|Posted on Sunday, September 8, 2002 - 6:56 am: |
As a student of apocalyptic literature, I'll point out that the belief in an immenant eschaton and a desire to see the present order destroyed does not preclude one from desiring to see a better world created from the aftermath. In fact, it almost always requires that.
Yankee dollar talk
To the dictators of the world
In fact it's giving orders
An' they can't afford to miss a word
From Genesis to Revelation
The next generation will be hear me
White youth, black youth
Better find another solution
Why not phone up Robin Hood
And ask him for some wealth distribution
Punk rockers in the UK
They won't notice anyway
They're all too busy fighting
For a good place under the lighting
The new groups are not concerned
With what there is to be learned
They got Burton suits, ha you think it's funny
Turning rebellion into money
All from the Clash's first album. All pretty progressive, socially conscious, and concerned about this world. The quote from "White Man In Hammersmith Palais" is mocking the newer punk bands for NOT being political enough.
If you are going to get to the point that you are dissecting one of the seminal albums of the genre and throwing out anything that you don't consider "punk enough", then you have proven how meaningless your definition is.
|Posted on Sunday, September 8, 2002 - 2:40 am: |
Where is the core of altruism in lyrics like "No feelings for anybody else, I'm in love with my self" ?
What does "Get pissed, destroy" mean if not get pissed and destroy things? (Pissed as in the UK usage i.e. drunk, not as in pissed off).
"too many Jews for my liking" Siouxsee Banshee. Loads of altruism in those lyrics?
Punk was not about shaking up preconceptions it was about destroying things just for the hell of it. Someone like Sid Vicious wouldn't have know what a preconception was let alone try to rid others of theirs. He just wanted to stick his head in a bag of glue, smash things up for kicks and then stick a needle in his arm. That was what Punk was. There were no goals, no visions for the future, indeed no concern at all about the future.
Smash things up because YOU feel like it and screw anybody else, that's all Punk was. That is why all the altruistic, green, pseudo-punk stuff that followed Punk's demise was not Punk. When you give Punk a meaningful purpose it ceases to be Punk.
"...a spiteful child throwing a tantrum and breaking stuff to get back at his parents."
That's more or less it, just throw in a few bags of glue and some heroin and you've got Punk.
|Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 11:07 pm: |
I watched BAISE MOI last night. Its a French porno splatter fest thats part THELMA AND LOUISE, JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT and MAN BITES DOG. Its tries pretty hard to make some feminist statement
about guns, power, pornography and the media. But, all I remember is a scene where a chick sticks a gun barrel up a dude's asshole and pulls the trigger. That was kind of shocking.
|Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 10:36 pm: |
Anybody who says nothing shocks anymore has not spent much time south of the Mason-Dixon, or more than 50 miles from any major city. Marilyn Fucking Manson still manages to shock people recycling Alice Cooper's 30-year-old schtick. Shocking is easy. Hence: Tom Green. Shocking in a manner which stimulates thought, THAT'S where the art comes in...
|Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 9:49 pm: |
In God We Trust, Inc. was the first "punk" album I ever owned, given to me by my brother for my 13th birthday. I guess he was tired of me listening to Steppenwolf. Good man.
The DKs were the first band I ever saw live as a teenager (I had seen Devo years before as a youngster). It was in Chicago, 1985. I smoked pot for the first time that night (and lots of it). Naked Raygun opened up the show. I saw them countless times after that, but never again saw the DKs. They never came back to Chicago after that.
The DKs gave away a free 45 of Halloween with Saturday Night Massacre on the flipside. I had two copies but sent one to Head a few months ago. Maybe he can post a scan of the cover art.
The morning after the show, the William "Refrigerator" Perry barrelled into the end-zone against the Packers. Interesting weekend.
|Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 9:39 pm: |
Punk ain't no religious cult
Punk means thinking for yourself
You ain't hardcore cos you spike your hair
When a jock still lives inside your head
Nazi punks-Fuck Off!
Nazi punks-Fuck Off!
If you've come to fight, get outa here
You ain't no better than the bouncers
We ain't trying to be police
When you ape the cops it ain't anarchy
Ten guys jump one, what a man
You fight each other, the police state wins
Stab your backs when you trash our halls
Trash a bank if you've got real balls
You still think swastikas look cool
The real nazis run your schools
They're coaches, businessmen and cops
In a real fourth reich you'll be the first to go
You'll be the first to go
You'll be the first to go
You'll be the first to go
Unless you think
|Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 9:29 pm: |
"From what I can see, punk was/is generally about as liberating as a spiteful child throwing a tantrum and breaking stuff to get back at his parents."
