The Arrival Of Punk Rock
The Arrival Of Punk Rock
Author: Patrick Omari
Punk is described in the dictionary as a 'loud, fast-moving, and aggressive form of rock music, popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s'. So, with bands in the 90s and 00s still being labelled as punk, did it really end in the early 80s and if so, why did punk-rock disappear?
The style of music, attitude and fashion that would evolve into 'punk-rock' began with the garage rock bands of the late 1960s. Velvet Underground and the Stooges would pave the way for the mohawked, safety-pinned punks of the 1970s, with their raw sound and apparent embrace of the anti-image.
Punk rock, as we know it now, first surfaced in the mid 1970s when the USA, UK and Australia saw the arrival of fast, edgy, simple songs that shocked the music industry to its core. Punk evolved from garage rock and stripped music of its complexities to create a short, sharp sound that contrasted dramatically with the glam-rock and disco of the era.
The sounds coming from USA seemed to find their spiritual home in New York City at the CBGB club in Manhattan. CBGBs began life as a bar, before reopening as a rock club in late 1973. Early Television gigs would set the tone of the club, as the punk sound would gradually gain momentum in the New York music scene. The Ramones, godfathers of three-chord punk, would play their first gig at the venue on August 16, 1974.
Across the Atlantic Ocean, the British were in the middle of the recession and the working classes were looking for an outlet. The Sex Pistols, the new band managed by Malcolm McLaren, played their first ever gig at St. Martin's College on November 6, 1975. The Sex Pistols, fronted by punk icon Johnny Rotten, epitomised the anarchy, anger and fury of England's youth and quickly gained notoriety for their fast, furious and chaotic performances.
The influence of the Ramones clearly went further than the New York scene. Britain embraced the punk rock movement with some of the most-influential bands originating in the English scene, The Clash, The Damned and Buzzcocks as well as Cockney Rejects and Crass. However, punk wasn't limited to the UK and USA as the antipodean punks would follow on from the New York and London.
Australia was the next country to face the punk invasion when The Saints released their first single in 1976. Formed in Brisbane in 1974, The Saints demonstrated the same quick, raw sounds as their overseas contemporaries. Bob Geldof put the Australian band in the same bracket as the influential UK punks when he said "Rock music in the 70s was changed by three bands - the Sex Pistols, the Ramones and The Saints."
On December 1, 1976, the Sex Pistols appeared on Thames Today, a prime-time London TV show. The show's host, Bill Grundy, inadvisably goaded the band and provoked a foul-mouthed response from guitarist Steve Jones. The profanities would spark media controversy that would only serve to fuel the fire of punk in the British youth. Punk had truly arrived.
As punk moved from the underground clubs to the mainstream, the fashion, attitude and behaviour would be replicated. The Sex Pistols would self-destruct after just one studio album at the end of a tour of the US. At the end of a chaotic gig at the Winterland Ballroom on January 1978, Johnny Rotten addressed the crowd with "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?". This appeared to be mocking the crowd, however, it was the same feeling that Rotten had while playing in a band where he felt let down and isolated. Rotten left The Pistols and the band was finished.
Although the Pistols would attempt to carry under on under Malcolm McLaren's guidance, the band was finished. As soon as punk had arrived, the genre had its first high-profile casualty. The Ramones would continue touring and playing for about 22 years, with a consistent line-up. The Clash would evolve and develop, becoming a major success in the USA disappointing many of their original fan-base with their newer, polished sound.
Punk arrived amidst a barrage of spit and obscenities, with such a fierce intensity that its shelf-life was inevitably short. As soon as the mainstream caught on to its popularity in the underground, pop-culture diluted the anarchic, angry, rage into a more profitable and contrived revolution. Punk bands wore the right clothes and said the right things to make some people lot of money.
Malcolm McLaren would epitomise this attitude with the amount of merchandise, recordings and eventually a movie to which he would attach the Sex Pistols name. It had begun as a snarl against the establishment but had quickly become a way to make a lot of money from a few ambitious boys from London. The time had passed, punk had erupted and dissolved in a heartbeat, but its influence would be felt for many years to come.
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/music-articles/the-arrival-of-punk-rock-566924.html
About the Author:
Patrick is an expert Research and Travel consultant. His current interest is in Luton airport parking, Airparks Luton and Heathrow hotels.