriction, regulation, rule and law
The seizure of that power is all your revolution's for
You romanticise your heroes, quote from Marx and Mao
Well their ideas of freedom are just oppression now

Nothing's changed for all the death that their ideas created
It's just the same fascistic games, but the rules aren't clearly stated
Nothing's really different cos all government's the same
They can call it freedom, but slavery is the game
There's nothing that you offer but a dream of last years hero
The truth of revolution, brother.................... is year zero


They're always there high in the skies...
Nagasaki nightmare
Pretty as a picture in the generals'eyes
They've done it once, they'll do it again
They'll shower us all in their deadly rain

Fishing children fish in the Imperial Waters
Sons and lovers, lovers and daughters
Cherry blossom hanglng on the cherry blossom tree
Flash, blinding flash, then there's nothing to see

Dying they're still dying, one by one
Darkness in the land of the land of the rising sun
Lesson learnt the lesson? No, cos no one really cares
It's so easy to be silent just to cover up your fears

So they die In the nightmare, nightmare, nightmare
And die in the nightmare, nightmare nightmare

So they die in the nightmare, nightmare, nightmare
And live with the nightmare, nightmare, nightmare
Will you stand by and let it happen again?
Nightmare death in the deadly rain

Live with the nightmare, nightmare, nightmare
And die in the nightrnare, nightmare, nighimare
Nightmare comes in deadly rain
Nighemare, nightmare, nightmare rain

Manmade power, manmade pain
Deadly rain, deadly rain
They'll do it again, shower us in rain
Deadly, deadly, deadly rain
Nagasaki nightmare

BIG A. LITTLE A. - 1980

Big A little A bouncing B
The system might have got you but it won't get me
1 2 3 4
External control are you gonna let them get you?
Do you wanna be a prisoner in the boundaries they set you?
You say you want to be yourself
By christ do you think they'll let you?
They're out to get you get you get you get you get you get you

Hello, hello, hello, this is the Lord God, can you hear?
Hellfire and damnation's what I've got for you down there
On earth I have ambassadors. archbishop. vicar. pope
We'll blind you with morality, you'd best abandon any hope,
We're telling you you'd better pray cos you were born in sin
Right from the start we'll build a cell and then we'll lock you in
We sit in holy judgement condemning those that stray
We offer our forgiveness, but first we'll make you pay

Hello. hello, hello, now here's a message from your queen
As figurehead of the status quo I set the social scene
I'm most concerned about my people, I want to give them peace
So I'm making sure they stay in line with my army and police

My prisons and my mental homes have ever open doors
For those amongst my subjects who dare to ask for more
Unrulyness and disrespect are things I can't allow
So I'll see the peasants grovel if they refuse to bow

Introducing the Prime Sinister, she's a mother to us all
Like the dutch boy's finger in the dyke her arse is in the wall
Holding back the future waiting for the seas to part
If Moses did it with his faich, she'll do it with an army
Who at times of threatened crisis are certain to be there
Guarding national heritage no matter what or where
Palaces for kings and queens, mansions for the rich
Protection for the wealthy, defence of privilege
They've learnt the ropes in Ireland, engaged in civil war
Fighting for the ruling classes in their battle against the poor
So Ireland's just an island? It's an island of the mind
Great Britain? Future? bollocks, you'd better look behind
Round every other corner stands P.C. 1984
Guardian of the future, he'll implement the law
He's there as a grim reminder that no matter what you do
Big brothers system's always there with his beady eyes on you
From God to local bobby, in home and street and school
They've got your name and number while you've just got their rule
We've got to look for methods to undermine those powers
It's time to change the tables. the future must be ours

BE exactly who you want to be, do what you want to do
I am he and she is she but you're the only you
No one else has got your eyes, can see the things you see
It's up to you to change your life and my life's up to me
The problems that you suffer from are problems that you make
The shit we have to climb through is the shit we choose to take
If you don't like the life you live, change it now it's yours
Nothing has effect if 'you don't recognise the cause
If the programme's not the one you want, get up, turn off the set
It's only you that can decide what life you're gonna get
If you don't like religion you can be the antichrist
If your tired of politics you can be an anarchist
But no one ever changed the church by pulling down a steeple
And you'll never change the system by bombing number ten
Systems just aren't made of bricks they're mostly made of people

You may send them into hiding, but they'll be back again
If you don't like the rules they make, refuse to play their game
If you don't want to be a number, don't give them your name
If you don't want to be caught out, refuse to hear their question
Silence is a virtue, use it for your own protection
They'll try to make you play their game, refuse to show your face
If you don't want to be beaten down, refuse to join their race
Be exactly who you want to be, do what you want to do
I am he and she is she but you're the only you


Cor blimey guvnor I'm the big'un
Cop an eyeful of this muscular arm
Dealing out pain is my kind of fun
Get my drift? I mean real harm
I like the sound of cracking bones
At the sight of blood I thrill
I like to listen to the agonised moans
As I go in for the kill

Tribal wars are raging
There's a battlefield in the street
There's games to play and hell to pay
When the rival tribal rebels meet

I'd rip anybody limb from limb, you see
Chivvy'em and skivvy'em through
I'll simply DO any bastard who aint like me
There's no telling what, why or who
I aint got a purpose and I don't give a fuck
I never asked for this life
If you're looking for reasons you're out of luck
I'll show you the point with me knife

Tribal wars are raging
No one's safe out on their own
The gangs are about and they scream and shout
So you'd better not be caught alone

I do it cos there aint nothing else to do
There aint nowhere'll let me in
I love to hate, to hurt, to screw
So I've destroyed every place where I've been

I smashed up the local so I can't get a beer
At the dancehall I chivvied up this bloke
Left him with a smile cut from ear to ear
But the bleeder never got the joke

Once had a bird but I put her up the spout
So I told her where she could get off
She cried a bit, said I was a lout
But if you're a man you've got to be tough

I used to go down the cafe for tea
But I put me boot through the door
So now it aint open for the likes of me
And I'm back on the streets like before

Tribal wars are raging
Our heroes are standing tall
But the truth of the matter
If you cut out the patter
Is that pride comes before a fall

They can stand on their corner
With their violence and their hate
Stand there and fester 'till they've left it too late
To realise it's themselves that they've put there
On the spot
Cos they've wasted the one and only life that they've got

Tribal wars are raging
Everyone's just acting out bad parts
Hey there, big man, take a look at yourself
It's in the mirror that the real war starts


Sheep farming in the Falklands, re-arming in the fucklands
Fucking sheep in the homelands, her majesty's forces are coming...
Fuck off to the Falklands for your sea-faring fun
Big man's jerk off dreamland, looking down the barrel of a gun
Friggin in the riggin another imperialist farce
Another page of British history to wipe the national arse
The royals donated Prince Andrew as a show of their support
Was it just luck the only ship that wasn't struck
Was the one on which he fought?
Three cheers for good old Andy, let's take a pic for his mum
And stick it up the royal, stick it up the royal
Stick it up the royal album

Sheep farming in the Falklands, re-arming In the fucklands
Fucking sheep in the homelands,her majesty's forces are coming...