Don't knock it 'til you tried it.
|Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 8:40 pm: |
There is a core of altruism in it.
Of not being able, as much as you may despise them, of leaving the rest of humanity to drown in their own pee pee.
Otherwise, as you say, better to ignore the rest of them.
|Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 7:18 pm: |
Kids carving swastikas in their desks is about right, from my perspective. All this pontification about the importance and meaning of punk is scarcely discernable from stuffy history professors arguing about the importance of some Lord-or-other to me. The only 'punks' I ever knew of were fashion poseurs grasping for something that had the mentioned "shock value". I could never understand the whole dynamic. Why invest so much of one's identity in trying to shock and spite those you purport to find worthless and disdainful? Why not rather mind your own business, ignore them, and create yourself independent of any other-directed fixation, conformist or non-conformist? Later I got into western philosophy and found that Hegel had laid this insight out in his "master/slave dilemma". Whew! I was no nuttier than some German dude who wrote 1000+ page books on phenomenology!
From what I can see, punk was/is generally about as liberating as a spiteful child throwing a tantrum and breaking stuff to get back at his parents. If he truly wanted liberation he would calmly pack his bags and hit the road.
|Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 7:15 pm: |
Shock is one device- and it is pretty much used up for the moment.
Yet, there is still the creepy and the odd.
Anything that causes a re-evaluation of incoming sensory data, by first convincing the target that they have not correctly processed the data using existing mental filters/shortcuts.
In other words, the guy who plucks the chickens on the chicken dis-assembly line has seen about a million fucking chickens.
If a chicken came down the line and said 'he buddy- can you spare a cigarette?' he'd be looking with fresh eyes at them chickens for a little while.
|Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 7:08 pm: |
Indeed, and nothing shocks anymore. Hence Punk is dead. The bad guys won. Usurped.
|Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 6:57 pm: |
It's the same as a boy in a dress, or a safety pin through the nose etc etc etc.
Shock had value. It was the purpose of the shock, not it's vehicle.
|Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 2:09 pm: |
I don't think Sid was paying attention in History class. I think to him and other Punks who used the swastika it was just a way to piss off their parents who took those symbols seriously. I'm of that same generation and I remember kids carving swastikas into their desks and drawing them on their arms. They had no clue as to what it really stood for, only that it really got a rise out of the teachers and parents.
As to The Ramones, since they were all brothers it stands to reason that they were all Jewish, right? But seriously, I think two or three of them were Jewish, and I think the above held true for them, too.
|Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 2:08 pm: |
Christ on a crutch.
Shaking up preconceptions was and is a very, very big part of punk.
Questioning the canon violently, to make people wake up and really listen or really do what they are trying to do.
To strip away the layers of crap. To make you play actual rock and roll, whether you know how or not, that sounds like a dream tho it has but three chords.
Just like the blues. Because you feel it, and that transmits, because it is real music instead of an empty pretend.
The same with art.
Skill is secondary, technique is a tool, without the soul the thing is mockery, blasphemy.
To achieve that state of wakefulness, it is necessary often to be shocked into the state.
Jews in swastikas did that.
From the American punk side of things, yes, there were more often than not subtle and veiled meanings. That was part of the point- listen critically, for what is really being said, don't take it at face value.
Because a man wears a cross does NOT make him chrsitian- listen to his words, see what he does.
Because your boss is in his position does NOT make him suited for it. Listen, watch. Critically.
These are the lessons of American punk.
Destruction is not and never was the point.
|Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 11:12 am: |
"That wasn't the Pistols, that was Ronnie Biggs accompanied by Cook and Jones, well after the Pistols broke up." Perhaps, but it was included on the Great Rock n Roll Swindle album therefore associating it with the Sex Pistols. Anyway Sid Vicious wouldn't have objected to such lyrics, his swastika t-shirt seemed to be one of his favouite items of clothing.
Were all the Ramones Jewish? I know Joey Ramone was. They sure liked their Nazi stuff, particularly Johnny. Maybe it was a Jewish self-hate thing or something.
|Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 10:05 am: |
The hit version of "Surfin' Bird" was recorded by The Trashmen. And yeah, they were punks.
|Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 8:32 am: |
I think somebody could write a great piece on Punk and Race. Iggy Pop said that the Stooges sound (the blueprint for Punk) was R'N'B with the Soul taken out. He had been playing in Blues groups with Black guys and thought "This isn't my music, I'm not Black. I'm a faker." So he played hard Rock with all the Black inflections and swing and soul taken out. Not a racist thing, he was just being honest. That's why Punk doesn't sound like the Rolling Stones or Led Zepplin or other white guys trying to sound Black. I think The Clash did the same thing with Reggae: took the beat and dropped all the Jamaican inflections and played it very fast and hard. You can pinpoint when The Clash became Post-Punk when they put the Black influences back in their music.
