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Calls for Worthing tribute to punk writer
Punk rock fans are calling for a tribute to be laid in memory of an influential writer and journalist in his home town.
Worthing’s Mick Farren was a leading rock journalist through the 1970s as well as performing in his own garage rock band.
The 69-year-old collapsed and died while performing at a London gig at the end of last month.
Now fans of his work are calling for a blue plaque in Worthing to mark the seafront town that would shape his life-long rebellious streak.
Farren moved to Worthing as a young child and was taught at Vale Primary School before going to Worthing High School for Boys.
He rose to national prominence with a seminary NME article in 1976 in which he criticised the Rolling Stones for becoming a bloated corporate machine.
It is said to have heralded the birth of punk.
He also formed his own band The Deviants who split in 1969 after three albums but reformed in recent years.
Farren edited the underground publication The International Times, was a founder of activist group The White Panthers and rose to prominence after interrupting an interview by David Frost while friend and poet Felix Denis fired a water pistol at the broadcaster.
He represented himself at the Old Bailey fighting an obscenity charge over his adult comic Nasty Tales and published 36 books in his lifetime.
The writer moved to LA but returned to UK in 2010 because he couldn’t afford medical treatment for his emphysema.
Farren wrote an article for Revolutionary Arts in 2005 about his home town and his memories of being “busted” at high school for playing Eddie Cochrane and Jerry Lee Lewis and reading Simone De Beauvoir’s The Second Sex.
He wrote: “Maybe it wasn’t the Utopia we wanted, but a vibrant creativity has been planted and nurtured, Worthing has moved a hell of a long way from watching the traffic lights change colour, and restless children no longer need to seek their dreams on some other part of the planet.”
Revolutionary Arts founder Dan Thompson described Farren as a “hugely influential” and “larger than life” figure.
He said: “In pop culture there are times when things come together and Mick was one of those, where idealism of hippy met the do-it-your- self of punk.
“It was probably how Mick wanted to go, he always lived rock n roll so coming off stage and collapsing was probably how he would choose to go.
“His first rock n roll experiences were in Worthing and rebelling against the town was key to what he became.”
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