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Punk Rock: how much of it really was truly "Punk rock?"

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by Blazer, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    41
    Dec 2, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Eversince Punk Rock became genre people have a strict view of whar Punk is like and it basically came down to:

    - Lyric-wise the stone cold truth: songs about alienation, being angry at the local government, angry at your parents, being unemployed, having no dime to spend, typical teenage problems.

    - Musicwise, fast and loud and you didn't need to be proficient at playing your instrument, the least capability you had the better.

    - Crappy instruments, you're on the dole, you cannot afford anything fancy.

    - Attitude, there shouldn't be a brotherhood of punk rock, every band was at war with each other.

    - Fakers are not allowed.

    - Disown everything that came before. Rock Dinosaurs went extinct for a reason.

    BUT...

    Singing it like you lived it actually went up for very few of the original punk rock bands, exceptions are the Buzzcocks with songs like "Boredom." But truly singing it like you lived it only started to happen post-punk with songs like "Ghost town" by the Specials or "One in ten" by UB-40

    As for not being musically proficient. There's no denying that Paul Cook and Steve Jones were a very proficient unit on "Nevermind the bollocks" they were tight and threw in some musical curveballs that people with no musical talent would never come up with in the first place. Same with the Clash, Topper Headon and Joe Strummer had been doing the club scene before punk broke and were seasoned veterans and in due time Mick Jones and Paul Simonon mastered their instruments and started writing songs themselves. John Lydon always maintained that Punkrock as music was too conventional, he envisioned it being totally unlistenable. Public Image Limited first two albums show what his vision for punk was and even those show amazing musicianship with Jah Wobbles bass lines and Keith Levene's metallic guitars. Then there's Nina Hagen who is considered to be the princess of punk but she had recieved classical training and her band are top notch musicians.

    Crappy instruments eh? Well Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks played a guitar with the top half broken off but as soon as he could afford to buy himself a better guitar he did just that. And look at what the others were playing, Fenders, Rickenbackers and a LOT of Gibsons, the Les Paul Custom which has become an Icon of Punkrock because of Mick Jones and Steve Jones using them was even back then a very fancy and expensive guitar.

    At war with eachother also is a well known fable but the reality was that bands in order to score gigs would help each other out by phoning in where a good venue was and would lend each other instruments if needed.

    Fakers are not allowed, just ask Plastic Bertrand, who clearly was a creation of the record industry who wanted to cash in on the punk craze. Nobody in the Punk Rock scene took him seriously, certainly not when it came out that he NEVER sang on his songs. BUT for some reason The Tubes "White punks on dope" became an anthem while the song itself was a spoof on glam rock and featured prog-inspired synthesizers.

    As for disowning all that came before. Paul Cook and John Lydon once ran into Pete Townshend who totally was into what punk rock was about and apologised for having been become a Rock Dinosaur at which Lydon told him "No, not at all, we really love the 'Oo." Or what about Sid Vicious covering Frank Sinatra's "My way"

    Hindsight is always 20/20 but John Lydon had a point when he ended the Sex Pistols' final show by saying
     

  2. blowtorch

    blowtorch Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    Wisco
    Ramones.

    Lots seem to think punk started in the UK.

    Silly them.
     

  3. pauljo1963

    pauljo1963 Tele-Holic

    606
    Jul 28, 2010
    Melbourne Australia
    Let's go back to The Stooges
    pretty punky
     

  4. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

    Jan 17, 2010
    Decatur, GA
    When punk was new, it was anything you wanted it to be... Ramones, Talking Heads, Television, Blondie, Richard Hell, Dead Boys, Suicide, the B52s, Mink DeVille in New York and The Clash, The Jam, Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks, Generation X, Tom Robinson, Elvis Costello, XTC, Slits, Siouxsie, Stiff Little Fingers in the UK... and dozens more around the world like Devo, The Saints, Radio Birdman, Split Enz, The Dickies... too many for my old brain to recall. Hell, even Tom Petty was considered 'punk' (for a minute or two) because he wore a leather jacket on his first album cover!

    The point is, 'rock' had become very stagnant and all these very divergent sounds were lumped together, rightly or wrongly, as 'punk' just because they didn't sound like the old stuff. Any formal definition of 'punk' that came along later was just that... a definition. And likely, someone else's definition.

