English 102 Sec A
October 17, 2010
1970s Punk subculture Vs. Mainstreaming of Punk Today
In the 1970’s the punk subculture evolved and shocked the world. They flaunted their anti-conforming and anti-government beliefs. Punks everywhere stood their ground, and made it known to the world what they deeply believed in. In the decade since the punk revolution, they have become common in the realm of society. In comparison to the original years of the punk subculture, so many aspects of have changed to make it an ordinary part of the mainstream of society. Music has always been the soul of what defines a punk. In the beginning, the new and thriving bands were ...view middle of the document...
Ed Sanders, cofounder of the band The Fugs, was quoted describing a solo album of his as, “punk rock” (Matt Diehl 5). Punk rock began in New York City, and made its way through many small bars in Manhattan. CBGB, a now infamous club, was a “small dirty bar” that promoted many bands that are well-known today. The popular bands that originally appeared at CBGB were The Ramones, Blondie, and Richard Hell (Diehl 5). It was a trashy and wild environment, but the young bands were set on drawing attention to their music. Their music described every meaning behind their stark beliefs. Most of their lyrics referred to their anti-authoritarian and anti-conforming beliefs. In 1979, The Sex Pistol’s song “God Save The Queen” expresses punk’s anti-authoritarian beliefs with these lyrics, “God save the queen she ain’t no human being there is no future in England’s dreaming” (Sex Pistols). Early punk influenced defiance amongst the youth group who followed them. Greg Graffin, former band member of punk rock group Bad Religion states, “In the seventies, punk was different. It was about taking back rock-and- roll from what it had become.” (58).
Writer and journalist Matt Diehl states, “When punk rock began it was an underground revolution that raged against the mainstream; now punk is the mainstream” (Diehl 19). To punk patrons, their music was another way of expressing their passions, and standing up to the society. Kim Shannon, member of the punk community, shares that “Many people still hate punk music because they think it is a bunch of angry teenagers mad at the world, but there is more to the music than anger” (Shannon). Popular bands today are Good Charlotte, Simple Plan, and Green Day (Shannon). In the late 90’s, when Green Day came out, there music was played on the television show MTV for the entire mainstream to view. The typical lyrics of their songs are about hating life, being an outcast, or being raised by a single parent. Punk, nowadays, has taken on a new level since the day of political rebellion. Shannon states, “Some call themselves punks, yet they only listen to punk rock music, and do not believe any of the principles behind the lyrics.” When punk rock first came out, bands were happy to be recognized, and winning a Grammy award never crossed their minds. In 2004, popular punk band Green Day was awarded a Grammy. In a 2005 interview, Chuck Comeau, durmast for the band Simple Plan states,” It’s amazing and I am stoked that this kind of anti-establishment music can go on to win a Grammy from the most stuck-up organization in the music world” (Diehl 19). Today, more people outside the subculture follow punk music, and it has become a commonly recognized type of music.
The punk subculture originally consisted of white working class men, and a small amount of women, but today, there are many women that belong to the subculture. However, the few women that did belong helped pave the way for the woman that would soon follow. In Lauraine...