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Thread: Punk - history

  1. #1
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    Aug 2001

    Post Punk - history


    Originally a musical and social phenomenon that manifested itself around 1976-1977 as a reaction to the artificial pop-music and its role as commonly accepted part of industry and society. Combined with the growing social discord of the new generation - especially in economically stagnated England - this culture expresses itself, just like back in '55 and '63, in music in its most pure form: rock & roll.
    Raw, exciting, energetic and with lyrics that condemn everything remotely connected to oppression and the establishment, pop-music included this time.


    More important than the short spiked hair, ripped clothes and the black leather was the Do It Yourself-attitude of punk. On long term, this would be the real power of punk: fanzines, alternative clubs and independant record-labels. This aspect, also spread through New Wave, is what influenced the later evolvement of music, because it brought back part of the power to the artists, because it decentralized the music-industry, and stimulated creativity. It also was responsible for punk's autonomous position, ensuring its own endurance and development to a sub-culture annex movement, long after the first punk-waves hit the shore...

    USA or England?

    England: 'Cash from Chaos'.

    Sex Pistols:

    Formed beginning of '75.

    Line-up: Johnny Rotten (vocals), Steve Jones (guitar), Sid Vicious (bass), Paul Cook (drums).

    Sex Pistols were Malcolm McLaren's creation. McLaren travelled in the US with the New York Dolls as their business-representative. After seeing bass-player Richard Hell from The Heartbreakers, he immediately returns to London. He renames his boutique from 'Let it rock' to 'Sex', and starts specializing in leather clothes and ripped T-shirts. He starts meddling with his assistent Glen Matlock's band: he decides to change their name from Swankers to Sex Pistols, replaces guitarist Wally Nightingale with Steve Jones (the singer) and starts looking for a new singer. John Lydon (ake Johnny Rotten) seems to be the perfect guy for the job.

    November 1975: the first Sex Pistols-gigs are sensational, controversial,... and as shocking as the reaction of the older generation: Rotten and Cook are molested after a gig by four elder guys. The band decides to move to Scandinavia for a while right after some guys attack Rotten for the second time - this time using razor-blades. They play a few gigs there. By that time, most English clubs can't get a license anymore to have the Sex Pistols perform.
    EMI's employees don't seem to like Anarchy in the UK as they refuse to press the records. They release their second single (God Save The Queen, Virgin Records) a week after the English Queen's silver jubileum. The BBC, and most radiostations and stores boycot the single. Nonetheless, it becomes a number 1 hit. The same goes for the third and fourth single (Pretty Vacant and Holiday in the Sun).

    By that time, Matlock was replaced by John Beverley (aka Sid Vicious).

    The Sex Pistols-story ends in 1978: they split while touring the States. Vicious, by that time the most Thexy Pistol, commits suicide on

    Februari 2, 1979. Rotten continues with his own project, PIL (Public Image Limited, remember 'This is not a love song').
    From the early '80s untill now, the Sex Pistols re-unite every couple of months, making fools of themselves with baaaad performances (personal opinion ).



    Founded in 1974, Queens NY.

    Line-up: Joey Ramone (Jeffry Hyman, vocals, + april 15, 2001), Johnny Ramone (John Cummings, guitar), DeeDee (Douglas Colvin, bass, + june 5, 2002)/CJ (Christopher Joseph Ward) Ramone, Tommy/Marky/Richie Ramone (Richie Reinhardt, drums).

    Where most punk bands get their inspiration from MC5 or the Stooges, Ramones-songs are vivisected versions of Shangri-Las, Trashmen, bubble-gum songs. The Ramones got rid of all efects, stripped the melody to the basics, and most lyrics are nothing more than catchy slogans. New York's legendary CBGB's Club is where they perform, "Ramones" (Sire, '76) is the first, $6400-costing, album: a collection of short, catchy tunes.
    The Ramones played their last show together on August 6, 1996, in Los Angeles, CA.
    On March 18, 2002, the Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    Black Flag:

    Formed in 1976 in Hermosa Beach California by Henry Rollins (yes, him). One of the first and most influential hardcore-bands.

    Dead Kennedys:

    Line-up: Jello Biafra (Eric Boucher, vocals), East Bay Ray Pepperell (guitar), Klaus Flouride (bass), Darren 'D.H.' Peligro (drums).

    Founded in 1978, San Francisco.

    The godfathers of American punk. Biafra gets his inspiration from a holiday in England. Biafra is a kamikaze: controversial, politically radical, subversive. Biafra fulminates against the American Dream, packed in fast, aggressive music. Same story as the Sex Pistols: the audience loves them, the press/record companies hate them. California Über Alles (Fast, 1979) is the first single.
    Holiday in Cambodia (Cherry Red, 1979), their next single, is still considered a classic. In 1982, they score an English number one hit with the controversial "Too drunk to ****". A disillusioned Biafra retracts in 1986, after a long and money-consuming trial over this artwork included with the Frankenchrist-album (Alternative Tentacles, 1985).
    In 1987, Biafra is cleared from all charges, leaving him with a $50,000 lawyers-bill though.

