‘Punk Outsider’ the book by Toby Zoates

I bought two copies of ‘Punk Outsider’ by Toby Zoates. It is a real page-turner, what I am enjoying so far is some insight into what was going on in the 70s. I was born in the 70s but I only remember the late 70s and the overspill into the early 80s. Zoates has an engaging writing style and brings you into those times. When I was studying at art school in the 90s there was a real focus on 70s art. I was obsessed with Brian Eno for example and Bill Viola. I loved the experimental music and video work from that era as well as the sociology slant of some performance work. I like how Zoates shows the commercialisation of new-age culture in the 70s. My ex-partner was into punk culture when she was a teenager and I remember how Newtown still had a punk scene up until the 90s. Zoates had told me in a message that the book is challenging. It is definitely a book that should be a right of passage for young rebels. 

I have only just skimmed the surface of the book but I am already hooked. There was a famous Sydney free Jazz musician who wrote a book about growing up in Sydney and I was lucky to meet his son. He let me borrow the book and I loved that book though it was such a long time ago that I can’t remember anything about it other than the insight into smaller Sydney stories. I think Zoates though is covering a hell of a lot of ground and I have only just started the book. In this case, though I am old enough to actually be able to buy the book and keep it in my collection rather than borrow it and never be able to see it again. I tend to read books slowly so I will have more updates later. The stories in Zoates book are hard to come by and are a personal journey that shines a light on those times in the 70s and later. Definitely worth getting this book just to get an insight into the goings-on of Sydney and possibly shed light on how we landed into the current billionaire nightmare of Sydney today. 

If you want to buy the book you can order it by emailing tobyzoates@hotmail.com or meeting Toby at Fitzroy Gardens Kings Cross on Tuesdays and Sundays from 2pm to 4pm

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