Punk Music in North America: November 7 th From Yesteryear to Here Punk music is a unique form of music which incorporates heavy, raw and distorted guitars; intricate, deep sounding bass lines; high paced, pounding drum beats; and vocals that catapult ideologies of a world run by anarchy. Punk is a form of underground music which appeals to people who are either bored or dissatisfied with the way the world works. In The Merriam Webster Dictionary the definition of the word punk is; a young inexperienced person or a petty hoodlum. 1 This is the typical stereotype which is associated with punk.
This definition is far too vague and neglects to mention that punk is also a form of music. Punk is a relatively new form of music in the music world that originated out of New York^1 s club scene in the mid sixties. Ed Sanders and Tuli Kupferberg were two members of a band called the Fugs. These two men played a very important role in the foundation of punk music. They often performed in a bar called Dom which could be found in the basement of a night club called The Electric Circus.
They tried to get their music played in other clubs but it was usually rejected due to the controversial and offensive subject matter that they used in their music. The Fugs refused to change their style because their originality was really all they had going for them. The band did however manage to influence other bands to go punk. 2 More and more bands in New York started to follow this new trend of underground music. The styles of these spawning bands followed the obscene and offensive style of the Fugs. Bands such as Dave Peel and the Lower East Side and Velvet Underground were bands that were greatly inspired by the Fugs.
The punk scene also exploded in Detroit. Iggy Pop, former drummer for the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, started the band known as the Stooges. The Stooges were a very unusual and outrageous band. Their live performances often left their audiences in awe due to the strangeness of Iggy Pop^1 s actions on stage. He would contort and mutilate his body, and he was the first member of a band to attempt stage diving.
The Stooges were the first actual band in North America used to describe punk music. 3 The question that surfaced amongst people who were not in the punk scene was, ^3 Why? ^2 The common answer was, as stated by Iggy Pop, was, ^3 Boredom. ^24 Throughout the history of punk, the reason for the controversial music was boredom. Punk artists were bored with the music scene, bored with poverty, bored with politics and bored with government propaganda. Punk music was the cure to boredom. It was music that got people riled up.
Punk music has basically stayed the same throughout its history. The message of anti-government / pro -unity has pretty well remained the same. The only major change that has been noticed in punk music is that it is no longer an underground form of music. Major recording labels such as Elektra and Epitaph are responsible for the exploitation of punk. When punk first originated the bands usually went on independent recording labels and played their music for the underground scene and not for money and publicity. The punk bands of today such as Green Day, the Offspring and Rancid have been labeled as sell-outs to the punk scene, by their predecessors for signing on to major recording labels.
With punk bands on larger labels, punk music is now projected towards a much larger audience. Punk now appeals to a younger, smarter more upper class type of listener. This new audience does not fit into the dictionary definition of punk. The main aspect which attracts people to punk is its^1 do it yourself attitude. Anyone can start a punk band. All that is needed is a guitar and the truth.
Punk is music for people who are bored with normalcy and commercialism. It^1 s a scene that attempted to make recordings and shows affordable for the everyday person. Punk music is a simplistic style of music that has made a powerful impact on todays music world.