Too Fast To Live, Too Young To Die, released summer 2020, is a glossy 353 page hard back book written by Andrew Krivine published via Rocket 88 Books. With a standard £30 edition plus a whopping £275 super duper edition with exclusive poster reprints this is a punks and post punks’ poster and memorabilia paradise. Focusing primarily between 1976-1986 the book opens an Aladdin’s cave of treasures from the get-go. Luxury almost pop art introduces the reader to a vast array of different images detailing the rise and origins on punk, but whilst the claims not to be a comprehensive history of punk, it becomes darn close to be a fans and even a collectors treat.
With Krivine giving a detailed foreword the book delves into posters from The Velvet Underground with Lou Reed Rock an Roll Animal and Jon Cale dressed in tennis attire, The New York Dolls dresses in appropriate sassy style, plus The Heartbreakers featuring a backdrop of their name drawn in blood, this fearless opening tantalises and entraps the reader. Further early punk royalty covered include Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Television, Richard Hell and the Voids, The Ramones and Talking Heads.
From page 55 there is a detailed alphabetical trawl through the likes of 999, The Buzzcocks Throbbing Gristle, with promotional badges, sheet music, alternate posters all making a b line for the limelight. The Clash get a whopping 28 pages of classic and rare posters including a flyer insert for Ghast Up #3 fanzine created by a typewriter. Everything featured in the book has either liner detailed notes with year or production and the name of the publication.
The final chapters feature The Flying Lizards, Gang Of Four, Joy Division with an Italian essay pamphlet and Still Australian poster, whilst New Order’s Peter Saville designed Everything’s Gone Green poster and The Smiths Meat Is Murder poster designed by Morrissey go to wrap the book up nicely. With further contributions from Art Chantry, Malcolm Garrett and Rick Poynor and many more educated designers the final verdict is a book well worth it’s price tag, you will be surprised at the level of exquisite detail throughout that the book hasn’t got a higher price, but after all this is a book about punk, a moment that gave access to music amongst highbrow musicians that were lost in a cloud of their own self-worth. Too Fast To Live, Too Young To Die is equal to it’s maker.
Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die by Andrew Krivine: Boxed Limited Edition featuring signed prints by Sebastian Conran and Malcolm Garrett is published by Rocket 88. Both the stand version and the deluxe version can be pre-ordered via this link.