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The Peanut Factory and punk rock

Updated: Feb 24

Hey everyone! I’m Sally. I'm a writer and performer, pursuing a Masters in Creative Writing and Education at Goldsmiths College. I’m also the new intern at Guts. I’m excited to be working on our new book, The Peanut Factory by Deborah Price (release date 24 May 2022).


The Peanut Factory is a coming-of-age memoir about a young woman living in London squats in the late 70s during the emerging punk rock scene.


Life in the squats was full of parties and music. ‘Music was everything,’ remembers Deborah. The hippie scene was dead. Big bands like Led Zeppelin had become, ‘Very epic and very removed from the fanbase.’ Deborah and her crowd were working-class kids, chasing alternative lifestyles. They wanted music that spoke to their experience.


Enter punk rock.


Punk was rough, raw, and gritty. Anyone could make it. Deborah and many of her friends did. Living rent-free meant they had plenty of time and space to make art. They started music festivals – Deborah organized The Damned’s first show! – cabarets, plays, and, of course, punk bands.


But life was also chaotic. Squats were often without heat or hot water. And while the hippies chilled out on LSD and weed, Deborah recalls that, ‘With punk it was speed. Sulfate. Which made you stay up all night and run around.’


Some of Deborah’s friends got into mischief. Some were criminal. Some were junkies. But mostly they were just kids, searching for connection and a good time.


Here's a short clip of an interview I did with Deborah last week. Can't wait to share her story with you!


xx Sally



About Deborah Price

I was born and bred in South London and moved to Brighton in 1986. I have worked, starting at fifteen, as a barmaid, cleaner, zoo keeper, adventure play leader, youth worker, primary teacher, childcare and Ofsted inspector, trainer and senior lecturer in education. My most rewarding teaching was with people who had left school at a young age and were now reclaiming their education. I have a BA and MA (in film studies) from the Open University and also taught children’s literature there. I have written and co-written six books on early years, mainly focusing on equalities, LGBT issues, leadership and grief and loss in children’s lives. The Peanut Factory is my debut memoir. I now live happily by the sea with my partner, where I write, swim and travel.

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Pre-order The Peanut Factory here: gutspublishing.com/product-page/the-peanut-factory

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