Onward Thatchers'soldiers, it's your job to fight...
"And, You know, I don't really give a toss
If the cause is wrong or right, my political neck means more to me
Than the lives of a thousand men, if I felt it might be of use to me
I'd do it all over again. The Falklands was really a coverup job
It obscured the mistakes I've made, and, you know
I think the gamble I took could certainly be said to have paid
With unemployment at an all-time high and the country falling apart
I, Winston Thatcher, reign supreme in this great nations' heart"...

While the men who fought her battles are still expected to suffer
Thatcher proves in parliament that she's just a fucking nutter
The iron lady's proved her metal, has struck with her fist of steel
Has proved that a heart that is made out of lead
Is a heart that doesn't feel

Now Thatcher says... "Oh raunchy Ron, we've fought our war
Now it's your turn to prove yourself in El Salvador
I've employed Michael Heseltine to deal with P.R.
He's an absolute prick, but a media star
He'll advocate the wisdom of our cruise missile plan
Then at last I'll have a penis just like every other man
They can call it penis envy, but they'll pay the price for it...
But the peasants are hungry Mags "Let them eat shit"

Who the fuck cares, we're all having fun?
Mums and dads happy as their kids play with guns
The media loved it, when all's said and done...
'Britain's bulldog's off the leash' said the Sun
As the Argies and Brits got crippled or died ed
The bulldog turned around and clapped in our eyes.
Brit wit, hypocrite, don't you yet realise
You're not playing with toys, you're playing with lives...
You piss straight up in your self-righteous rage
Wilfs, goms and gimps in the nuclear age
Four minute warning, what a shock, well balls to you rocket cock
You're old and you're ill and you're soon going to die
You've got nothing to lose as you fill up the skies
You'd take us all with you, yeah, it's tough at the top
You slop bucket, shit filled, puss ridden, eath pimp snot.. YAH FUCK


Intro. When you woke this morning you looked so rocky-eyed,
blue and white norrnally, but strange ringed like that in black
It doesn't get much better, your voice can get Just ripped up
shouting in vain. Maybe someone hears what you say, but you're
still on your own at night.
You've got to make such a noise to understand the silence.
Screaming like a jackass, ringing ears so you can't hear the
silence even when it's there - like the wind seen from the
window; seeing it, but not being touched by it.

We never asked for war, nor in the innocence of our birth were
we aware of it. We never asked for war, nor in the struggle to
realisation did we feel there was a need for it. We never
asked for war, nor in the joyful colours of our childhood were
we conscious of its darkness.

HOW DOES IT FEEL? Chorus. How does It feel to be the mother
of a thousand dead? Young boys rest now, cold graves in cold
earth. How does it feel to be the mother of a thousand dead?
Sunken eyes, lost now; ernpty sockets in futile death.
Your arrogance has gutted these bodies of ltfe, your deceit
fooled them that it was worth the sacrifice. Your lies
persuaded people to accept the wasted blood, your filthy pride
cleansed you of the doubt you should have had. You smile in
the face of death because you are so proud and vain, your
cruel inhumanity stops you from realising the pain that you
inflicted, you determined, you created, you ordered - it was
your decision to have those young boys slaughtered.

You never wanted peace or solution, from the start you lusted
after war and destruction. Your blood-soaked reason ruled
out other choices, your mockery gagged more moderate voices.
So keen to play your bloody part, so impatient that your war
be fought. Iron Lady with your stone heart so eager that the
lesson be taught that you inflicted, you determined, you created,
you ordered - it was your decision to have those young boys

Throughout our history you and your kind have stolen the young
bodies of the living to be twisted and torn in filthy war.
What right have you to defile those births? What right have
you to devour that flesh? What right to spit on hope with the
gory madness that you lnflicted, you determined, you created, you
ordered - it was your decision to have those young boys

You accuse us of disrespect for the dead, but it was you who
slaughtered out of national pride. Just how much did you care?
What respect did you have as you sent those bodies to their
communal grave? You buried them rough-handed, they'd given you
their all, that once living flesh defiled in the hell that you
inflicted, you determined, you created, you ordered - it was your
decision to have those young boys slaughtered.

You use those deaths to achieve your ends still, using the
corpses as a moral blackmail. You say "Think of what those young
men gave" as you try to bind us in your living death, yet we do
think of them, ice cold and silenced in the snow covered
moorlands, stopped by the violence that you inflicted, you
determined, you created, you ordered - it was your decision to
have those young boys slaughtered.


