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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by offsideref, Oct 23, 2020.
Neat! Never heard "cowpunk" before. Music and lead break very "listenable".
Funny you should say that, we were in fact playing Long Train Runnin’ just before punk, and after we got punk out of our systems, we played Long Train Runnin’ a lot more than we played Anarchy in the UK
This always happens when I post about music in the Bad Dog Cafe: people post links to bands and music that I’ve never even heard of.
I’d like to thank you all individually, but I’m just punk enough that I can’t be arsed, so, thank you all .
It means having the audacity not to read a single response in the preceding 14 pages, nor the original post, and yet still reply.
(never mind the) bollocks.
I don't think I've read one post on this thread by a non-Brit that understands what punk was and what drove it.
You really did have to be there.
I was 14 in '76. Been listening to Bowie, The Faces, Status Quo, Slade, Sweet, T-Rex....then boom....along came The Sex Pistols. I remember putting Never Mind on the record player and being blown away by Steve Jones' guitar sound. In the following late 70's years there were The Stranglers, Buzzcocks, The Undertones, The Damned, X Ray Spex, and loads more. In Wales you could see these in Swansea and Cardiff Top Rank clubs. Port Talbot Troubador club used to have band nights on Thursdays. Out of the late 70's came The Police, Simple Minds, Echo and the Bunnymen...they were also called punk at the time. The gigs around 78-80 were mad. Lots of spitting at the front of stage (I stayed back) and lots of fights. The energy around that time was huge. Of course you also had the true punks with green hair and ripped clothes and safety pins. It was a great time and many a musician and future star was born from this period.
14 pages and no DC punk!
punk is not dead
Late to this thread.
Punk saved my life. It was the first thing I found that accepted me for the way I was. Punk was not only a method for accepting your idiosyncrasies but embracing them, and that's a source of great power.
I am of the "no rules" school of punk, so I quickly learned to see beyond the surface and find punk values in everything from folk music to painting to poetry to spirituality.
To me punk is less a musical genre, and more a way of interrogating yourself and interacting with the world. It's a way of life that has served me well for almost forty years now.
Exactly. That was the "great rock'n'roll swindle" after all.
Four & a half million really well spent...while we struggle to pay ourrrr...rrrent!
In 1978, I'd been playing 5 years and struggling to get 'good enough' to get into a band, thinking I had to be ready for a Steely Dan session, or a 30 minute jam with the Allman Brothers. Trying to write songs like a 35-year-old having a midlife crisis. It was exhausting.
But I discovered The Ramones. The Clash. The Jam. Elvis Costello. The Modern Lovers. And everything else that was happening. All of a sudden, it was okay to be a 19 year old again, playing fun music! It was amazing, and as we all (should) know by now, the best way to get good is to play in a band. So I did. A lot. It was an exciting time.
Punk got boring later on, once it became just another musical template. But it was fun while we were still figuring it out.
They said "Punk" shouldn't have solos.
Anyways... anybody into or used to be into "Grindcore"?
To me? Nothing really. Even though I've cut my musical teeth on punk and thrash, I've never been one for pageantry. Not that I didn't have my moments of buying into the fashion or strength of the scene, but they were few and easily decades in the rear view. I still play hard-core punk/thrash/skate or whatever you want to call it. ...but, for me at least, it has zero to do with the "scene". It's 100% about the music. It always was. Still is. I dont care who's listening. Not even particularly worried about people liking it. I'm having a blast and far more worried about me liking it. Although I do get a kick out of playing basslines built for brutality but with their inspiration coming from country or reggae and so on.
Your avatar reminds me of an album cover for the band Aggression.
This is punk
I could not agree more!
I love The Stooges, MC5, Dolls, Velvets etc. and to argue that they weren't proto-punk would be churlish, especially given the fact that Malcolm managed the Dolls (not particularly successfully, but it taught him a thing or two about shock and awe in music).
But UK punk, as it exploded onto the streets of London and onto our TV screens from '76 onwards was fueled by so much more. It was built on pub rock (early Stranglers, Eddie & the Hotrods, Dr. Feelgood, Kilburn & the High Roads, 101'ers etc.) as much as the US bands mentioned. There was a real sense of frustration at the political climate of the time, even if the Pistols didn't really believe in the political Anarchy they sported (Crass for example did). They certainly believed in chaos at their gigs, tours and happenings. There was a reaction to social injustice, racism and poverty (The Clash, Ruts etc.). "Rock Against Racism" and support for the Anti-N.azi League were ingrained in early punk and were the Antifa/BLM of the seventies.
