History of Punk Rock

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Punk Rock, which began in the mid 1970’s, began as a fad and quickly became a phenomenon that changed the music industry forever. Punk Rock was a new sound that came from a combination of rock and pop music. Punk was very different from mainstream music and along with this new sound, an entire subculture started to form. The focus of this paper is on the early development of punk rock, the bands and musicians who started the new sound, the subculture that was influenced by the punk rock movement, the evolution of punk and the state of punk rock music today. Punk rock got its name from the slang word “punk”, meaning rotten and worthless (Maser 10). The term was used to describe this new type of music that was very different from mainstream pop and rock music. These new bands “had very little talent, wore crazy clothes, had outrageous hairstyles and carried with them a message of anti-authority” (Shively). There is no exact date for the birth of punk rock, though it has been around since the sixties. Most agree that it was sometime around 1974 when punk rock really began to develop into a music genre of its own (Black and Kismet). Some say punk rock began in New York City, while others believe it started in London. Punk rock bands were emerging in both places. By late 1976 “bands such as the Ramones in New York and the Sex pistols and the Clash, in London, were recognized as the vanguard of a new musical movement” (Jaffe). The following year punk rock began to spread around the world. Punk music was mostly being played in small local bars and nightclubs. Punk music “did not get much support from mainstream record labels and most music stores wanted nothing to do with it” (Maser 12). Punk rock fans and musicians tended to stick together and support each other. It was not uncommon for one band to borrow musicians from another. One very popular club in New York City that became a popular place for punk artists to meet and play was...
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