THE HISTORY OF PUNK ROCK
Punk rock is a style of music that originated in 1964 in New York City at an underground club called The Dom. This little known club at the time was the catalyst that started punk on the road to what it is today (History Punk).
Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols was quoted saying; “Punk was created as a cure for boredom.” (Punk History). He sure has one thing correct; one certainly can not be bored while listening to punk rock. The hard core guitar rhythm, slashing bass line, and hard fast drum beat make punk music that one must dance to. Punk rock is a style of music that has recently started its comeback. Punk rock from the past has affected many of today’s top artists and this has had a dramatic affect on the today’s music industry. Although there is considerable influence from past bands that does not mean there has not been a considerable change in the area of punk rock itself.
The Stooges are a punk band formed in New York by punk great Iggy Pop. He formed the band in 1966 and the members could hardly play their instruments. This did not discourage them pursuing their dream of being a great punk rock band though. They continually practiced until finally three years later in 1969 their first album was released. This was the start of mainstream punk (Punk History).
In 1975 the punk scene shifted from New York to Detroit, where it stayed for the next 15 years (Punk History). Also in 1975 a band by the name of The Ramones formed. They released there first, self entitled album in 1976. The lack of originality is said to have been the key factor in creation of the Ramones sound. They wanted to put the step back into music. They brought back the 2-minute song many found reminiscent of early rock and roll (Chord Wonders).
On July 4, 1976 the Romones performed their first concert in London. This concert had a dramatic effect on Britain. It inspired such great bands as the Sex Pistols, the Clash, the Damned, and Generation X. This was the spark that generated the British Punk frenzy (Chord Wonders).
British punks had the “do it yourself” attitude, and emphasized individuality and self-expression. They rebelled against the music of the 70’s and the social, economic and political climate of England at the time. But the area that British punks rebelled against the most was fashion. They did this to the extent that they created there own fashion (The Pit).
The first major band to develop in England was the Sex Pistols. They took the ametureristic style of the Ramones and added a streak of nihilism, meaning they had an anarchic sound, creating a sound and an image that is still the ideal in punk rock today (Greeil 34). The fast guitar rhythm, sometimes out of tune, was the main feature of the Sex Pistols. Combine that with Sid Vicious slaughtering the bass lines, the nihilistic lyrics of Johnny Rotton, and a hard core drum and you have what most consider the greatest punk band of all time. Rotton, lead singer, and Vicious are looked upon as two of the “all time great punks”, contributing both musically and fashionably to the punk scene. Vicious often played at gigs drunk or high on heroin. These antics by Vicious earned the band more press about their offstage antics then their actual music performance (Chord Wonders).
Another great punk legend, The Clash, was started in 1978. The Clash was more idealistic the Sex Pistols, but they were no less aggressive (Greil 76). They were very instrumental in the development of today’s punk bands. Bands such as Sublime, Operation Ivy, and Rancid are just a few examples of bands that base their music on the style of the Clash. The style with which the Clash play utilizes the ska and reggae beat making the guitar sound higher pitched. This style and technique is what got the Clash voted best album by Rolling Stones in 1980 (History Punk).
One thing that made all punks stand out was their fashion taste or should I say lack of fashion. Punks would wear fetishwear, bondage trousers, and obscene T-shirts. In fact the manager of the Sex Pistols even owned