Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Beaten Black, Beaten Blue

Angelic Upstarts : The Murder for Liddle Towers

In May of 1978 the punk rock band Angelic Upstarts released their debut single "The Murder of Liddle Towers", an anti-police diatribe recounting the death of a 39 year old electrician who was allegedly beaten by police outside a nightclub. He died three weeks later.  An inquest into the death returned a verdict of justifiable homicide. 

The case also inspired Tom Robinson's " Blue Murder" and "Liddle Towers" by the skinhead band The Crux. 

Liddle Towers

Why did he die, or did they lie? 
I think he's dead, so a doctor said 
He was beaten black, He was beaten blue 
But don't be alarmed, it was the right thing to do 
The police have the power, Police have the right
 To kill a man to take away his life 
Drunk and disorderly was his crime 
I think at worst he should be doing time
 But he's dead He was drunk and disorderly and now he's dead 

More than two decades after its release, their debut single, "The Murder Of Liddle Towers", was included in Mojo magazine’s list of the best punk rock singles of all time. With other blue collar punks, the Upstarts became the forefathers of the Oi skinhead movement although they were anti-racism and never flirted with right wing elements.

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