Punk Rock Made Me Do It


The dictionary definition of punk is:
noun – 1. A loud, fast-moving and aggressive form of rock music, popular in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. 2. – a worthless person (often used as a general term of abuse).  

It’s all of that and more.  Punk came from the youth of the 1970’s and their anti-establishment view of society.  It started in the United Kingdom and Australia around the same time as it did in the United States, but became very popular in American music because of the aggressive sound. It was like rock-n-roll on steroids.  This genre was the answer to the extremely popular soft rock genre at the time.  It was as if the coming of age musicians in the early 70’s said “ok, enough of the soft rock and hippie music – let’s break stuff!”  For anyone who remembers this time, there were certain bands that stood out as the pioneers, as with any other genre. Some to check out are New York Dolls, The Ramones, Johnny Rotten, Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Misfits, and many more.  Some 1980’s popular punk bands include Bad Brains, Dead Kennedy’s, and Syd Barrett. Some 1990’s and early 2000’s is Green Day, Blink-182, and the Offspring.  So many genres sprung out of the punk genre, including Emo, Punkabilly, Rapcore, and the list goes on and on.

If you check out New York’s early legendary music club, CBGB’s, you’ll find it’s a “who’s who” of punk rock bands in the beginning stages of this cool genre.  Punk has had a huge impact on today’s sound.  The crunchy, distorted, electric guitar sound, heavy rhythmic beats (and cymbals), plus yelling vocal style makes this genre one that not every music listener loves.  But it’s one that I feel gave new life to music that started to become dull and boring.  It was an awakening!

I’ll leave you with a quote from a famous grunge rocker who was well known, not only for creating the genre (grunge not punk) but for his love of punk rock music;

“Punk rock should mean freedom, liking and excepting anything that you like. Playing whatever you want. As sloppy as you want. As long as it's good and it has passion” ~ Kurt Cobain

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David Hawkins