December 20, 2005

Senior Research Paper: Introduction & A History of Punk

The following is a draft of my research paper titled "Another State of Mind" , PLEASE NOTE: I took out the inernal citation, which makes this material plagarized.

A common phrase used by music critics (whether they be "experts" or just loud mouths) is the statement, "Punk Is Dead". The phrase usually refers to the absence of classic punk bands from the late 1970s. In other words, it is believed that punk rock died with the bands who started it. However, even with the earliest punk bands being gone, it is unfounded to say that punk is dead, because punk rock is more than just music, it is a state of mind.

First, a brief history of punk. The term "punk rock" was first used as a genre distinction in an early '70s issue of Cream magazine (Dougan 1138), but the influences of punk date back to the mid-1960s, with bands like the Velvet Underground (Unterberger 988), the Stooges (Erlewine 899), New York Dolls (Erlewine 653), and MC5 (Rees 565). These bands were breaking the rules that the limelit bands of the British Invasion were following; they were vulgar, very open about drug abuse and sex, and some were quite insane (namely Iggy Pop of the Stooges). Being from New York, the Velvet Underground and New York Dolls were probably the biggest influences on the Ramones, who were the premier band of the punk rock genre. After the Ramones played in England, future punk giants such as the Sex Pistols and the Clash were formed, and it is they, alongside Ramones, who are classified as "prototype punk", or "proto-punk": the first generation of punk rock.

The next generation of punk, "post-punk", came around 1979. Some of the new bands played so fast and were so angry that they were given the name "hardcore". The third generation of punk came in 1990 when Green Day combined aspects of both proto-punk and post-punk, creating a new sub genre called "pop punk".

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