Our boys have returned as men, our men
Our men have returned, amen
The spoils of war. the hero, the lads
Men pulled together for war
Set out to fight for the great British flag
That was waved by their thousands ashore
Waving farewell, the girls bare it all
And pull up their jumpers and skirts
Carried away the crowd calls for more
And the men felt it worth fighting for.
It's all gone before, sexy Sue, saucy Jane
The pin-up that's carried to battle
The mascot that marks in every plane
Every gun, markers of death
Symbols of men
In whose name we are slaughtered like cattle
In every good war there's a nude on the wall
To keep the men happy and straight
A saucy ole joke lads, it's all harmless fun
When we hit land, who shall we rape?
Ah, the spoils of war, the knickers, the bras
Momentos to give you support
While the bombs drop around
You fumble in dreams
With blank eyes see the corpses you've fought.
Our boys have gone away, our boys
Our boys have gone away
Our men have returned all tattered and burned
Our men have returned, amen.
The guns point their muzzles away to the land
And below deck the men throw darts
The nipples are bullseyes, the head counts for less
And there's no points for hitting the heart.
Shapely Jane, 25, said "Those lovely real he-men
no red-blooded girl can deny
are there for the taking,
but it's all so frustrating
if your married and already tied"
But bare it all girls and have all the dreams
Of dashing young soldiers so brave
Send him a garter, a cross, love ever after
For soon he will be in his grave
Ah, those rotting young men who all did their duty
Are sinking away in the sea
And they've missed, just for them,
The 'Invincible panties', displayed in the Sun
Page three
The bodies of war, the pin-up, the corpse
Flesh that is perfect and torn
The breast that is curved, that is pink and seductive
The breast that is ripped and laid bare
The beckoning arms, the legs that are parted
The welcoming look and the wink
The arms that are shredded, the legs that are no more
The face that is rotten and stinks
The sickness of war, the men gone before
Good luck and God speed you away
The madonna is there, stripped naked and bare
On the door, she will show you the way
Our boys have gone away, our boys
Our boys have gone away
Our men have returned all tattered and burned
Our men have returned, amen
User, abuser, the conquering man
Makes use of the spoils of war
Confirming the glory, the woman is raped
And the soldiers rename her as 'whore'
Their bodies are torn and disfigured
In their heads life is never the same
From the wall Saucy Sal is still smiling
As the nightmare is caught in his pain
Her body still perfect and tempting
Is blistered with blood of his tears
His body confused and still frightened
Turns from the truth that he fears
His friends that were killed for the reason
Of war that is fought over lies
The pin-up remains ever after
Immortal as all around dies.
Our boys have returned as men, our men
Our men have returned again
Our men have returned all tattered
And burned, our men have returned, amen.


You shit-head slimy got it alls
You crap-eyed ghosts with greasy balls
You wicked matron stabbing hard,
Grabbing while the going's good
Administrators vicious smile
Dancing on the body pile
Slipping your sly fingernails
Impaling flesh on battlefields
The decaying corpses help you up
To your position at the top
You shit-head slimy want it alls
You bind the baby as it crawls
And crush its head, the soft new scull
Burst its brain and keep it dull.
You own its mind, you murderous thief
Grind it down with bloodied teeth
And feed it up with national pride...
Progress through self-sacrifice
Not for themselves, but you, you scab
You raid the bodies of the dead
You shit-head slimy make it alls
With dead meat dripping as you walk
Don't talk of justice or respect
You shit soaked armchair moralist...
What right Is yours that others lives
Are yours to smash and kill and bind?
It's your security that they bleed for
Your defenitions that they die for
You stack your dead heroes
With no more thought
Than some accountant at their work
You shit-head slimy 'got it alls
Crap-eyed ghosts were maggots crawl
Tired old jerk-offs with your bodyguards
Those muscle-pimps with forty-fives
You gutless automatic butchers
Bullet shitting dumbhead hookers
It's your heartless failure they protect
While you deny the shame of your neglect
All you can see Is your brutal success
And damn the dead anct fear the mess
You shit-head greedy have it alls
You cheat and lie and jargonise
That your success is also ours
That which you take you take for us
While your ambition scrapes the living dry
And your solutions are archaic battlecries
You dead meat eyesore death pushers
Look elsewhere for your arselickers...
The face that stares back from the mirror
Reflects the reality of your horror
So don't tell me you care, shithead
You betray the dead as you curse life
Eat your own shit leader of the nation
Piss off to your Downing Street fortress
Leave us out of your madness
Buy your own vaseline, grease your own arse
shit in your own back yard
suck your own turds... THIS IS OUR WORLD

GOTCHA - 1983

Gotcha, you Argie bastard, you fucking spik, you latin bender, you dago prick...
Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha,gotcha,
Our boys have got it right...

Right now, rule Brittania, Britain rules the waves,
Britain never, never, never will be slaves
Gotcha, you Argic bastard, you dago gimp, you motherfucker, you greasy pimp...

Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha
Our boys have got it right...

Right now, God save her majesty, raise the Union Jack
God save Margaret Thatcher, she'll claim our empire back

Right now, right now, right now, right now, right now, right now
Right now, right now, right now, Thatchers got it right...

This is Thatcher's Britain built on national pride, built on national heritage
And the bodies of those who died to wave the flag on the Falklands
To protect us from the Irish hordes, to support the rich
In their difficult task of protecting themselves from the poor
Yes, this is Thatcher's Britain, so let's increase the strength of the police
Let's expand the military. let's all arm for peace

Let's suppress all opposition, let's keep the people down
Let's resurrect past histories for the glory of the crown

Right now, right now, right now, right now, right now, right now
Right now, right now, right now, Thatcher's got it right

Right now, God save Prince Charlie, God bless his wife, God bless their fortune
God bless their priveliged life...

Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha
Our men have got it right
Gotcha, you Argie bastard, you fucking arsehole, you bloody wog

Right now, let's back Britain, let's tighten up it's laws
Let's up and atom, let's rally to th cause...
Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha,
Thatcher's got it right

Gotcha, you Argie bastards, you commie scum, you bloody scoundrel, you paki bum
You thieving arab, you slit-eyed gook, you dirty browner, you pacifist poof
You senile cripple, you dirty whore, we'll get all the benders and many more

Intro: ATTENTION. Fuck American power. Fuck Russian power.
Fuck British power. ATTENTION. These ignorant shits arm
themselves for annihilation and call it world peace.


Pacified. Classified. Keep in line. You're doing fine.
Lost your voice? There aint no choice. Play the game.
Silent and tame. Be the passive observer, sit back and look
at the world they destroyed and the peace they took.
Ask no questions, hear no lies and you'll be living in the
comfort of a fool's paradise. You're already dead....

If you're the passive observer, here's a message for you...
You're already dead. Afraid to do what you know you should do..
You're already dead. The world's at the edge of nuclear
destruction, but you're too afraid to make the connection.
You still believe the system's there for your protection...
You're already dead.

