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I wrote a recent diary about my late son and described an encounter we had with three "punks" (they were skinheads).  In a very polite and civil way I was called out by a commenter on my use of the term "punk."  I had completely, but unintentionally, dissed the entire punk rock genre and movement.  I hadn't intended that definition of the term, and I appreciated the correction.  I was also given a whole lot of homework to learn more about the music and the movement.

So, I've been investigating groups like the Dead Kennedys, the Sex Pistols and Black Flag.  I'm no music critic - I just know what I like.  So, here it is:

I know these bands began in garages.  I can certainly relate to humble beginnings. I love a strong back beat.  And I have no problem with simple chords.  But please, please give me something delicious to go with them (like Roy singing Pretty Woman, or CCR doing SuzieQ).  

I love true talent.  Nobody will ever move me more than Janis Joplin did while pouring her heart out.  Hearing Jimi Hendrix doing Red House or Little Wing is enough to make me cry (or go looking for the hubby for some lovin).  Music?  I give you Jethro Tull and Aqualung, Jimi's guitar, Eric Clapton, Johnny Winter.

How about lyrics?  I grew up with Peter, Paul and Mary, Dylan, Guthrie, Baez and Collins.  I danced and kissed listening to Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, the Supremes and the Temptations.  Have you heard the Allman Brothers?  Eagles?  Marshall Tucker?  You can actually understand every word and sing along endlessly.  

I'm pretty sure the Beatles were on the radio the first time I got high.  I didn't always understand the meaning of the lyrics (why was he a walrus?), but at least I understood the lyrics.  

Sorry my friend.  But you just made me listen to incredibly loud noise, indecipherable screaming, and lyrics like "Let's Kill the Landlord."  Something tells me that won't fix the faucet or make the roaches go away.  

For what it's worth, I'll listen to your punk music all day before I'll listen to the current cadre of boy bands and most of the female pop clique.

And I do appreciate the advice.  At least I was able to avoid the neo nazis.  I also do very much relate to the rebellion, the anger, and the brutality on our streets.  Oi!  I also found out that my two nephews in Boston would very much like tickets to Dropkick Murphy in March.  

I'd tag along but I'm obviously too old.

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Comment Preferences

  •  *lynch (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alea iacta est

    Let's Lynch the Landlord.

  •  My next-door neighbor played in a punk band (6+ / 0-)

    I saw them play once. It was.........loud.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 01:07:54 PM PST

  •  While I listen across many genres (5+ / 0-)

    (including much of what you love) I am still enough of a punk rocker to know that I'd rather cut off my arm than listen to Jethro Tull.
    Solidarity!

    "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

    by tardis10 on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 01:13:42 PM PST

  •  A lot of skinheads are punks, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti, jakedog42, BlackSheep1

    but not in the musical sense. Skinheads have an obnoxious, unlistenable musical genre of their own.

    The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

    by Azazello on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 01:14:22 PM PST

  •  Dropkick Murphys (5+ / 0-)

    Celtic punk. My favs and I was brought up on Janis and Jimi.
    You get lyrics, humor and PIPES! I love them pipes!

    El pueblo unido jamás será vencido. The people united will never be defeated

    by mint julep on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 01:16:55 PM PST

  •  Punk ? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Youffraita

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Acceptance of "punk" role (1976)

    While traveling in late 1976, Donaldson was arrested after urinating in a motel parking lot, then was charged with possession after the police searched his hotel room and found cannabis. He was placed in a small cell block with four white and eight black prisoners, most Marines from a nearby base, who demanded sexual services. Donaldson later wrote:

        Not wishing to repeat the battering I got in the D.C. Jail, I capitulated....I considered myself lucky that the blocks were so small....The next day the four white marines came up to me and said, "You're moving in with us!" and so I became the fifth occupant of the four-bunk cell....

        I had become the Punk of these four lads, who in jail lingo became my Men....They provided me with protection and such things as stamps and snacks, in return wanting blowjobs (from three) and ass (in jail called "pussy") from one.[26]

    PRISONER TO PRISONER ADVICE      
              Hooking Up: Protective Pairing for Punks
    by Stephen Donaldson
    http://www.justdetention.org/...

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 01:18:04 PM PST

  •  Dropkick Murphy's...punk? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti, jakedog42

    I love these guys, didn't know they were punk, but then I have not a clue what punk rock is.

    God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

    by JayRaye on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 01:19:13 PM PST

  •  Wait… you seriously were called out for (8+ / 0-)

    referring to someone as a "punk"?  

    For reals?  

