Stormtrooper, a little known and struggling band from London, had formed and disbanded in a space of 10 months in 1975, two years before punk rock had risen out of the ashes of glam and pub rock . They had formed in the bar of the famous Marquee club in Wardour Street in London's West End...

Once they were a band, and had run through a few rehearsals in the cellar of the Marquee, they were ready to record a demo......


why did this journalist choose past perfect for" form and disbanded?".I think He could have used past simple .It is not because it happens before the demo recordings (they disbanded after releasing their demo ) is it only to emphasize the moment the band existed (from the creation to the split) .

Or may be that it is not past perfect for disbanded but past simple. But if it is the case it is obvious that the creation of the band happened before the split so there is no reason to use past perfect .

ps I understand the use of had risen ( because of the completion of the action) and had risen gives the impression that punk rock did not come in one day but took some time to arrive

2 Answers 2


The author's style is a little unusual, but I think he chose the past perfect because these events were already in the past by the time punk rock rose. We use the past perfect to talk about actions that were completed before another point in the past, and this is what the author is doing: relating events in the past (Stormtrooper forms and disbands) to another later event in the past (punk rock rises).

To put it a different way, by the time punk rock arose from the ashes, Stormtrooper had already formed and disbanded.

  • yes but before indicateS what comes first , using the past perfect seemed for me to link both events but with a causalit . Punk rock would have never happened if stormtrooper had not existed
    – Yves Lefol
    Jan 28, 2021 at 16:18
  • You're right that English speakers often omit the form when the temporal relationships are clear. But they may still be used - here, using it in the first sentence establishes the temporal viewpoint of the piece as that later time when "they were a band".
    – Colin Fine
    Aug 25, 2021 at 15:02

The author could have written

Stormtrooper, ..., formed and disbanded in a space of 10 months in 1975, ...

That would have emphasized the process of formation and dissolution. If the article went on to discuss the breif but exciting life of the band, that would have been a good way to start out. But the article instead discusses what happened after the life of the band was over, after the conclusion of that 10-month period. . The use of the past perfect emphasizes that the entire life of the band came before the other events discussed.

Whenever a sequence of events is discussed that is already fully complete before the present, and before other events being discussed, use of the past perfect is acceptable. It my or may not be the best style, depending on the context and the author's intentions.

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