By letting it happen without a fight... You're already dead.
With your endless debates about wrong and right...
You're already dead. Nothing's going to change if you're not
prepared to act, there's no point complaining after the fact,
content to be a number, branded X and neatly packed...
You're already dead.

Four hundred thousand people marched for CND...
They're already dead, unless they're willing to act on what
they see... They're already dead. If each and every one of us
was prepared to fight for more, to stand against the system
that creates the need for war, the elite would have to run like
It's never run before... They're already dead.

We don't need organising or politicians being patronising.
We don't need leadership, trendy lefties being hip. Don't need
their condescension or their back to the roots pretension.
We've heard it all before, politicians saying 'no more war',
pulling wool across our eyes. We don't need their dangerous lies.
We won't accept capitulation, it's just manipulation. They want
the smooth without the rough,but words and gestures aren't enough.
We've got to learn to reject all leaders and the passive shit
they feed us.. They're already dead.

If you think moderation's going to pave the way to peace...
You're already dead. What good is moderation 'gainst the army
and police?' You're already dead. We're not promoting mindless
violence, keep that for the fools, we're simply saying be
prepared to break their laws and rules, let them know the bigger
they come, the harder they will fall... They're already dead.

If they're going to play it dirty, so are we...
They are already dead. They can keep their liese about the land of
the free... They're already dead. We've allowed them too often to
use their iron fist, but there's one little detail they appear to
have missed... You don't have to be PASSIVE just because you're a
PACIFIST... They're already dead.

They'll try to sell their system like it's some kind of age-old
wisdom, but we've been had like that before. it's just the rich
exploiting the poor. Well here's an honest confession, we think
it's time they learnt a lesson. They've tried to hold the people
down, but we've simply gon underground, moving in the darkness
looking for the light, looking for a future and ready to fight.
Looking for the freedom that's been denied, fast to attack and
fast to hide.. In a world where the people can't make it. they've
simply got to learn to break it and if the wealthy aren't
prepared to shake it.. OK, we'll simply have to take it...
You're already dead.


ATTENTION. Piss to the parties, the politicians
The pratt-stud men and their slaughter games
ATTENTION. Reagan. Thatcher. Andrapov. You stink
and kill this earth for your powerful silk-purse
ATTENTION. These rulers are already dead, murdered
by their own greed and the world pays homage. SHIT
ATTENTION. It's fucking stupid to let so few run
our lives into death. Don't let them do it
ATTENTION. Why the fuck do we allow this world to
slowly die from self-inflicted wounds?Tell me
ATTENTION. Cruise missiles are at your door
Safely delivered for Christmas. Hooray
ATTENTION. Big shit Heseltine assures us he will
Shoot anyone to protect them. Who's fucking mad then?
ATTENTION. In every country on the streets the police
and army protect the stage that's set for the
ATTENTION. Trapped in their camp of concentrated
filth they expect us not to cut our way out. Scum
ATTENTION. We refuse to take a bit part in their
pathetic Hollywood nightmare, our reality
ATTENTION. Stand up and fight. Choose life or
destruction, love or hate. You cannot have both
and survive. Go forward. Get out on the streets. Down
the sewers. Snap the rules. Creep through the net.
Fuck their diseased system. the words are no longer
enough. the information has been given. The lies have
been exposed. Choose your path. It's time to fucking
act. No time to be nice. It's time to fucking act.


They won't fucking listen. We know our enemy
they're hiding underground. They want us to live
and die in the shit they leave around
What can we do? What can we say?
We're not dead yet; to show we're alive?
The government says'shove it'and
'don't get in the way'. But we're sliding
down corpses on a world nose-dive
People here cling tightly to their fear
and their fun, the dead are abroad, so our streets
are clean, even those who know, hide in Sounds
and Sun. What will it take to stop the machine?
It's only when we're serious and start to make
a fuss that the smug politicians show their
real face. It's the copper and the squaddy
who were once one of us, now trained to do the
dirty work and know their place
If they won't listen either, what can we do?
They're people. yes. but only people oppress
If we can't go round them, we'll have to go
through. If it rains and there's no shelter
we must work in the mess. They say they're only
trying to uphold the law and if they were off duty
we could talk some more. OK, they're individuals
but when they're in a mob, they're under orders
it's a dirty job. The plods are taught to go
for your neck or bust your nose running their
gauntlet. P.C. Punishment on the spot, take the
law into their own hands and fuck us lot
If we choose to leave the paths that we've been
taught, don't expect help, so don't get caught
They try so very hard to seem reasonable and
straight and asked you twice to co-operate
'You have every right to protest like anyone these
days, but keep to the footpath and out the fucking
way, see? The commie-anar-fems are at it again
annoying the police and the passive 'grass roots'
We're living in a country where the army shoots
People with courage dumped and stranded
Don'ts and won'ts look on empty-handed
If you fuck up the state, don't be a star, they're
stuck if they don't know who you are
If we choose to leave................. I .........
To stand up for the good of all and make demands
for peace will bring us hard and sharp against the
army and police. Well, they're the poor too, just
like us, maybe it's too late. The rich are in their
bunker, the poor are at the gate. Use our head to
avoid confrontation, our love to avoid exploitation
If the uniforms choose to stay, they'll have to
learn to get out the fucking way. If we choose to
leave tha paths that we've been taught, we cease to
be the seeker, we become the sought.


Roll up roll up to the land of dreams.
We weave and spin a web of fantasy.
We touch on the pain and fear.....
Then whisk you back to the consumer world
Touch the surfaces smooth the veneer,
While three-quarters of the world starves.
What do you care?
The glitter continuing to glitter
The tinsel showers and Tinkerbell
Waves the magic wand.
Sell sell buy buy.
You know the name of the game.....

