Bill Clinton hails punk veteran

Former US president writes to record label owner

Bill Clinton has written to a veteran Ulster punk pioneer Terri Hooley praising his role in promoting alternatives to violence in Belfast.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Hooley‘s Good Vibrations record label and shop opened in the punk era as political troubles happened in the city.

Perhaps most famously Good Vibrations released the Undertones‘ 1977 single ‘Teenage Kicks’.

Clinton said Hooley gave “young people something positive to say yes to”.

He added: “Music is a powerful unifying force in our world, bringing people together across boundaries of geography, background, religion and culture.”

Hooley said punk had provided a ray of hope amid the violence on the streets of Belfast in the late 1970s.

He said: “It didn’t matter whether you were Protestant, Catholic, whether you had green, orange or purple hair, as long as you were punk it was fine.

“The great thing about punk was it was the first time in 10 years that the kids could get together.”

Clinton said Good Vibrations had “helped individual musicians realise their dreams, but also offered listeners the opportunity to better understand and appreciate one another through the common language of music”.

Hooley said he was impressed by Clinton‘s tribute.

“He is a musician as well – that’s what’s most important to me. He obviously gets it,” he told BBC.