    Recommended listening (reduced quality to avoid copyrights...)

    Sex Pistols:

    My Way - Virgin, 1989 - Sid Vicious rapes Frank Sinatra...


    Blitzkrieg Bop - Sire Records, 1976 - Punk Rock Anthem
    My brain is hanging upside down (Bonzo goes to Bitburg) - Sire, 1984 - Inspired by Ronald Reagan's state visit to Bitburg, a German cemetery containing the graves of Nazi storm troopers.

    Black Flag:

    Gimme gimme gimme - Unicorn/SST, 1981

    Dead Kennedys:

    Holiday in Cambodia - Cherry Red, 1979

    Jesus was a terrorist - No Means No & Jello Biafra

    Nazi Punks **** Off - Alternative Tentacles, 1982

    punk ain't no religious cult punk means thinking for yourself you ain't hardcore cos you spike your hair when a jock still lives inside your head nazi punks nazi punks nazi punks-**** off! nazi punks nazi punks nazi punks-**** off! if you've come to fight, get outa here you ain't no better than the bouncers we ain't trying to be police when you ape the cops it ain't anarchy nazi punks nazi punks nazi punks-**** off! nazi punks nazi punks nazi punks-**** off! ten guys jump one, what a man you fight each other, the police state wins stab your backs when you trash our halls trash a bank if you've got real balls you still think swastikas look cool the real nazis run your schools they're coaches, businessmen and cops in a real fourth reich you'll be the first to go nazi punks nazi punks nazi punks-**** off! nazi punks nazi punks nazi punks-**** off! you'll be the first to go you'll be the first to go you'll be the first to go unless you think...

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  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    Oct 2001
    Holiday in Cambodia rocks! DIY was in a low budget film by Roger Corman titled Suburbia, it featured Flea from Red Hot Chilli Peppers when he was known as Mike B the Flea. It is an excellent film showcasing a few great punk bands. Excellent post.
    [shadow]Prepare ship for ludicrous speed![/shadow]

  5. #5
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    Nov 2001
    Excellent post Negative!

    I think it's appauling the way that Jello Biafra was treated. This man is a revolutionary. He stands up publicly for our constitutional rights.

    Who is Jello Biafra?:

    Interview with Jello Biafra:

    Download Jello Biafra's keynote speach at h2k: (very good site)

    I've seen much worse inside cd covers.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lady HaxX0r's Avatar
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    Jun 2002
    Hey can I add to that? Negative: you contrasted British and US punk, but I feel obligated to point out that punk made a huge impact on the British music scene precisely because it *was* British, the words articulated/spat with an English accent instead of the standard Americanised pronounciation. It was a breakthrough for British identity in music and although it was around in America at the same time, the statements being made were slightly different. Incidentally if you're into punk this is quite a funny site dedicated to ripping it outta wannabe's! Insta-Punk Kit

    Sorry that was a little pointless but I once had to study the punk thing as an aspect of linguistics and I feel an affinity for it now...

    The Owls Are Not What They Seem

  7. #7
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    Apr 2002
    WOW, this is soooo much better than SLC PUNK!

  8. #8
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    Aug 2001
    Lady Haxxor... true, true and true...
    The impact was bigger in England because the socio-cultural-economical climate was 'ready' for it. Therefore, punk as a socio-cultural-economical phenomenon is obviously a British phenomenon.

    We were having a discussion about the roots of punk the other day on IRC, the USA/England issue included. And depending on your vision on what punk exactly is, there's pro's and contra's for both sides. The Ramones were obviously first, but I don't consider them a punk-band... more like surf-rock. And the topics the Ramones are singing about, can't be considered punk either. The Ramones were partly a reaction to the surf-scene (Beach Boys, Trashmen: bands singing about hot chicks, cool cars,... things the Ramones didn't have).
    Most music is a reaction to something, but the British reaction indeed was heavier, more serious than the American one...

  9. #9
    Leftie Linux Lover the_JinX's Avatar
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    Nov 2001
    Beverwijk Netherlands
    this thread Rox0rz, thx Neg..

    Punk rock is a way of life.. I have 2 (you can't even call them) former (rather aged) punks for friends..
    they have the same kinda humor I have, so we get along,
    PLUS the Music is realy good..

    I like agressive music, and punk/ska party's R the greatest
    ASCII stupid question, get a stupid ANSI.
    When in Russia, pet a PETSCII.

    Get your ass over to SLAYRadio the best station for C64 Remixes !

  10. #10
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    Nov 2001

    Thumbs up

    And there was punk before there was punk...


    Meanwhile, on the other side of the world

    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

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