The idea was that three chords and a message was something anyone could do, and that the muso's of prog had run out of time, was real. Disco rang no bells with British kids growing up during the winter of discontent and later under Thatcher. Punk blasted through all of that and gave us hope out of despair - something to believe in. By 1979 it was all splintered and many argued that Punk was already dead, but the splintering was healthy. The first punk bubble was bound to burst, and the various new-wave, post-punk, Oi!, positive-punk, ska/Two-Tone, UK82, even the New Romantics, meant that the end of the 70's and early 80's were an amazing time in music. Punk was even heavily influential in moulding the New Wave of British Heavy Metal NWOBHM (Iron Maiden with Paul Di'Anno were as punk as they were heavy).
Punk didn't really hit the leafy suburbs of Southampton until '78. The first records I ever bought were the Stranglers' "Rattus Norvegicus", "Love Song" by The Damned and "Into the Valley" by Skids. I remember being awed by "Clash City Rockers" and the Banshees' "Staircase Mystery". Even Sham 69 and UK Subs made it onto Top of the Pops. It was bloody marvelous, and it was all ours! I got thrown out of school one day for daring to enter the dining hall in bondage trousers (aged 12 ) We would go into Southampton to Subway Records and hang with the older punks and it was all cool. Nobody was posing, they didn't care that we weren't even teenagers yet.
That's what punk means to me. Then and now. It's who I am (even without a mohawk and studded leather).
What does Punk mean to you?
Eversince Punk Rock became genre people have a strict view of what 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.
- Music wise, 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.
Singing it like you lived it actually went up for very few of the original punk rock bands. When the Ramones sang about "Beat the brat with a baseball bat" they sang about assault and murder but they never went out and actually did it. Exceptions are the Buzzcocks with songs like "Boredom." But truly singing it like you lived it was something which Punk bands very rarely actually did.
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 curve balls 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 UN-listenable. Public Image Limited's 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 received 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 each other 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 bands like Sonic Youth covered "Ca plan pour Moi" and post punk bands praised the song. The Tubes "White punks on dope" became a punk rock anthem while the song itself was meant to be 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 apologized for having been become a Rock Dinosaur at which Lydon told him "No, not at all, we really love the 'Oo." expressing that with the Punk movement Townshend was considered to be a true pioneer. 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
But even as he was saying it, the ground had already started shifting and people disagreed with his sentiment.
Because in the wake of Punk, came new wave and Reggae. The latter one might make people go "REALLY, where do THOSE two musical genres connect?"
Well that happened because Punk rock shows were all inclusive and black youths came to them too and understood the anger in the lyrics and their own songs had the same message. Between band performances at Punk rock shows the deejay would spin reggae songs and the punks liked what they heard.
UB 40 "One in ten"
This band named themselves after the Unemployment Benefit form, which is a Punk Rock thing to do but listen to that song, how angry and desolate it is. Sang from a band who KNEW that reality, they knew it VERY well indeed.
This is Georg Ruthenberg, AKA Pat Smear, who these days is known among the general public as being the guitarist for the Foo Fighters.
But Pat came into the public eye when being the guitarist for this punk band called "the Germs" who took those rules I mentioned to heart and to an extreme level. According to Smear, everybody described the band's sound as "Noise and screaming" and that made them decide to go with that, to have a band that was INDEED just "Noise and screaming"
-Nope, if it weren't for the subtitles you probably wouldn't have even figured out what the hell Darby was singing.
Singing it like they lived it?
- You'd better believe it!
- They didn't even own their own instruments, always played shows using loaners.
- Oh no, they were the real deal!
In their wake a third post-punk scene came to be: Hardcore.
These days there are fashion shops which sell punk rock clothing, the legendary New York City club CBGB'S is now such a store. You can go into a barbershop and they'll make you a Mohawk no questions asked.
So, in closure, what was Punk Rock really?
Was it a true youth movement?
- Yes it was.
Was a fashionable thing?
- Yes, no denying that fact.
And that in itself is pretty Punk too.