The first known usage of the saying ‘Punk’ to explain a ring or a kind of music was at the March 22, 1970, edition of the Chicago Tribune when Ed Sanders of the group The Fugs known his debut solo album as “Punk rock – redneck sentimentality”.
However, the most commonly accepted version of the term ‘Punk Rock’ is thought to have been coined by rock critic David Marsh, when he used it to describe the music of? But despite Marsh’s version of punk being a million miles away from what would eventually develop into the posturing acts of Punk as we know it today, this exciting new term was soon being adopted by many rock music journalists to describe the raw musical sounds that were being heard all around them.
Ten years earlier, from 1963-1967, American ‘Garage’ or ‘Proto-Punk’ bands like The Sonics, The Iguanas, and MC5 were playing their brand of rock’n’roll, mostly laying down the foundations for the emergence of what punk was going to become. And by the early to mid-1970’s, bands like New York Dolls, The Stooges, Ramones, Television, Patti Smith and Blondie were taking the raw energy of their 60’s counterparts to the next level, and began producing the distinctive sound of what was to become the first wave of USA Punk.
By 1976, ‘Punk Magazine’ creators John Holmstrom and Legs McNeill were using the term ‘Punk Rock’ on a regular basis, leading to its worldwide acceptance as the definition for the new bands which were producing this dynamic sound. Meanwhile, in London, The Sex Pistols had already formed and due to the theatrical attention they received from the British Press, on January 4, 1977, the term “Punk” was officially created and accepted as a significant cultural phenomenon. For hire bands in Melbourne you can contact Craig Francis-Music.A vibrant Punk scene soon developed and, together with The Sex Pistols, UK bands like The Clash, The Damned, The Adicts and The Buzzcocks were soon being recognised as the vanguard of a new musical movement.
The Punk rock movement quickly started to spread all over the world and what followed were raw, fast-paced and confronted images and sounded full of defiance, nihilism, anger and energy. And though the music – half sung, half screamed – savagely attacked the status quo making them instant villains, the fashion also took on a life of its own.
The political and social agendas of both the USA and the UK had a significant part to play within this Punk explosion. In the USA the economy was slipping, and the hardships of the economic recession together with the continuing rise of inner-city poverty meant that crime rates, using recreational drugs, and mistrust in the American government amongst blue collar workers was on the upswing. While in the united kingdom, the iron rule of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was causing devastation in the social fabric of the industrial cities, where unemployment and poverty reached unprecedented levels and racial tensions were brooding.
“The difference between the united kingdom and the USA was both quality and quantity: the USA had many more teenagers who were genuinely frustrated and identified with the new wave and punk-rock, whereas the UK had fewer punks which were real punks but those who were… were extremely violent. In the united kingdom, the masses loved the phenomenon: it soon became cool to dress as a Punk. Consequently, in a couple of months, London alone had much more Punk bands than the whole USA.
In a couple of months, both the underground and the mainstream press were afloat in reportages about the Punk scene, mirroring closely what had happened in ‘swinging London’… The real Punks had enough loathing for society in their lungs to scream over the fad. It was not anger; it was not depression: it was sheer hatred. They wanted the battle, and they never missed an opportunity to get in trouble.
Their music was the ultimate in simplicity: just scream a refrain as loud and potential and as quickly as possible. Arrangements became an embarrassing attribute of this bourgeois society. Maniacal approaches were welcome. Songs shrank and shrank: basically, the title was most of the song. It was the ultimate in ‘generational anthem’: the song was a motto, a slogan and little else. In Britain, it became a mixture of style and unemployment. Add the pre-existing “hooligan” phenomenon and a passion for drinking and fighting, and ‘Punk’ came to mean something a lot more serious than the Ramones ever intended: it ignited an explosive combination of social and financial issues.”
THE BIRTH OF MELBOURNE PUNK:
While the early American and British Punk movements have been well documented, what a lot of people might not be aware of is that Australian musicians played and recorded a few of the first Punk music in history and the Melbourne independent music scene of today has its roots firmly based in the music and culture of Australian inner city regions from the mid to late 1970s.
In 1972, five years before Punk officially emerged, dances and concerts around Melbourne became battlegrounds between rival Sharpie gangs, fuelled by the music of the Coloured Balls. The lead singer of the Coloured Balls and Godfather of heavy rock in Australia, Lobby Loyde, has been hailed as a punk influence who has inspired many Australian bands to step forward and play as loud and aggressively as they could. With an aesthetic push that fused hippie philosophy to volcanic rock’n’roll, the group ended up being one of the most misunderstood bands of the early 1970s. The mainstream media branded them as anti-social misfits, due in no small degree to their single-minded performances, the adoption of the (then prevalent) Sharpie haircut and the aggressive nature of their Sharpie following.