    Darwin doesn't care if you thought it was unloaded.

    by here4tehbeer on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 01:20:04 PM PST

    •  There actually was a definition of punk that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      susanala, BlackSheep1, Eyesbright

      existed long before punk rock. People forget that.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 02:45:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They also tend to forget that punk rock was called (0+ / 0-)

        that for a reason. The original punk rockers didn't shy away from their socioeconomic status or from the antisocial anomie that came with it. They were unpleasant people glorifying self-destruction, vandalism, and violence. It's fairly fascinating watching people right here and now rewriting the social history so that the skinheads become something wholly apart from punk, when from the perspective of pretty much everybody who wasn't obsessing over self-delusional pseudo-distinctions, the were simply different tracks of the same basic phenomenon.

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 09:31:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Clash - London Calling (5+ / 0-)

    The 1st album (UK release) was more powerful at the time (I thought and maintain), but if I were to pick an album to start someone (especially the 60s folks) out on, it would be London Calling. Maybe Snap! by The Jam.

    I loved all the Beatles-Stones-Hendrix-Joplin-et al stuff too, but the punk rock stuff was my time. And I'm "old" now too. Never Mind The Bollocks! is 35 years old itself.

    "Yes, reason has been a part of organized religion, ever since two nudists took dietary advice from a talking snake." - Jon Stewart; The Daily Show

    by Uwaine on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 01:27:21 PM PST

    •  London Calling was terrific! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Marti, viral

      Part of the second wave of the British Invasion -- loved most of that invasion & still do. The Brits had actual backgrounds in music and weren't limited to three chords. It was all interesting music, in the way I call classical and jazz interesting musically.

      I got to see The Art of Noise perform in NYC. That would have been this tour:

      Although that video is rather long: they were better in concert. Also:

      Okay, the vid for Close to the Edit makes no sense, but the music -- oh, the music! What a nice change after the music of the seventies. For one thing, they understood syncopation.

      Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

      by Youffraita on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 01:39:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Clash (5+ / 0-)

      are one of the great Rock and Roll bands of all time, and are a perfect example of why punk ought not be generally derided as loud, obnoxious, and played with limited chords and talent.

      The Clash were among the most innovative bands of the last 40 years.

      Hwær cwom mearg? Hwær cwom mago? Hwær cwom maþþumgyfa? Hwær cwom symbla gesetu? Hwær sindon seledreamas?
      Eala beorht bune! Eala byrnwiga! Eala þeodnes þrym!

      by Alea iacta est on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 01:40:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, agreed. Punk is an umbrella: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        viral

        there was a lot of great stuff being done as self-identified punk back then. I think it was a few years later when un-musically-educated garage bands declared they were punk and went loud and tuneless that the genre imploded.

        Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

        by Youffraita on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 01:46:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I never "got" The Clash (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pitbullgirl65

      That was one of those bands I was supposed to like when I was in college but they just never did it for me.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 01:49:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not to pile on with corrections, but (6+ / 0-)

    as an old Punk Rocker I feel I must point out that there is also a distinction that ought to be made between Neo-Nazi skinheads, and regular skinheads.

    The skinhead movement started amongst Mods in the 60s and was massively influenced by West Indian music (particularly Ska) and many of the original skinheads were black Jamaicans. It was about the music and a sense of working class pride and unity, nothing more (that same ethos motivated the Two Tone Ska revival of the late 70s and 80s).

    Then in the late 70s and 80s the National Front and BNP started recruiting younger skinheads and exploiting their anger at their poverty and not being able to find work in Thatcher's Britain by peddling xenophobic bullshit, and thus Nazi skinheads were created (much to the despair of the non-political, culturally diverse skinheads).

    Today both types still exist (I would hazard a guess that the Nazis are still a minority, but of course they get all the press).

    Oi! as a subset of punk, is typically considered Skinhead punk, and many great anti-racist bands like The 4-Skins, The Business, Cock Sparrer, and yes, even The Dropkick Murphies (well, their first couple of albums at least--now they are more"street-punk") are all counted amongst Oi!/Skinhead punk rock.

    Hwær cwom mearg? Hwær cwom mago? Hwær cwom maþþumgyfa? Hwær cwom symbla gesetu? Hwær sindon seledreamas?
    Eala beorht bune! Eala byrnwiga! Eala þeodnes þrym!

    by Alea iacta est on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 01:38:27 PM PST

    •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yoshimi, sfinx

      This was pointed out to me as well.  The differences between the variations on punk rock can be nuance.  The difference between early skinheads and the nazi idiots is huge, and lost on most of us.  Thanks for emphasizing the difference.  It is important.

      •  My skinhead friends (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sfinx, pitbullgirl65

        refered to the nazis as "boneheads". Modt skinheads I knew were also very thoughtful, kind, and intelligent people.

        I remember once I was at an Oi! Show in Denver and a nazi showed up and started causing problems.