All right Jack sitting on the fence

They sit on the fence
Real people stand against and say
They have the best intention
Just a rip-off trick it's always hip
To keep in with dissention
And if an arms dealer is the record boss
The record labels can run'em at a loss
It's money well spent to control the dross
What they don't break gets bent.... John

All right Jill sitting on the fence

The people are fooled by the parasites
Who mindlessly entertain
And take rich pickings
From the bombed out crowds
Who've paid to bury their pain
While the clowns in the pantomine
Don't give a toss and sing about fucks
And fads and loss
Sliding arounf in a genital froth
Our world slips down the drain
That's really really wonderful
Well off the wall
That's really really marvellous
Sitting on the fence
Really terrific well out to lunch
That really is a buzz sitting on the fence

Preening and posing in a life of pretence
In a cynical mockery of caring
Well you can't see a turd in a barrel of shit
If that's their idea of sharing
Yeah peace is in so dump an old track
Buy a little cred with the Greenham pack
The biz is keen to kill or catch
As the people scream they're cheering

All right Jack. All right Jill
The pen is mighty and looks can kill
All right Jack. All right Jill
In one hand a gift in the other a bill

We've seen their best and we're not impressed
So lets get priorities straight
A hamper from Harrods and the patronising gestures
Aint gonna change the state
While the people who care are prepared to act
The pantomine clowns keep the system intact
Shamming a commitment they so obviously lack
The love they sing is hate.... fakes

All right Jack shit on the fence
All right Jill shit on the fence

But the fence the fence is owned by America
Sit on the fence owned by America
They make no pretence it's owned by America
Jack and Jill on the fence it's owned by America

On their side American troopers and bombs
On our side the trash and consumer cons
We've been occupied, culture smashed and betrayed
But the spirit is untouched..... look out...

Smash the Mac smash the Mac
Smash the Mac smash the big Mac

Bronco burgers burnt out brain
Sterile fat deadly rain
Chemical colours Kentucky creams
Cut your teeth on American... dreams

Stickin chicken American grains
Licking shictin American reigns
Kiddies fit in American trains
Bombs tick in American... Planes

Smash the Mac You're on your back
Smash the Mac til it won't come back

American tourist American free
Two week tour in our misery
A good museum but a stinking home
The natives hang on the rotten... backbone

America owns America wins
Comes In packets bottles tids
Blinds our eyes fills our ears
It's been our soul for twenty... years

Smash the Mac American tack
Smash the Mac smash the big Mac
Smash the Mac make it crack
Smash the Mac smash the big Mac

We stand among your war machines
Looking for the light
Squaddies grunts and filth sip pepsi-
cola wait to fight...

The bricks of our world
That you cover in plastic
Will sail through your place-glass windows

E.T.go home...
E.T.go home...
Mickey Mouse fuck off.

Crass - Best Before


When, in 1976, punk first spewed itself across the nation's headlines with the message 'do it yourself', we, who in various ways and for many years had been doing just that, naively believed that Messrs. Rotten, Strummer etc. etc. meant it. At last we weren't alone.

The idea of becoming a band had never seriously occurred to us, it simply happened. Basically anyone was free to join in and rehearsals were rowdy affairs that invariably degraded into little more than drunken parties. Steve and Penny had been writing and playing together since early 77, but it wasn't until Summer of that year that we had begged, borrowed and stolen enough equipment to actually call ourselves a band.... CR ASS.

Having finally managed tore hearse five songs, we set out on the road to fame and fortune armed with our instruments and huge amounts of booze to help us see it through. We did gigs and benefits, chaotic demonstrations of inadequacy and independence. We got turned off here, turned down there and banned from the now legendary Roxy Club. 'They said they only wanted well behaved boys, do they think guitars and microphones are just fucking toys?'

By now we had realised that our fellow punks, The Pistols, The Pistols, The Clash and all the other muso-puppets weren't doing it at all. They may like to think that they ripped off the majors, but it was Joe Public who'd been ripped. They helped no one but themselves, started another facile fashion, brought a new lease of life to London's trendy Kings Road and claimed they'd started a revolution. Same old story. We were on our own again.

Through the alchoholic haze we determined to make it our mission to create a real alternative to music-biz exploitation, we wanted to offer something that gave rather than took and, above all, we wanted to make it survive. Too many promises have been made from stages only to be forgotten on the streets.

Throughout the long, lonely winter of 77/78 we played regular gigs at The White Lion, Putney with the UK Subs. The audience consisted mostly of us when the Subs played and the Subs when we played. Sometimes it was disheartening, but usually it was fun. Charley Harper's indefatigable enthusiasm was always an inspiration when times got bleak, his absolute belief in punk as a peoples'music had more to do with revolution than McClaren and his cronies could ever have dreamt of. Through sheer tenacity we were exposing the punk charlatans for what they really were, a music-biz hype.

Our gigs remained wild and disorderly, we were still too scared to play without a belly full of booze and invariably we were in such a state that we'd realise half way through a song that each of us was playing a different one. For all the chaos it was immense fun, no one bitched about leather boots or moaned about milk in tea, no one wanted to know how anarchy and peace could be reconciled, no one bored our arses off with protracted monologues on Bakunin, who at that time we probably would have thought was a brand of vodka. Ideas were open, we were creating our own lives together. These were the glorious years before the free alternatives that we were creating became just another set of bigoted rules, before what we were defining as real punk became yet another squalid ghetto. We even played a Rock Against Racism gig, the only gig that we'd ever been paid for. When we told the man to keep the money for the cause, he informed us that 'this was the cause'. We never played for RAR again.

As the charlatans increasingly headed Stateside, to get a sniff of that which refreshed them best, we became hardened by the isolation. We determined to stop fucking about with booze and to start taking ourselves that much more seriously. We adopted black clothing as a protest against the narcissistic peacockery of fashijn punks. We started incorporating film and video into our set. We went into production of handout sheets to explain our ideas and a newspaper, International Anthem. We designed the banner that hung behind us to the end, and we committed ourselves to see it through at least until the end of the then mythical 1984.

Later in the Summer of 78, Pete Stennet, owner of the much missed Small Wonder Records, heard one of our demo tapes and loved it. He wanted to put out a single but couldn't decide on which track, so we recorded all the songs we'd written and made the first ever multi- tracked 45. We named the album The Feeding Of The Five Thousand because 5000 was the minimum number that we could get pressed and some 4900 more than we thought we'd sell. Feeding is now only a few hundred short of going golden, though I don't suppose we'll hear too much about that in the music press.

