The History of Punk Rock
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “punk?” Do you think of a violent, attention-seeking young person, or do you think of a rebellious teenager who is trying to go against the mainstream society? “Punk is about being 16 and saying no.” According to Encarta Dictionary: English, punk is a youth movement of the late 1970s, characterized by loud aggressive rock music, confrontational attitudes, body piercing, and unconventional hairstyles, makeup, and clothing. Characterized by its fast and heavy use of guitars and drums, punk rock has influenced our society and political system throughout the history of its genre. Punk rock has a great history behind it and also has a very deep political influence behind it. The lyrics of punk rock music are often purposely controversial and offensive and the artists use the lyrics in their own unique way to express the way they feel on various topics.
Developing in the mid 1970’s, punk rock was emerging in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia with groups such as the Ramones, Sex Pistols, and The Clash. This stage of punk rock is known as the New Wave. It signifies a new and different sound in music. Punk rock. Probably the most notable place that is associated with punk rock is CBGB. The CBGB started in New York City and was open on Sunday nights to play punk bands. After the CBGB made its reputation for a haven of punk music, people from all over would come to see the priceless bands play on Sunday nights. Many New Wave bands gained their popular status through CBGB. Even though punk rock is its own genre and has its own distinct sound, it would not be possible if it had not been for garage rock. Garage rock is often considered the forerunner of punk rock and is one of the most influential protopunk genres. Along with rock and roll, garage rock shaped punk rock and will be forever remembered as the greatest in protopunk music.
The Untied Kingdom created a significant influence towards the New Wave punk bands in the United States. The Ramones was one of the greatest influences of punk rock. They started in 1974 and were from Queens, New York. The Ramones were a huge success in the United Kingdom, and sparked a huge punk rock scene there. They took a small tour to London on a very low budget in 1976 and were a huge success. They inspired such bands as The Class, The Damned, and the Sex Pistols. In turn, these UK bands invigorated the punk bands of the United States such as The Misfits and Black Flag.
This post-1976 explosion of punk rock is known as the second wave. This wave of punk rock followed closely to its predecessor of garage rock and mainly conducted on a local level. They played at local nightclubs and set up their own shows at schools, garages, or warehouses. Punk rock artists promoted their own concerts with flyers and other various methods. This was all due to the do it yourself belief that many punk rockers followed in order to deter from their own commercial success and to stay original and worry free of everything. This belief is “punk’s enduring message and the one that most changed our culture.”
In the late 1970s, as punk rock began to attract more publicity, the entire punk rock movement branched out into several subgenres of punk rock. On one side of this spectrum, there were the New Wave and the Post-Punk bands, who were both experimental in their music. The New Wave music had a pop sound to it that appealed to the mainstream crowd. Unlike New Wave, Post-Punk was less pop and more of a gloomy and rough sound to it. Some former Post-Punk bands that smoothed out their music into a New Wave sound which enhanced their ability to become part of the mainstream U.S. audience.
On the other side of the diverging spectrum of punk rock music emerged the styles of hardcore punk, Oi!, and anarcho-punk. Hardcore punk exerted very fast and aggressive beats to deliver heavily political lyrics. During much of the...
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