Oh, and the Banshees did not come before the Sex Pistols. The Pistols were fully formed and gigging in 1975. Siouxie was a friend of theirs who started The Banshees in 1976. They played their first gig on Sept 20, 1976, yes, with Sid on drums. I've got a tape of that one. Ouch!!
|Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 7:38 am: |
"What about the Pistols lyric "God bless Martin Boorman and Nazis on the run, they wasn't being wicked God they were only having fun" ?"
That wasn't the Pistols, that was Ronnie Biggs accompanied by Cook and Jones, well after the Pistols broke up.
And, as for The Ramones, they were Jewish weren't they?
|Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 4:58 am: |
The Pistols covered C'mon everybody by the 'Grandfather of Punk' Eddie Cochran. What about the Ramones cover of Surfin' bird? Does that make the Beach Boys the Godfathers of Punk?
No doubt, Marc, you are able to see the deeper meaning of Punk lyrics, you can see behind the veil. I thought Punk was upfront and in your face, it seems I am wrong. They were in fact deep-thinking philosophers and creative artists, they were not in fact just out to smash and destroy.
|Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 1:39 am: |
I can tell you one thing that ain't punk:
this whole fucking discussion.
|Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 1:38 am: |
taking any Ramone lyric at face value is pretty damned silly. But, of course you have no sense of humor.
|Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 1:13 am: |
The Clash, The Jam, the Buzzcocks, the Damned all continued for some time, and while some of them obviously evolved beyond the genre, some clearly remained unquestionably punk.
The Clash started playing White-Reggae, The Jam became, the Buzzcocks became an irrelevance and The Damned's Captain Sensible started singing songs about the South Seas Islands. Punk was dead.
As for "inflammable material", the album may have been released in February 1979 but the songs were written in 1978, and yes it is a Punk album. Stiff Little Fingers had been playing gigs in Belfast since 1977 and were well established locally before their first album. Inflammable Material was the first Stiff Little Fingers album and their last Punk album, none of their following albums can be described as Punk.
|Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 12:50 am: |
"Listen, are you willing to accept that there was a movement, here in the US, which called itself "Punk", and which was clearly influenced by the aesthetics of those you would describe as "Punk", but expanded upon the idea?"
Punk wasn't a progressive idea. It was not something that could be expanded upon. Punk was against progression, the notion that there was a Punk idea that could be expanded on misses the point. There was no point to Punk other than smashing the place up.
So call it 'American Hardcore Punk' or whatever. It wasn't Punk and Punk was dead.
|Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 12:44 am: |
What about the Pistols lyric "God bless Martin Boorman and Nazis on the run, they wasn't being wicked God they were only having fun" ?
And what about the Ramones lyric "I'm a Nazi Baby, I'm Nazi yes I am. I'm a Nazi Sergeant, I'll fight for the Fatherland" ?
The punks may not have been facist but neither were they anti-facist.
As for Sham 69? They were not a skinhead band.
An interesting story about my Skinhead friend (who shall remain nameless). He was at a Sham 69 concert once. He and all the other Skins were at the front of the stage jumping about and doing Skinhead things when Jimmy Purcey more or less told the rest of the crowd to attack the skinhead scumbags at the front. My freind looked back and said all he saw was thousands of lank greasy haired sorts surging towards a hundred skins at the front. So the Skinheads ran for their only escape route, they stormed the stage, ran backstage through a maze of corridors and out a fire exit. As my freind ran on stage his exit route was blocked by Jimmy Purcey, so he landed a punch on Jimmy Purcey which sent Purcey flying into the drum kit.
|Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 12:37 am: |
"WAR" "We don't want your war!"
A buddy of mine, in high school, had a 2 foot Mohawk...He used to sit on the floor and we'd fan it out for him using Knox gelatin. Either Fan or Statue of Liberty style (which could put an eye out). He used egg whites if he didn't have the Knox.
How about the G.B.H. Golf Ball spike...that was wild.
By the way...my friend with the Hawk was shot in the head over a joint. I guess the lifestyle had it's downfalls...to say the least.