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Old 06-01-2010, 01:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I wrote this paper for a senior seminar class for school.. the class is rock n roll history, and I mainly just did it to get it done and it couldn't be too long.. it's seven pages double spaced, it was supposed to be 5-8 pages, I probably could have gone on for 10 or 11 at least, if I included everything I wanted to.. and my usual BS writing

So some is missing, discuss or just read I guess...


A wild ride, a horrifically wonderful journey, an absolutely absurd tale, and the most awe-inspiring nightmare ever are all ways to describe the history of the musical genre of punk rock. To truly comprehend this music, one must explore its beginnings, where it came from, the origin of it, the story of its peak of existence, where it is now, and speculate as to where it will be in the future. What is “Punk Rock?” Where did it come from? When and where was it created? Knowing the past of this important musical movement helps to better understand society today. It is important to acknowledge the cultural impact of the beginning, the past, and the present of the music experience of Punk Rock.

One of the most important pieces of punk rock history is the very beginning of Rock n Roll. Rock music formed from jazz and country into a more aggressive and sometimes abrasive sound. It was also pure, simple and passionate. Punk was directly influenced by some of the first, passion fueled rock artists like Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, and Elvis. “We wrote about things that affected us directly, you know, songs were like a release for um our frustrations, getting out our aggression. Songs dealt with feelings of alienation and isolation, you know, all kinds of things, you know, just feelings.” (Joey Ramone: Seven Ages of Rock) One of the most noticeable aspects of punk rock is the pure, unadulterated energy and emotion that was conveyed originally by the 50s and early 60s rock n roll groups.

As time drifted further into the sixties, new bands were coming out with a harder sound and a harder image. During the early and mid sixties many very important groups formed, such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Who, MC5, and The Kingsmen. Many of punk rock’s fore fathers were teenagers and exposed to this new form of rock n roll music. One of the most influential groups of punk, The Ramones, was much influenced by the popular 60s group, The Beach Boys. The Ramones went on to cover many of the Beach Boys’ songs with their own sound and aggression. A great number of bands that directly influenced punk rock formed and became popular in the early to mid sixties.

Another contribution to the formation of punk rock was from the garage rock groups of the mid and late 60s. Bands like The Troggs, Animals, McCoys, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Johnny Rivers, and The Trashmen directly added to the pool of influences for punk. The garage rock groups provided a much rawer and aggressive sound than heard before. This sound would be very popular among punk rock groups. Also, garage rock had its name given to it because many of the bands of the genre had a do it yourself attitude by recording and practicing in a garage rather than in a traditional recording or rehearsing studio. Not only were the recordings of the garage bands rawer and wilder, the shows were as well. “The mid to late '60s saw the appearance of the Stooges and the MC5 in Detroit. They were raw, crude and often political. Their concerts were often violent affairs, and they were opening the eyes of the music world.” (Ryan Cooper: A Brief History of Punk Rock). The garage bands provided the direction for the raw and loud sound that punk rock would encompass.

The last major influence on punk rock music is the glam rock of the early 1970s. Groups like David Bowie, New York Dolls, Mott The Hoople, and T Rex provided a look and some of the attitude that punk would be one of the main attractions of many people to punk rock music. Glam bands dressed very extravagantly, and they played loud abrasive sounding rock n roll, very influenced by the original 50s rock. Punk was greatly influenced by a much of the fashion sense and much of the musical attitude of glam rock. The early seventies glam bands really helped to form punk rock, and by the mid seventies, it was very much so starting to take shape.

“In the summer of 1974, four misfits from Queens (New York) began to play a new club on New York’s lower east side. The club was called CBGB’s. The band was the Ramones.” (Narrator: Seven Ages of Rock) The Ramones were one of the first, as we know the term today, punk rock bands. They had the raw sound of the sixties garage bands, the passion and originality of the 50s rock groups, and the look and attitude of the glam bands. They formed in 1974 and are debatably the first punk rock band. The Ramones truly ignited the punk scene in New York. They influenced a numerous bands with their new loud, aggressive, simplistic sound. Groups such as Television and The Patti Smith Group were also at the forefront of the New York punk scene. They each had their own distinct sound, but they had one thing in common. They played the legendary club CBGB’s.