        He was very quickly mobbed by the sort of skins I hung around and rather than beating him up (as might be expected considering what an asshole he was, and the skinhead reputation for brawling) four of them just grabbed him by his arms and legs and carried him the the fire door and tossed him out in the alley where he was locked out from the show and couldn't keep harassing people.

        It was delightful to behold.

        Hwær cwom mearg? Hwær cwom mago? Hwær cwom maþþumgyfa? Hwær cwom symbla gesetu? Hwær sindon seledreamas?
        Eala beorht bune! Eala byrnwiga! Eala þeodnes þrym!

        by Alea iacta est on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 03:10:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  you remember Lets Lynch the Landlord but forget (6+ / 0-)

    songs like Holiday in Cambodia, California Uber Alles, Nazi Punks Fuck Off, and the classic anti MIC song, Kinky Sex Makes the World Go Round.......

    And that's just the Dead Kennedys.....

    Read  their lyrics sometime and you'll get it.....

    Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
    I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
    Emiliano Zapata

    by buddabelly on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 01:43:19 PM PST

  •  I like music. I like loud music...but when it (4+ / 0-)

    has all the musical attraction of a colonoscopy and the lead singer sounds like he just gargled with draino (it hurts my ears) it has crossed the line from music into noise.

    The less said about the accompanying (fortunately indecipherable) lyrics, the better.

    siiiigh.

    Some of the above was said by my parents about my generation's music, too.  Thus shall it ever be.

    Luckily, I can have mine, you can have yours, they can have theirs.  Just turn it down to a dull roar, eh?

    Oh.  And get offa mah lawn, whippersnapper!

    Thanks for an interesting diary ;-D

    :-D
    Marti

    We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

    by The Marti on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 01:47:46 PM PST

    •  Fortunately indecipherable? (5+ / 0-)

      Most of the great punk bands that I listened to had lyrics about social justice and fighting for the little guy against an unfair soul-crushing system.

      If you think it is fortunate you can't understand the lyrics, I would submit that you haven't paid close enough attention to what punk rock politics were all about.

      Hwær cwom mearg? Hwær cwom mago? Hwær cwom maþþumgyfa? Hwær cwom symbla gesetu? Hwær sindon seledreamas?
      Eala beorht bune! Eala byrnwiga! Eala þeodnes þrym!

      by Alea iacta est on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 01:51:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you don't know The Art of Noise, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Marti, undercovercalico

      have a listen to the two clips in my comment, above.

      (I had to turn up the YT volume, lol.)

      Punk could embrace Debbie Harry (Blondie) and The Clash. Art of Noise and Slow Children. And ALL of it was musical.

      It wasn't until much later that Punk became a pejorative meaning I can't listen to this stuff.

      I call that Headbanger Music, and it followed punk as the slackers followed GenX.

      Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

      by Youffraita on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 01:52:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Youff...our comments crossed...I think we agree, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Youffraita

        though.

        We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

        by The Marti on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 01:57:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, I suspect we do agree. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Marti

          Dammit Janet er, Marti: Now I have to check out all those comments again! ;-D

          Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

          by Youffraita on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 02:23:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You can call me Ray, and you can call me Jay...and (2+ / 0-)

            if you remember that oldie moldie...please say so!  lolz

            Each generation has "its own music" that speaks to it...and the previous generation(s) sometimes just. won't. like. it.

            But making light of it--and ourselves--should be part of the fun.

            At least that's what Methuselah told me when I sat at his feet to learn this new 'jazz' thing.

            :-D

            We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

            by The Marti on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 03:05:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And you can call me JK (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              The Marti

              LOL.

              I remember it, but not well enough to quote it back atcha.

              btw, that new jazz thing? I'm listening to it right now:

              http://wrti.org/

              But here's the best American-composed bit EVER: and the jury is still out whether it's jazz or classical (WRTI plays it on both streams, and they're the experts!):

              Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

              by Youffraita on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 03:41:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  LOL I don't remember the whole thing, either, but (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Youffraita

                it's enough that you remember parts of it!  I don't feel so ancient out here on my own! :-)

                That was the cool thing about Gershwin...he blended classical and jazz into a melange that appeals to fans of both.  

                With jazz, I'm not crazy about "Dixieland"...I'm more of a blues fan.  There is some Dixieland that is fine every now and then...just not my first choice.

                :-)

                We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

                by The Marti on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 04:14:51 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The old New Orleans style (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  The Marti

                  may or may not be what you call 'Dixieland' but I love it: love the way all the players work together to create one wall of terrific sound.

                  Love the blues also.

                  But really, you don't like this?

                  Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

                  by Youffraita on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 04:26:09 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  P.S.: not to diary pimp or anything, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  The Marti

                  but I have a Monday Night at the Theater diary scheduled to post at 8 p.m. Eastern, and it's all about Audra McDonald, who can sing anything. Please stop by, Marti, I think you will enjoy it.