So, with our entire stage set on record, wrapped in what was then highly innovative black and white, the music press were able to commence on the barrage of attack that has followed us throughout the years. They hated it and us and their loathing positively overflowed. It is not grandiose to claim that vve have been one of the most influential bands in the history of British rock, true we have not greatly influenced music itself, but our effect on broader social issues has been enormous. From the start the media has attempted to ignore us and only when its hand has been forced by circumstances has it grudgingly given us credence. It's all fairly simple, if you don't play their game, that is commercial exploitation, they won't play yours. The music biz doesn't just buy its groups, it pays for the music press as well. The charlatans were spread thicker and depper than we could ever have imagined.

Nonetheless, realising that we were a threat to its control, the first Offers started coming in from the enemy. Mr. Big tried to buy us with cheap wine and an offer of £50000 if we'd join 'Pursey's Package'. He also informed us that he could 'market revolution' and that we'd never succeed without his help. It was the f irst of many offers that we refused, we never looked back and, incidentally, we didn't hear too much more of Jimmy Pursey.

When Feeding came out in the Spring of 79, the first track had been silent and named The Sound Of Free Speech. The pressing plant had decided that the track that had been there, Asylum, was too blasphemous for their, and your, tastes. Such is the true face of censorship in the 'Free World'

Eventually we found a pressing plant willing to deal with Asylum, so we re-recorded it along with Shaved Women, printed the covers at home, sold it for 45p, and totally broke ourselves.

On its release, the Reality Asylum single ran into immediate troubles. Complaints from the 'general public' led to police raids on shops throughout the country and a visit to us from Scotland Yard's vicesquad. After a pleasant afternoon sharing tea with our guardians of public morality, we were left with the threat of prosecution that hung over us for the next year. Eventually we received a note inforrrfing us that we were free, but that we'd better not try it again. The nature of our 'freedom' made doing it again inevitable and so the endless round- about of police harassment set itself in motion, it has continued to this day.

It was around this time that we did our one and only radio session for John Peel. From then on our growing reputation as foul mouthed yobs precluded us from being given airplay, although we did appear on several chat-shows which led to us being temporarily blacklisted by the BBC. Apparently, expressing dissident views on the Falklands is not acceptable to the listening public who jammed the BBC switchboard with complaints.

To offset claims in the press that were nothing but leftis/rightist thugs, they never could quite make us out, we started to hang an anarchist banner alongside our own. At that time the circled A was rarely seen outside the confines of established and generally tedious, small-time anarchist literature. Within months the sym6ol was to be seen decorating leather jackets, badges and wall throughout the country, within a few years it spread worldwide. Rotten may have proclaimed himself an anarchist, but it was us who almost single-handedly created anarchy as a popular movement for millions of people.

At the same time, having discovered that CND did actually still exist, albeit in a downtrodden, self-effacing manner, we decided to promote its cause, something that at the time CND seemed to be incapable of doing for itself. From then on, despite screams of derision in the music press, we also displayed the peace symbol at gigs.

Our efforts on the road slowly brought CND back to life. We introduced it to the thousands of people who would become the backbone of its revival. A new and hitherto uninformed sector of society was being exposed to a form of radical thought that culminated in the great rallies, demos and actions that continue today.

The true effect of our work is not to be found within the confines of rock'n'roll, but in the radicalised minds of thousands of people throughout the world. From the Gates of Greenham to the Berlin Wall, from the Stop The City actions to underground gigs in Poland, our particular brand of anarcho-pacifism, now almost synonymous punk, has made itself known.

Since early 77 we had been involved in maintaining a graffiti war throughout Central London. Our stencilled messages, anything from 'Fight War Not Wars' to 'Stuff Your Sexist Shit', were the first of their kind to appear in the UK and inspired a whole movement that, sadly, has now been eclipsed by hip-hop artists who have done little but confirm the insidious nature of American culture.

To celebrate our success with the spraycan, we decided to call our next album Stations Of The Crass, the cover of which was a photo of some of our work on one of London Underground's stations. Stations featured the first ever six-fold wrapper and came complete with a sew on patch that we printed at home.

By now, Pete of Small Wonder was beginning to tire of the kind of police attention that we were drawing to his shop, so we borrowed the money to release Stations ourselves. It sold so well that after only a very short time we were able to pay back the loan and get the covers folded by machine rather than doing them at home by hand.

Stations continued to sell and soon we were able to consider releasing material by other bands. Crass Records was created and we kicked off with a single from Zounds, the first of well over one hundred bands that we have introduced to the unsuspecting public.

In the Spring of 1980, having played several benefit gigs for the defence fund of the jailed anarchists, known paradoxically as 'Persons Unknown', we were asked by them on their release if we could contribute to the creation of an Anarchist Centre. We recorded Bloody Revolutions, with Poison Girls' Persons Unknown on the reverse side, and the centre was opened on the proceeds. For over a year an unhappy liason existed between the old school anarchists of Persons Unknown and the anarcho-punks. Eventually the ideological pressure got too great and the centre closed.

The relative ease with which we were able to raise money for the center demonstrated to us the enormous power that we had to generate not only ideas, but the wherewithall to make them possible. By now we were drawing large crowds to our gigs so we decided that the best use to which we could put the situation was to play nothing, but benefits. Over the years we were able to create funds for a wide variety of different causes.

It now seemed time to launch a feminist attack. For some time we had been aware that we were being labelled as a bother band and that the feminist element within our work kvas largely ignored. We released Penis Envy and the music press, missing the point entirely, heralded it as having been made by 'the only feminists physically attractive enough to make you sure they're singing out of choice rather than revenge'. What do you do with these guys? The reaction from many Crass 'fans' rs expressed similar prejudices, but from an entirely different angle. They wanted to know why we'd only got 'birds singing'. The devil or the deep blue sea?

The final track on Penis Envy entitled Our Wedding, a satire on slush MOR romantic bullshit, was offered by 'Creative Recording And Sound Services' to Loving, a magazine specialising in the exploitation of teenage loneliness. Loving proudly offered it to their readers as 'a must for that happy day'. When the hoax was exposed Fleet Street rocked, while heads at Loving rolled.

