The attitude common in the subculture is the resistance to selling out, which means abandoning one’s values and changing in musical style toward pop to embrace anything that’s mainstream capitalist culture in the exchange for money, status, or power. Punk rocks’ common thinking wasn’t only anti-authoritarism, and not selling out but also non-conformity, direct action, and a DIY ethic. The DIY attitude was pointed towards stepping forward and speaking without any restraint. To fight with warrior qualities to achieve what you were striving for. The kind of thinking and motives for punk rock subjects was to not settle for what society made acceptable and standard but to think and work outside of the box that was holding them in.
Both disco and punk “encouraged energetic public action”. Disco entertained people, and punk led youth aggressive. These built the rise of punk and disco in the late
“He [Pearson’s father] would freak out when he read the song titles to the cassettes that my friends and I would shoplift from the mall…He was certain that I’d become a Junkie if I listened to that kind of music. But with an alcoholic wife-beater father who didn’t give a shit about his son I was bound to avoid the cliched, nihilist aspects of punk culture” (Pearson 12).
Music, in the past, has often spelled bad news to society at large. It can challenge norms and invoke a sense of hype in places that modern culture may be uncomfortable with, such as sex, sexuality, and drugs. Personally, when I think of punk music, I see a genre that stands to be individualistic, aggressive, and rebellious. Phrases such as ‘anti-establishment’ also come up. This notion comes from many aspects of punk subculture, including dress, music, performance, and my interpretations.
Nevertheless, punk shouldn’t be held to such high standards of influence. It’s influential; it’s something that made misfits feel as though they had a place, but not something to be held to the unattainably high standards. All things considered, it did do something positive, it provided a home and inclusive environment for those who were frustrated and just plain angry.
Anti-conformity has always been a prominent thread running through punk. The unofficial creed has always been that to truly define yourself you can’t be like your parents or your friends. You have to be yourself and to cut yourself out of stone. Each punk band you ever encounter will be slightly different from all the others. Some bands are lyrically different for their song lyrics, some for their guitar chords, and some for the theme of their music. But whatever the music is about, you can always be assured that it will be high energy, raw, and honest. The
Most of the original rebellion was directed towards the British class structure. They wanted to express their disapproval of the structure that governed their country. In The Jam’s “Eton Rifles”, the band sarcastically attacks the upper class, calling them arrogant and preaching to them that rugby is the only thing making them strong (Punk 68). The Sex Pistols’ album “God Save The Queen” portrays the Queen of England with a safety pin through her nose on their cover. The reaction to this outburst of shocking rebellion from the mainstream society was a strong, displeased one. American writer Greil Marcus defined punk as, “…refusing the future society has planned for you.” Thousands of social misfits attempted just that. Through the many causes for this rebellious political expression: communism, anarchy, feminism, etc., the punks of England had a focus and a reason. It was this that made the “punk” a valid, yet undesired member of society, and the British public got to see this sociological change first hand (Chamberlain par.8). Although this movement was short lived, its impact was a phenomenon, and its effects were long- lasting, which distinguished this group from previous generations.
The most well know band like Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Sex Pistols, Ramones, Genesis, all took a huge hit during the 1970s. During this time it was usually always played in the wide open where everyone could always hear it. In 1976 rock and roll started to give a disco feeling to it which created the genre punk rock. The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, and many more originated from this genre. Glam Rock which also came to be in the seventies was described as rock and roll with lipstick. The music in the protocolar genre shined with a glitter like feeling. Led Zeppelin became really huge in the 70s recording up to ten albums, but broke up in the 80s when one of the members died.
One of the major underlying conventions of punk music is that it tends to reject an association with the mainstream. Punk rock is an all-encompassing out of the ordinary form of music. It goes against mainstream ideals in every possible way, from its grungy sound to the off-putting lyrics and influential ethos. Anti-Flag’s lyrics, message and political/social influences are a perfect example of what the 21st century punk ethos is and means.
Martinez seems to feel that “the nature of the punk movements [sic] anti-authoritarian, anti-market stance raises a stronger possibility for how popular music can become a platform to challenge oppressive socioeconomic systems and politically fraught environments”. He gives the example of the Sex Pistols, a British punk band that exploded in popularity as well as provoked public ire with their outrageousness in the late 1970’s. For example, the band’s drummer, Steve Jones, was infamously rude and swore several times during a television interview in December 1976. However, these sort of incidents turned into publicity stunts that attracted immense popularity to the band and brought them fame, deserved or not, all over the United Kingdom, making them a household name and not an underground, anti-populist group in any form. They became pop music and therefore became irrelevant both in the main part of the United Kingdom as well as in Northern Ireland insofar as the desire to run against the status quo was
Punk rock music has been used for decades to express dissatisfaction with society, government, or any idea common in mainstream media. Yet punk rock is not simply a tangent of the mainstream, it is a dynamic and fluid genre with many distinct songs. Don Letts, a mainstay in the London punk scene during the 70’s and 80’s, went as far to say that hip-hop was essentially “black” punk. While punk and hip-hop music are stylistically different, the fundamental tone of the two genres is the same. Even throughout the decades, hip-hop has sang the same issues as punk, including the plight of the lower class, police brutality, and gang violence.
American musician and singer-songwriter of the Ramones, Jeffrey Ross Hyman, known to the public as Joey Ramone, once said “To me, punk is about being an individual and going against the grain and standing up and saying 'This is who I am’” (BrainyQuote). Punk has been present in music since the 1960s, where it was starting to form in the garages of starting out musicians that did not have any regulations to follow, simply because of the fact they didn’t know the ‘rules’ of music. Most of this early punk music was unadulterated and often political, showing the thoughts and feelings of the writer (Cooper). Meanwhile, about a decade later in the 1970s, a new style of punk was forming. Combining elements of punk and mainstream music styles established a new genre of music, commonly known today as ‘pop punk’ (B.). While pop punk music branched off of punk, they both have their distinct features of what makes them unique.
Furthermore, the same attitude was present among early punk bands in Britain what is best represented with the words “punk's nihilistic swagger was the most thrilling thing in England “ . So in the early beginnings, it was considered as immoral music that is the representative of new decadent values. Same thing happened with punk. Admirers or players of punk music started saying things that were not part of the regime, their clothes appeared to provoke and mock suits and formal dressing of the elite. The privileged ones for them were the government, so punk’s white leather jackets piped jeans, extremely short skirt and crazy hairstyles in different colors served the purpose of making them unique. Punk was not as subtle as hippie or jazz period, punk was an instant punch in the face of the regime, culture, and dogma. During the period of punk flourishing, the anarchist activity was low, so punk as a cultural phenomenon help in wide spreading its idea. By doing this, the anarchism becomes popular within this subculture, but an associating theory with some culture made it limiting to the remaining audience .Very often punk and anarchism have been identified with violence, riots, disorganization etc. Because of that, the main aim of this essay is to offer valid arguments that will demystify these wrong
Genres like punk rock and disco were a bi-product of a changing generation who were breaking boundaries faster than any generation before. We envision the 60’s-80’s as an era epitomised by outrageous fashion statements, blatant use of drink and drugs and a generally rebellious, reckless attitude to life. I find myself linking this to films like The Boat that Rocked, which, whilst possibly not being completely accurate, seem to capture and portray that restless, rebellious spirit very well.