                  Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

                  by Youffraita on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 04:28:58 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Punk (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Witgren, susanala

    The word actually goes back almost 450 years.

    punk (adj.)
        "inferior, bad," 1896, also as a noun, "something worthless," earlier "rotten wood used as tinder" (1680s), "A word in common use in New England, as well as in the other Northern States and Canada" [Bartlett]; perhaps from Delaware (Algonquian) ponk, literally "dust, powder, ashes;" but Gaelic spong "tinder" also has been suggested (cf. spunk "touchwood, tinder," 1580s).

    punk (n.2)
        "worthless person" (especially a young hoodlum), 1917, probably from punk kid "criminal's apprentice," underworld slang first attested 1904 (with overtones of "catamite"). Ultimately from punk (n.1) or else from punk "prostitute, harlot, strumpet," first recorded 1590s, of unknown origin.

  •  Not breaking (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    undercovercalico

    Greatest generation dislikes boomer music.

    Boomer dislikes punk music.

    Punk fan dislikes his/her child's Drake downloads.

    Rinse and repeat.

  •  Separate Punk Rock from punks. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Youffraita, susanala

    There were punks long before there was Punk Rock.
    A punk is the lower echelon gangster, the thug that doesn't rise to the level of bigtime criminals. Troubled youth with no intention of reform. The pusher who sells ground glass and talcum powder to kids, the backshooter.
    It's unfortunate that Malcolm McLaren used the idea of Punks to "glamorize" the bands and clothing lines (bondage gear) he was promoting. Most  of the Punk Rockers I've met have been decent people when they're off stage. Their "punkness" was a pose, a fashion statement and a sort of catchall description for loud, fast, mostly angry music.
    And BTW, for those of my generation, Lou Reed set the markers for how the genre would develope about 10 or 15 years before the Sex Pistols, so don't go all, "Our Music Was Better".
    A lot of our gen's music was great, some of it sucked. Following generations have produced good music and bad too. That's how music is and I'd be willing to bet, it was thus when Mozart was writing.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 02:06:00 PM PST

  •  I recommend that the diarist pick up (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    undercovercalico

    The Stooges 'Fun House' and realize that this punk album came out in 1970. A great album and you can see that it was the future of punk and rock and roll.

  •  It's all good (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    undercovercalico, Yoshimi

    depends on the buzz.
    My favorite band is the Pixies and I'm 50 somethin'.
    I can dig Punk when in the right mood tho

  •  I saw Black Flag in Buffalo (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Youffraita

    in the 80's in a nasty club and they were awesome.

    Jethro Tull for me is over wrought prog excess and the Eagles have a too generic sound for me.

    Some punk has stood the test of time some of it has not. Music is personal, for me it depends on my mood. Punk and hard rock can be great to work out to. I have a pretty big variety of music on my Ipod thingy.

  •  The Dead Kennedys wrote mostly satire... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    undercovercalico

    A la "Kill the Poor" and "Holiday in Cambodia"

    Frankly, I'd take the anger and rebellion in punk rock over the cliched, peace and love, hippie, shit any day...

    But different strokes and all...

  •  Awwwww. (1+ / 0-)

    I'm sure Johnny Rotten is crying all the way to the bank.

    Suggestion for Facebook: 50 free "starter friends" automatically as soon as you sign up.

    by dov12348 on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 03:01:51 PM PST

  •  I'm with ya, brother... (0+ / 0-)

    ...Today's music ain't got the same soul,

    Just give me that old-time rock and roll.

    If you want to check out a really good! (recent) album, try Joe Walsh's "Analog Man"

    "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

    by CanisMaximus on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 03:17:56 PM PST

  •  My favorite punk band of all: (0+ / 0-)

    The Chumps.

    Roadied for 'em for a while. They broke up when they realized they'd learned to play.

    Best to you.

    This ain't them.

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 04:24:32 PM PST

  •  Dear santas: join me (0+ / 0-)

    in a CCR / Steve Miller Band / Eagles/ Allman Brothers revel via YouTube, eh?


    And on the subject of music ... RIP Ray Price.

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 05:17:13 PM PST

    •  Memories (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1

      Yes.  We all have our own preferences.  Mine have so much to do with memory.  The first time my husband made love to me was on his Cape Dory in open water with sails down (now long gone).  Boz Scaggs was on the radio with "Lowdown."  He'll tell you that song is a solid gold aphrodisiac.  I will never stop  loving CCR.  I also wish they had more Albert King and Jimi together.  Anyway, I obviously need to do a lot more listening before I leave punk behind.  Thanks for all the great information.

      •   My favorite singer (0+ / 0-)

        is Marty Robbins ...

        sadly, my first, um, experiences didn't come with music I chose ...

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 08:23:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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