The release of Penis Envy confirmed a suspicion that we had had for some time. After one week in the shops it entered the national charts at number fifteen, next week it wasn't to be found anywhere in the top one hundred. The same fate had befallen Nagasaki Nightmare, we knew that it just wasn't possible to be that high in the charts one week and nowhere to be found the next. It seemed obvious to us that if the major labels paid to get their records 'in' the charts, they'd pay to get ours 'out'. We knew that we were disliked by EMI, they'd sent out a circular to their A&R departments forbidding any contact with 'Crass personnel' and their HMV shops have not touched any of our material since they took exception to the poster on Bloody Revolutions. What other devious tricks were going on behind our backs?

For some time now we had been touring far and wide throughout the UK, bravely treading where no band had trod before. Village halls, scout huts, community centers, anywhere that was neither the rip-off clubs or the pampered university circuit. Hundreds of people would travel to join us in unlikely spots to celebrate our mutual sense of freedom. We shared our music, films, literature, conversation, food and tea. Wherever we went we were met by smiling faces, ready and willing to create an alternative to the drab greyness all around.

It was not always easy, there were always those who wanted to destroy what we had created. We tried to play the Stonehenge Festival but got beaten up by the bikers; we had gigs smashed up by the National Front and the SWP; we played host to the RUC in Belfast, sent the British Movement packing in Reading and got thrashed by the Red Brigade in London. There was a lot of trouble, but it never outweighed the joy.

Throughout 1981 we were recording Christ The Album which by the Summer of 82 was ready to release. This time, however, the trouble did outweigh the joy. 'Great Britain' had gone to war.

Insignificant events on an island called South Georgia, which no one had ever heard of, led to significant events on an island called the Falklands which no one had ever heard of. The first pin-prick had been placed in the anarcho-pacifist bubble, a pin-prick that would in the space of a few months tear the bubble to shreds. As young men died by the hundred, our songs, protests and marches, our leaflets, words and ideas suddenly seemed to be worthless. In reality we knew that what we had to offer had value, that what we believed in was worthwhile, but for the moment it all semed futile.

Thatcher wanted war to boost her party's flagging pre-election image. If she wanted war, she'd have it, along with anything else that took her fancy. Cruise, Pershing, PWR's, Unions, Dennis.

At risk of being seen as the 'traitors' that we are, through devious routes we rushed out an anti-Falklands War flexi and were instantly labelled 'traitors' by the music press. We also received a severe warning from the House of Commons to 'watch our step'. Protest against the War seemed to be virtually non-existent and criticism in the press was being supressed. When the issues had been abstract, the Peace Movement had been all too happy to shout 'No more war', now there was a to war to shout about, the silence was painful.

However it wasn't until the war had ended and we released How Does It Feel To Be The Mother Of A Thousand Dead that the shit really hit the fan. After Thatcher had been asked in the House of Commons whether she had listened to the record, it was inevitable that she and her party would want to punish us. Tory MP Tim Eggar had the hapless task of fronting prosecution proceedings and right from the start couldn't put a foot right. The case crumbled completely when Eggar was exposed by us on live radio as a complete fool. The Tories backed down immediately after his miserable performance and even went to the trouble of circulating a note in which members of the Party were ordered to ignore all provocation from our quarter. Suddenly we started receiving letters of support from members of the 'Opposition'. Maybe we weren't on our own. Fall guys or what?

We found ourselves in a strange and frightening arena. We had wanted to make our views public, had wanted to share them with like minded people, but now those views were being analysed by those dark shadows who inhabited the corridors of power. Eggar had created a great deal of publicity for our cause and the press had tapped it up, especially those who, literally at gun point, had been prevented from gaining any real information on the war. It was as if we'd hooked a whale while fishing for minnows. We didn't know whether to let go of the rod, or keep pulling until we exhausted ourselves, vvhich we knew, inevitably, we would.

The speed with wiiicli the Falklands War was played out and devastation that Thatcher was creating both at home and abroad, forced us to respond far faster than we had ever needed to before. Christ The Album had taken so long to produce that some of the songs in it, songs that warned of the imminence of riots and war, had become almost redundant. Toxteth, Bristol, Brixton and the Falklands were ablaze by the time that we released. We felt embarrassed by our slowness, humbled by our inadequacy.

At the end of 82, aware that the 'movement' needed a morale booster, we organised the first squat gig for decades at the now defunct Zig Zag Club in London. Along with free food and copious supplies of ripped-off booze, we celebrated our independence once again, this time joined by twenty other bands, the cream of what could truly be called 'real punk'. Together we supplied a twenty-four hour blast of energy which inspired similar actions throughout the world. We'd learnt the lesson. 'Do it yourself' has never seemed so real as it did that day at the Zig Zag.

In many respects the Zig Zag consolidated our thinking, the job was by no means over. So, deciding that we should hang onto the rod and fight the whale, we launched an all out attack on Thatcher and her allies. The run up to the 83 Elections had started, the 'Opposition' had all but collapsed. Labour had made the inevitable, revolting turnabout on its anti-nuclear stance and the Peace Movement was in tatters, muted by its own fears.

The album Yes Sir I Will was our first 'tactical response', it was an impassioned scream directed towards the wielders of power and those who passively accept them as an authority. The message in Yes Sir was loud and clear, 'There is no authority but yourself'.

As our political position became increasingly polarised, we felt it necessary to define our motives in a clearer fashion than perhaps we had done before. The what, where and why of our anger needed explaining, as did our idea of 'self'. We had often been accused of sloganeering, now was the time to come out into the open. Several members of the band produced Acts Of Love, fifty poems in lyrical settings, in an attempt to demonstrate that the source of our anger was love rather than hate and that our idea of self was not that of an egocentric social bigot, but of an internal sense of one's own being. The ambiguity of our attitudes was beginning to disturb us. Was it really possible to have a bloodless revolution? Were we being truly realistic? Were we being destroyed by our own paradoxes?

It was at this time that we sent the now infamous 'Thatchergate Tapes' to the world's press. The highly edited tape, which took the form of a telephone conversation between Reagan and Thatcher, had her admitting responsibility for the sinking of the Belgrano, an issue which at that time she had not been confronted with, and implying knowledge of the Invincible's decision to 'guinea-pig' the Sheffield, a fact that still has not come to light. So as to leave no stone unturned, we caused Reagan to threaten to 'nuke' Europe in defence of American heritage, a hypothesis which is proably not as wild as it seems.

