Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Scotlands first all city writer ?

I had a thought when i was driving back from work last night. Back in 1980 (dont ask how i know the year but its something to do with Adam and the Ants!!!) i was only 8 years old and I used to hang out with a guy who had the nickname Joe 90. We lived in a housing scheme which had hundreds of blocks of flats and some multi storey buildings. Each of these had lovely smooth walls which we would run from one to the other tagging, although at that time we never knew that was what we were actually doing and im not going to pretend that we did - it was just us "getting a menchy". We would cover these walls with lovely mini and jumbo Pentel markers that we had "aquired" from various trips into town .

Anyhow, Joe 90 used to get the number 11 or 12 bus across town to see relatives. As anyone from Dundee can tell you, this bus goes through almost every single part of the city. On his trips to his relatives house he would leave a few Joe 90 scrawls on the bus. On his way back he would do the same.

The point of this? Does this mean that we can assume that Joe 90 was an "all city" bomber, and if so, was he the first in Scotland?



Anonymous said...

thats really interesting, to write on stuff is the most natural thing in the world, I remember in Dundee as well "Chic S" was up everywhere, pre hip hop. Joe 90 thats a bit different cause he actually adopted a "tag name" where as before we got into graff we just wrote our surnames...

scottishgraffiti said...

Yeah the fact that he wrote joe 90 was what really got me thinking about this. Like you said we used to just write our surnames but in some weird way he actually had a tag - years before we knew anything about the graff culture that was going on in New York. He was also out there "tagging" everywhere. But thats where the whole point of this post lies - just because he didnt know he was out there "bombin", does that make his contribution irrelevant? Did the first NY pioneers really know what they were up to - seeing as how they were years ahead of the real game starting?

I know that there is an argument that people were putting up gang names etc over the years but in my opinion that has no direct link to our graff scene. What Joe 90 was doing was/is graff and he was doing it years before anyone else (to my knowledge anyway) in this wee country of ours.