The rock club CBGB’s started as a club for “folkies” or independent blues, bluegrass, and country players. In fact, the “C” stands for “Country,” the “BG” stands for “Bluegrass,” and the last “B” stands for “Blues.” The club opened for the aforementioned music to be played in 1973, but one year later a group’s manager came to the owner of the club asking to allow the band Television to play his club. “The beginning of what we now think of as CBGB came early on.
“I was on a ladder in front of the club fixing the awning in place, when I looked down to notice three scruffy dudes in torn jeans and T shirts looking up at me inquisitively.
"WHAT'S GOIN' ON?" or something of that nature, was the question they asked. They were Tom Verlaine, Richard Hell, and Richard Lloyd, three of the four members of the rock group "Television." A few days later, Terry Ork, Television's manager came around to try and get the band a gig at CBGB.
He was a pudgy little dynamo with a penchant for non-stop talking; energy and enthusiasm up to here. He believed Television was going to be the hottest new sound since John Cage first played his "clothes line."
Since at that time we weren't open on Sunday, I decided to give Television a try out, about three and a half weeks hence, on a Sunday.” (Hilly Krystal: CBGBs.com) After Television, many punk bands would play and be established at CBGB’s. Patti Smith, Lou Reed, Blondie, Elvis Costello, and many other influential punk acts would play CBGB’s throughout the 70s. CBGB’s opened the door for the genre to be accepted by the public and the music industry as a viable source of entertainment.

On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, in England, a punk rock scene of their own was developing. The British punk bands were influenced by the American groups that had just become popular, but they had a sound that was entirely their own. Another difference between the groups of each country was that the UK bands were much angrier and had politics as the topics of many of their songs. Some of the most notable political punk rock bands are The Clash, The Sex Pistols, and The Buzzcocks. These groups were much angrier and had more of a message than the American groups, who mostly sang about issues more direct to them like angst or their community. The English groups on the other hand were singing about things on a larger scale such as the government and society as a whole. Musically, the British groups were a bit more abrasive and did not take as much influence from the early rock n roll groups; they were in the here and now more than their past. Both counties’ bands were very powerful in punk rock and music as a whole.
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Old 06-01-2010, 01:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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As time drifted later into the seventies, the possibly, most important year for punk music came about. 1977, the year punk changed, the year of the “Blank Generation,” it was perhaps the most important year in punk rock. Many, many punk bands formed in 1977, in America and England. The groups that were already formed continued to flourish in this year. Some of the most important groups of the pivotal year were Talking Heads, Devo, Blondie, Elvis Costello, Dead Boys, The Dickies, The Sex Pistols, Crass, The Damned, and Boomtown Rats. Throughout the year 1977, punk rock was becoming more accepted by the record buying public, and the record companies selling the records wanted to record these groups. 1977 was one of the most important years for punk music, and it is debatably the most famous year.

As the seventies ended and the mark of the 1980s approached, punk rock was still flourishing and new subgenres were taking figure from the first punk rock groups. Types of music such as hardcore and powerpop were greatly and directly influenced by the punk movement and were very popular throughout the 80s. Some of the more famous hardcore bands included The Circle Jerks, The Germs, GBH, and Black Flag. Most of these groups were to be found in California, but Washington D.C. was starting to cultivate its legendary hardcore scene. Important power pop groups were Huey Lewis and the News, The Knack, and Squeeze. The power pop groups took more influence from the energy and passion rather than the aggression. These bands were also very influenced by the influences of the punk groups, like the Beach Boys and Beatles. Hardcore and power pop were the offspring of Punk Rock.

The film “The Decline of Western Civilization” was released in 1981. The film is a documentary featuring many interviews with the leaders of it, about the hardcore music scene in America. The film features many of the musicians and people behind the music such as Darby Crash, The Circle Jerks, Alice Bag, and Jane Doe, all of whom were pioneers in the hardcore music scene. The music shows a very ironic side of punk rock, it breaks some of the stereotypes and generalizations about punk, and it reaffirms some stereotypes and generalizations as well. The movie was essential in bringing knowledge of it to the people outside of the punk community.
Throughout the 80s and 90s, punk began to have more of an impact outside of its own musical community. Genres like thrash metal, pop-punk, and even some pop featured elements of punk in the 1980s. By the 90s, grunge and alternative rock were formed, and pop-punk became very popular. With all of these now popular sub-genres, punk in its purest form slipped into the underground and almost faded away. The mid and late 90s were a quiet period for punk music. Every genre has their down time, but the outlook was not looking good for original punk rock bands, the genre almost ceased to exist. Sure enough though, in the spirit of punk rock it would not die easily and by the beginning of the 2000s punk began to make a come back.