    The fun part was that it was wide-open. For awhile, at least.
     

  5. fraser

    fraser Tele-Holic

    843
    Sep 8, 2007
    Hamilton, Canada
    yeah- the stooges.

    from 1969-



    i remember listening to the ramones and it was just a quirky hard rock band-
    with fast catchy tunes.
    something different and new.
    never viewed them as a punk band until years went by.

    i think the whole punk thing came about as a result of fashion, hype and popularity-

    the sex pistols likely had a lot to do with that.
    and that whole english scene.
    its not like they were doing anything different really,

    nobody ever really does.

    when punk became old school they called it alternative.

    its best not to dwell on such things.
     

  6. tele salivas

    tele salivas Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 5, 2008
    Tulsa
    No need for validation or explanation.
    Systems, patterns--- use, destruction, reuse.
    Rock n roll recycling itself. That's what me as an old fogey would say.
    My younger self would say...
     

  7. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    53
    Aug 24, 2014
    PNW
    Not a punk fan, but I like this one:


     

  8. jondanger

    jondanger Friend of Leo's

    Jan 27, 2011
    Charm City, MD
    Penelope Spheeris: "What does 'Black Flag' mean?"

    Greg Ginn: "Um, it means anarchy."

    Now ya know what ya need to know, kids.

     

  9. Brad Pittiful

    Brad Pittiful Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Dec 22, 2008
    Philly Burbs
    steve jones' les paul was given to him by malcolm...it was sylvain sylvains of the ny dolls...and ive seen photos of him playing flying V and playing a les paul special and a firebird...they were prolly stolen as thats what he did in the early days

    his twin reverb was stolen from bob marleys band if that story is true
     

  10. jondanger

    jondanger Friend of Leo's

    Jan 27, 2011
    Charm City, MD
    Punk Rock: how much of it really was truly "Punk rock?"

    Then there's this guy:



    I like this one:



    "Evolution is a process, too slow to save my soul"
     

  11. Brad Pittiful

    Brad Pittiful Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Dec 22, 2008
    Philly Burbs
    the singer of the gogos belinda carlisle was the germs drummer for a short time...pat smear was in the germs too
     

  12. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    50
    Mar 5, 2009
    Georgetown, TX
    For the British scene: Enter Malcolm McLaren, exit "Punk".

    I've always felt the American scenes (especially L.A.) were much more "punk" than the UK. Ironic because the British youth had a whole heck of a lot more to be pissed off about than we did.
     

  13. Brad Pittiful

    Brad Pittiful Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Dec 22, 2008
    Philly Burbs
    you dont think british punk bands were pissed off
     

  14. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    48
    Aug 17, 2012
    Seattle
    We could probably go back even further to The Who. Technically they were mods, but Townshend fit most of the requirements for what punk bands were all about.
     

  15. Brad Pittiful

    Brad Pittiful Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Dec 22, 2008
    Philly Burbs
    best you could do with the who is call them proto punk like the kinks and seeds and mc5 and stooges and ny dolls etc

    the ramones were the first "punk" band...like it or not...they were
     

  16. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    48
    Aug 17, 2012
    Seattle
    I can agree with that.

    ONETWOTHREEFOUR!!!!
     

  17. wutmornin

    wutmornin Tele-Holic

    801
    Nov 18, 2012
    Oregon
    so what does the official punk rock seal of approval look like, anyway?

    Wasn't it all just a precursor to grunge?

    living in sin with a safety pin.......
     

  18. jondanger

    jondanger Friend of Leo's

    Jan 27, 2011
    Charm City, MD

    Dave Davies - the punkest of all time and a true weirdo.



    And he wrote this stone classic:

     

  19. Rolling Estonian

    Rolling Estonian Friend of Leo's

    Aug 23, 2009
    Bethesda, MD.
    No mention of the Dead Kennedy's? I think they should be in all discussions punk, particularly because they were very outspoken about social and political issues.

    As for the original question, I grew up in DC in the early and mid 80's and we had an incredible punk scene. I think that was about as truly punk as things could get. Here's a great documentary if you've got some time and interest.

    http://saladdaysdc.com/

    M
     

  20. jondanger

    jondanger Friend of Leo's

    Jan 27, 2011
    Charm City, MD

    I wasn't born, so what do I know, but this seems like the spot to draw the line if you're gonna.

     

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