Walala Essay, Research Paper
Did you know that the first commercially successful punk bandwas the Sex Pistols? Then came groups like Black Flag, Husker Du,and Bad Brains. Punk was invented in Britain in the mid Seventies.The first American punk started in a New York club called CBGB’s.CBGB’s would attract a crowd of about 500 with its Sunday-afternoonhard-core matinees. The concerts would be over by a reasonabletime so kids could get home to eat dinner with their parents. Inthis paper we will take a look at some history and aspects of punkrock over the years. Slam Dancing Slam dancing has been popular through the history of punk.You may have heard of called “mashing” or “stage diving.” Mashingis just a big game of bumper cars like you played when you were akid. I think Natalie Jacobson who is dating the lead singer of”Murphy’s Law” describes stage diving best when says, “It’s likediving into a human carpet. Something like the old kids’ trustgame. Just my way of getting into it. Gospel people got theirthing, I got mine.”1 Politics Some punks consider themselves Nazis’, or are concerned withissues like peace, racism, and nuclear war. Most punk is againstparental, musical, and political authorities. On the other handsome isn’t. Bob Mould of Husker Du talks about politics quitefrequently in his songs. I don’t write about politics because I’m not an expert. Some bands find it very necessary to claim they’re politically relevant when in actuality they don’t know shit about politics. Not informing people is much better than misinforming people. We’re sort of like reporters in a way. Reporters of our own mental state. Reporters of the state of the air. Consciousness. Of the day. We make personal statements.2 Friends Most punks that live in small towns have trouble makingfriends. They find it hard to relate to most people. Sixteen-year-old Becca Levine finds it hard to make friends in her smalltown. She comes from a family of divorced parents that never haveunderstood her. Her mother thinks it’s just a phase she’s goingthrough. As Becca Quotes, “Parents around here treat me like I’mkind of weird.”3 She has met someone from New York City thatunderstands her. She meets with him at concerts at clubs like theRitz or CBGB’s. She met someone else also. Someone about 20minutes away from her hometown who wrote an ad in a nationalmagazine looking for someone to associate with that wouldunderstand him. He got a lot of responses, but when he saw theletter from Becca he called her right up. They met for the firsttime at a Hard-Core show in New York City. But still no one in herhometown understands her. Fitting in with the New York hard-corescene is one of her goals. Clothing Punk has its very own unique style. Although punk sports hardedges, bright colors, shaved heads, leather jackets, Mohawks, and
army boots. You can’t really tell if a person is a punk by the waythey dress or do their hair. Wanda Draper, professor of psychiatryand behavioral sciences at the University of Oklahoma says, “Weneed to look at their reactions and responses to what goes onaround them in everyday life. When we know that this is a fad-thatit is an effort to be a part of the ‘group’-we can usually relax.”4 Development of Punk Through the years some punk has had influences from country tothe Grateful Dead. Some of this may not even be punk at all. TakeRancid’s song “Time Bomb” off their latest album, “…And Out Comethe Wolves”5 for instance. It is their rendition of Reggae. Most punk groups don’t make much money at all. Once in awhile a punk group will hit it big time but that is very rare.Paul Westerbert, lead singer of the Replacements quotes, “We are the hungriest band I’ve ever seen. We get in the van and drive to a town, play, stay at a friend’s house. Wake up when they throw us out. Drive the rest of the day. Play the next night. We get fifteen dollars a day. And when we’re home, we don’t get nothing. We’re way in debt. We own a van, it breaks down, and you know when you play that the gig money goes to pay for the broken- down van. We’re used to it.6 Relation Punk is also related to Hard-Core and Ska. Hard-Core isusually heavier and more upbeat the regular punk. Ska is punk withsome trumpets or saxophones playing along. Punk Is Still Going Strong Drugs, rock star ego’s, and in some cases death ruined thedevelopment of punk bands back around 1980 like the Sex Pistols,Black Flag, and The Germs. It made a recent comeback in the earlynineties. Julia Sazbo quotes, “Music lovers will argue that it allstarted in early 1993 when Rhino Records came out with D.I.Y. (DoIt Yourself), a nine-volume aural history of punk. They came toursby the Ramones, the Stranglers, and Television.”7 Believe it ornot. Punk has been and still is surviving mostly on minor labels. Endnotes 1 Blauner, Peter. “Hard-Core Kids.” New York. 26 May 1986:41. 2 Goldberg, Micheal. “Punk Lives.” Rolling Stone. 18 July-1August 1985: 30. 3 Blauner, Peter. “Hard-Core Kids.” New York. 26 May 1986:40. 4 “Draper, Wanda. “Punk Look–Fad or Defiance?” USA Today.April 1990: 14. 5 Song. “Time Bomb.” …And Out Come the Wolves. Performedby Rancid. Epitaph, 86434-2, 1995. 6 Goldberg, Micheal. “Punk Lives.” Rolling Stone. 18 July-1August 1985: 30. 7 Szabo, Julia. “Think Punk.” Harper’s Bazaar. November1993: 53. BibliographyBlauner, Peter. “Hard-Core Kids.” New York. 26 May 1986: 41. Goldberg, Micheal. “Punk Lives.” Rolling Stone. 18 July-1 August 1985: 30. “Draper, Wanda. “Punk Look–Fad or Defiance?” USA Today. April 1990: 14. Song. “Time Bomb.” …And Out Come the Wolves. Performed by Rancid. Epitaph, 86434-2, 1995. Szabo, Julia. “Think Punk.” Harper’s Bazaar. November 1993: 53.