The tape lay dormant for almost a year before surfacing in the State Department in Washington DC. The categorical denials that were issued in relationship to the tape and its contents acted as a clear indication that the methods that we had employed to discredit Thatcher and Reagan were in no way dissimilar to those of The State Department. Why else would they have taken our somewhat amateurish efforts at tape forgery so seriously? Inevitably, they waved the accusatory finger in the direction of the Kremlin. Shortly after that, several papers in America, and The Sunday Times in Britain, ran the story as proof of KGB 'foul-play'. It was the first time that the press had run any story that, albeit in a roundabout fashion, questioned Thatcher's integrity concerning the Belgrano. We were overcome with a mixture of' fear and elation, should we or should we not expose the hoax?

Our indecision was resolved when a journalist from The Observer contacted us in relation to 'a certain tape'. At first we denied knowledge, but eventually decided to admit responsibility. We had been meticulously careful in the production and distribution of the tape to ensure that no one knew about our involvement. How The Observer got hold of information that led to us is a complete mystery. It acted as a substantial warning, if walls did indeed have ears, how much more was known of our activities?

Since the graffiti days of 77 we had been involved in various forms of action, from spraying to wire cutting, sabotage and subterfuge. We had been concerned that if we went public on the tape all manner of other 'offences' might bubble to the surface. Now we had exposed ourselves to that risk and the telephone started to ring.

The world's media pounced on the story, thrilled that a 'bunch of punks' had made such idiots of The State Department, and 'by the way, what else had we done?' Throughout the years as a band we had never attracted such attention, the telephone rang incessantly, we travelled here and there to do interviews, all of a sudden we were 'media stars'. We were interviewed bythe Russian press as American TV cameras recorded the event, we were live on American breakfast TV, we talked to radio stations from Essex to Tokyo, always giving the anarchist angle on every question. We had gained a form of political power, found a voice, were being treated with a slightly awed respect, but was that really what we wanted? Was that what we had set out to achieve all those years ago?

After seven years on the road we had become the very thing that we were attacking. We had found a platform for our ideas, but some- where along the line had lost our insight. Where once we had been generous and outgoing, we had now become cynical and inward. Our activities had always been coloured with a lightness and humour, now we saw that we had been increasingly drawn towards darkness and an often ill-conceived militancy. We had become bitter where once we had been joyful, pessimistic where once optimism had been our cause. Throughout those seven years we had attracted almost constant direct and indirect State harassment, now, inevitably, they struck again.

1984 had arrived, rather wose than Orwell had predicted. Unemployment, homelessness, poverty, hunger. The police state had become a reality, as the miners were going to discover. 'Accidental' death from Thatcher's private army of boys in blue had become an acceptable norm. The balance of a whole society was hanging on the apron strings of a vicious and uncaring despot. Far less important by far was our own fate. We were hauled into the courts to face an obscenity charge that almost broke us. 'We have ways of making you not talk'.

That Summer we played what was to be our last gig together, a riotous benefit for the South Wales miners. From the stage we vowed to continue working for the cause of freedom, yet, as we drove home, we all knew that the particular path that we had been taking had been exhausted. We needed new ways in which to approach our objectives and, a few weeks after the gig, Hari Nana left the band to seek his.

Crass - Best Before

We felt no compulsion to continue gigging. We were no longer convinced that by simply providing what had broadly become entertainment we were having any real effect. We'd made our point and if after seven years people hadn't taken it, it surely wasn't because we hadn't tried hard, enough.

'There is no authority but yourself', we said that, but we'd lost ourselves and become CRASS. We are still involved in the often painful process of refinding that self, of seeing each other again, of healing ourselves from the self-inflicted wounds of 'public life'. In Lennon's words, 'the dream is over'.

The 'movement', from Class War to Christians For Peace, needs to regain the dignity that it has lost in the process of attempting to confront problems that appear to be created by others. We have all been guilty of defining the enemy, and indeed there are those who would obstruct the course of liberty, yet ultimately the enemy is to be found within. There is no them and us, there is only you and me.

We need to consolidate, reassess, reject what patently does not work and be prepared to adopt ideas and attitudes that might. We need to find the 'self' that can truly be the authority that it is. We need to look beyond the barbed-wire and the ranks of police for a vision of life which is of our choosing, not that which is dictated by cynics and despots. The exponent of Karate does not aim at the brick when wishing to break it, but at the space beyond. We would do well to learn from that example.

We have spent too much of our time, energy and spirit attempting to dispell the shadow of evil cast over us by the violence and terror of the nuclear age. That shadow has become a stain on our hearts. It is time to wash away that stain and to step out of the shadow into the light. We have become trapped in fear outside metaphorical Greenham Gates. 'Knock and yeshall enter... t hekingdom ofheaven is within you. '

We know enough of the sickness of the world, we should be careful not to add to it through our own physical and mental exhaustion and ill health. If we are ever to achieve our shared objectives we must each of us be strong enough to do so. We have all failed and we have all succeeded. This is no tail between the leg ending, but a proud, albeit painful and confused, beginning.

Love, peace and freedom,

what was CRASS, but now knows better.

Crass - Best Before


Although we no longer intend to tour as CRASS, we are continuing to work in the same fields whilst at the same time expanding into other areas. Since late Summer 84 we were involved in the recording of 10 Notes On A Summer's Day, our last 'formal' release. We may well choose to continue recording as Crass should we consider that it makes sense to do so. Each of us is now involved in developing our own skills, from record production to landscape painting, film-making to healing. We will continue to release material by other bands on Crass Records and intend to become seriously involved in book publishing. As long as there is a job to do, we will attempt to do it. If at first... etc. etc.

Also over the last year Mick has been continuing to work in the field of film and video, and compiled all the work that he showed at our gigs in the video compilation Christ the Movie.

We would like to thank those many people, both individuals and groups, who shared our years on the road, especially Annie Anxiety, Poison Girls, Dirt and Flux Of Pink Indians with whom we toured extensively and Paul, Ian and the rest of the roadcrew from Tandy's Sound Systems. Our thanks also to Steve Herman for his contribution to the formation of the band. For those who are awaiting replies to letters, we lost. We realise that we will never be able to write back to the thousands of letters that have accumulated, if yours was one of them, we're truly sorry.

Crass - Best Before

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