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Not everyone was a Punk in 1976. In fact, most young people danced to a different beat and wore their hair in entirely different ways. Noel Smith was a 16 year old Teddy Boy who bought his first drape suit and styled his hair into a quiff just as the long hot summer began. By the time the heatwave ended, he'd become the leader of a gang of South London rockabilly rebels and led them into battle with all manner of other street gangs – including Punks, Skins, Smoothies and bikers. This is the sharpest and truest telling of London’s gang wars fought between 1976 and 1982 that’s ever been written. Drawing on a cast of hugely memorable characters Noel tells the shockingly violent and sometimes hilarious story of what life was like for he and his gang of Balham Wildkatz. The clothes, the music, the pubs and parties of those far from golden years are all recalled in vivid and engrossing detail. It’s all crazy man, crazy.
Noel Smith was born in South London in 1960. He has 58 criminal convictions and has spent the greater portion of his adult life in prison. While in prison he taught himself to read and write, gained an Honours Diploma from the London School of Journalism and an A-Level in Law. Author of four books, he has been awarded a number of Koestler awards for his writing and has written for numerous major publications. He left prison forged in 2010 and is the Editor at Inside Time magazine.