The 2000s ushered is a wave of new music and punk rock. New genres were coming out that were very influenced by punk. Genres like ska, emo, and new pop punk. Bands such as Rancid, Simple Plan, and Fountains of Wayne are examples of this new generation of punk rock. Many people will say that punk is no longer an existing genre, but there are plenty of bands with the passion and drive of the pioneers of this musically extravagant expedition. Punk rock is drawn from roots in 50s rock n roll, and it has made a gigantic impact in music from its beginning in the seventies with the Ramones and Sex Pistols to its present day status. Punk rock is a very important genre of music and pop culture phenomenon and its impact has greatly affected society as it is known today.
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Good Read Eberg!! I wish there was a Rock & Roll History class when I was in school. After Reading it, it seems that you really care about Punk music. What I mean is that it reminds me a bit of myself. If I bought a record that I liked,it wasn't enough that I liked the album I had to dig & find out more about the artist & their early influences which in turn would help me discover other artists.
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by rtbuck View Post
Good Read Eberg!! I wish there was a Rock & Roll History class when I was in school. After Reading it, it seems that you really care about Punk music. What I mean is that it reminds me a bit of myself. If I bought a record that I liked,it wasn't enough that I liked the album I had to dig & find out more about the artist & their early influences which in turn would help me discover other artists.
The class itself was pretty lame, there wasn't a lot to it, and I learned more in 7 months here... easily.. by far but writing the paper was kind of cool, if I had more time I may put a bit more effort into it, but I'm a little behind(like always) The influences make the music have more depth IMO Also, I even sometimes wind up liking the influences as much if not more than than artist I just listened to... that's how I got into older music.. I just kept finding what the artists I liked, liked and it kepts going back further to what I listen to now.. of course with opening and expanding
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thats terrific Eberg !

Well written and thought out ...I like the personal feel with the facts. Your a fine writer!

I see the love for the music and my one comment is : I'm glad a new generation listens to Punk (or classic rock in general) I'm proud of you lol !


I remember writing a paper defending Rock Music for English Lit in college . It was fun . It was from the genre that I was a lawyer and Rock Music was my client lol
I wanted to send it to The P.M.R.C , lol...

anyway good job !
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Nice work, Eberg. When you read someone's personal views on an entire genre, it really does make you back up and re-evaluate how you feel about that genre. I know I was never a big fan of punk rock, but now that I am a bit older, I have to say I am taking another look (and listen) to some of the music. I always found punk rock to be the awe-inspiring nightmare, but I was never "rebel" enough to truly understand the music.
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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nice read although I don't agree with some of it.
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Nice job, eberg....although, punk ain't my thing. Ramones and Clash are as punk as I get...but, that was a good read.

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Old 06-01-2010, 11:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks Groovy

Originally Posted by Astrid Kirchherr65 View Post
Thats terrific Eberg !

Well written and thought out ...I like the personal feel with the facts. Your a fine writer!

I see the love for the music and my one comment is : I'm glad a new generation listens to Punk (or classic rock in general) I'm proud of you lol !


I remember writing a paper defending Rock Music for English Lit in college . It was fun . It was from the genre that I was a lawyer and Rock Music was my client lol
I wanted to send it to The P.M.R.C , lol...

anyway good job !

You still have a copy of that paper anywhere? That would be one of those thigns that would be cool to see now..
Originally Posted by Magic View Post
Nice work, Eberg. When you read someone's personal views on an entire genre, it really does make you back up and re-evaluate how you feel about that genre. I know I was never a big fan of punk rock, but now that I am a bit older, I have to say I am taking another look (and listen) to some of the music. I always found punk rock to be the awe-inspiring nightmare, but I was never "rebel" enough to truly understand the music.

Some of it's a little more about fun and feeling than rebellion.. some of my favorite punk tunes are more about the raw fun than the angry stuff
Originally Posted by Aktivator View Post
nice read although I don't agree with some of it.
Thanks AK, there are a few bits I sort of fabricated my own beliefs into something I though the teacher might rather hear, but for the most part they are my original views...

Any specifics though?
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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That's a very good write-up, eberg15101.

It was interesting to say the least as to how the Punk and Post-Punk scenes developed back then, and where everyone eventually settled-in at in terms of being labeled.

The Sex Pistols and The Ramones were died-in-the-wool punk bands of course and only found airplay on L.A.'s only alternative radio station, KROQ, but no one at first knew what to make of Blondie, Tom Petty (that's right... Tom Petty), Talking Heads, Dire Straits, Elvis Costello and The Cars -- later to be followed by bands like Devo, The B52's and The Police.

But they were all eventually catagorized, and sent off to their respective radio stations, and by 1979 the "New Wave" movement was well underway playing Punk, Post-Punk and Synth/Pop groups that didn't conform to the rock radio mold. Those were the days...

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