My Journeys Through the Maelstrom of Punk Rock by Professor Peter Smith – Sunderland Magazine

Professor Peter Smith receives an Honorary Doctorate of Technology from the University of Sunderland during today’s graduation ceremony at the Stadium of Light Photo: DAVID WOOD

Sunderland academic paralyzed from neck to toe after tragic accident writes punk rock book

One night, in a pitch-black hallway, Professor Peter Smith was walking back into the bedroom when he took a wrong turn, fell down the stairs and broke his back.

Paralyzed from the neck down, Peter’s life changed completely in a split second, except for one thing he refused to change: his love of punk rock music and concerts.

In a new book – My journeys through the maelstrom of punk rockthe University of Sunderland academic shares his inspiring story of tragedy, pain, willpower and courage, and the ability to keep doing what he loves most.

Father of three, Peter, 65, from Sunderland, says: “I’ve lived a full, exciting and unique life. In my youth, I experienced an enigma. My rebellious nature took me away from my university studies in the world of punk rock; a very different world from the one I normally lived in. Some might say I was an aspiring middle-class scholar.

The punk rock journey began in the mid-1970s, in a small pub in Whitby, when Peter saw a performance by the Sex Pistols which he says “shook me to my core and changed my view of the music world for still”.

He adds: “From then on, we were caught in a whirlwind of punk rock, seeing The Clash, The Damned, The Jam; all the early punk bands in 1976 and 1977. It was a magical, explosive and sometimes scary journey. Amidst a sea of ​​punks, my long hair stood out, inviting trouble and tempting danger. We managed to avoid many fights, pint glasses flying everywhere and a range of skinheads waiting for us outside. Life was dangerous, wired, scary but fun!

Despite his wild youth, Peter grew up to be an internationally renowned scholar and teacher. For more than four decades, he had a profound impact on hundreds of students at the University of Sunderland through his lectures in mathematics and computer science, his academic papers, as well as the supervision of doctoral researchers. He has published over 300 books, articles and articles on a wide range of topics including IT, management and music.

In addition to his teaching work, Peter is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, Institute of Physics, Royal Society of Arts, Chartered Management Institute and several others. companies. He is also a Chartered Engineer, Chartered Scientist, Chartered Mathematician, Chartered Manager, and Chartered Statistician.

Despite the life-changing fall at his home in 2016, leaving him in need of round-the-clock care, as well as the loss of his wife Marie to cancer three years later, Peter continues to support PhD students around the world. whole, teaching online and supervising with the help of technology, alongside his writing.

To date, Peter has attended over 2,000 concerts, documenting and cataloging every concert he has attended, producing a music blog and writing about those experiences.

He says: “I continue to go to concerts, work and live a full life. This book is a cathartic reflection of my days as a punk! I hope you enjoy joining me on my journey through a strange life mission.

My journeys through the maelstrom of punk rockis published by New Haven Publishing Ltd and was co-written by Peter and his daughter Laura Smith.

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