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Tiki Central Forums Bilge Detroit PUNK City?
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Detroit PUNK City?
donhonyc
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Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2005-08-22 10:30 am   Permalink

It suddenly occured to me that since the Stooges and The MC5 were discovered in Detroit the same weekend in 1968 by then Elektra Records A&R man Danny Fields, that this can perhaps be called the true birth of Punk?

Just about every Punk band that came out in the 70s and 80s credits The Stooges and/or The MC5 as their inspriration. In the press both bands are always defined as "Proto-Punk". And just recently I saw a documentary where (I think it was) Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys saying that 'if you were the only one on your block with a Stooges or MC5 record, you met the other misfits that were also into those bands and formed your own band' ...or something like that.

So is it a misconception that New York, London, and L.A. were the places Punk originated? That it was in fact Detroit with The Stooges and MC5 as the godfathers of what was to come after them?

Anybody got any thoughts on that?

[ This Message was edited by: donhonyc 2005-08-22 10:31 ]


 
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TikiGardener
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Joined: Mar 24, 2002
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Posted: 2005-08-22 11:27 am   Permalink

SONICS...'nuff said?

No actually not enough said.

Starting after the Beatles invaded. you had bands that had the spirit, but perhaps not the ability, to play. But play they did, and punk was born.

But the Sonics rate as one of the earliest Punk bands. Lets not forget the Monks either.


 
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nuKKe
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Joined: Feb 13, 2005
Posts: 172
From: Tel Aviv, Israel
Posted: 2005-08-22 12:07 pm   Permalink

Bilge is the drunken forum sort of thing, right? I am sober right now, but I'd drop my 2 cents of 19th century-like romanticism anyway.
IMHO, since punk is so widespread and has evolved simultaniously in several places (the locations mentioned above being the most familiar ones, perhaps due to them being cultural and media centers), musically and culturally, tracing the "real", "true" origins of punk is something that's better be left for mediocre academics and lazy journalists, who need a starting point and strict definitions; It sure is easier than getting into the music.

The rant above is more passionate than a jaded ex-punk should produce. My fave 1970's punk comes from L.A and Finland. I tend to view MC5/The Stooges as the starting point, but it really doesn't matter.


 
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thejab
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2005-08-22 1:34 pm   Permalink

I tend to agree with TikiGardener that it started before 1968. The Who's My Generation album surely was an influence on 60s punk bands (of which there are too many to name; listen to "Bad Girl" by Zakary Thaks from Texas for just one example: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00005TQ7M/103-6114315-8825441?v=glance).

The Who, The Kinks, The Pretty Things, The Troggs, and some others were more influential than the Beatles on punk.

No, nuKKe, it doesn't really matter, but when the topic comes up sometimes people might find out about some bands they didn't already know about, so I don't see any harm in such a discussion.

[ This Message was edited by: thejab 2005-08-22 13:35 ]


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donhonyc
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Joined: Jan 13, 2003
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From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2005-08-22 3:06 pm   Permalink

Hey People-

So far, so good. Nice insightful stuff. Gardener-good point on The Sonics and The Monks. Jab-yeah...The Troggs. I didn't think about any of those at first. In fact The MC5's "I Want You Right Now" on the 'Kick Out the Jams' album is basically ripping of "Wild Thing", no?
The one thing I'd say though about the Stooges & the 5, is that I think punk may have happened more as a consequence of listening to them than maybe listening to The Sonics or The Troggs. Not to take anything away from them mind you. But yeah... I'm sure Jim Osterberg was listening to both of those bands while he was drumming in The Iguanas a good few years before he became Iggy Pop and was singing/destructing for The Stooges.

nuKKe-you said "tracing the "real", "true" origins of punk is something that's better be left for mediocre academics and lazy journalists, who need a starting point and strict definitions"


...what do think WE are?


 
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thejab
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2005-08-22 3:38 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-08-22 15:06, donhonyc wrote:
The one thing I'd say though about the Stooges & the 5, is that I think punk may have happened more as a consequence of listening to them than maybe listening to The Sonics or The Troggs. Not to take anything away from them mind you. But yeah... I'm sure Jim Osterberg was listening to both of those bands while he was drumming in The Iguanas a good few years before he became Iggy Pop and was singing/destructing for The Stooges.



Not only Iggy, but The Ramones were big fans of 60s AM radio (as reflected in the songs they covered). I'm sure they heard the Troggs and Sonics before they heard the MC5. Most folks in American mid 70s punk bands grew up with the british invasion and American garage bands in the 60s blasting out of their transistor radios (and many were doing their own version of that music).


 
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ikitnrev
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Joined: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 1313
From: D.C. / Virginia
Posted: 2005-08-22 4:03 pm   Permalink

It helps if you can make direct lineages between the various bands. It is one thing to be influenced by hearing band Gippity (fake name) on the radio and wanting to sound like them, it is another to have the lead guitarist of Gippity later produce your own punk LP.

There is a well documented thread of connectivity between the Stooges and the MC5 and the early New York punk scene, that doesn't exist for the other bands.

Some example:
- John Cale of the Velvet Underground produced both the Stooges and Patti Smith's first LP, and both of those groups were signed by Clive Davis.
- Danny Fields, who managed both the Stooges and the Ramones.
- Wayne Kramer of the MC5 later formed the band 'Gang War' with former New York Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders.

Perhaps the best example is Patti Smith being married to MC5 guitarist Fred 'Sonic' Smith. She probably could have married an earlier boyfriend, Alan Lanier of the Blue Oyster Cult, but if she had done that she might be known today as the poet of cowbell rather than a punk poet.

There are other linkages that involve other famous musicians who are not necessarily thought of as punk, i.e. David Bowie mixing the Stooges 'Raw Power' and also producing Lou Reed's 'Transformer.'

You see this type of intermingling between the Detroit bands and the New York scene. Those other bands were still great bands, who made great music, and who may have inspired others to pick up and learn to play a guitar, but in the whole picture, they remain somewhat in isolation - at least when compared to the Detroit/New York linkages.

For a great book that outlines the connections between the Detroit scene and New York punk, I highly recommend the book 'Please Kill Me - the Uncensored Oral History of Punk' by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain.

Vern


 
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thejab
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
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From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2005-08-22 4:52 pm   Permalink

Good points Vern (and great book recommendation), but one can name similar direct links between mid-60s garage/punk and 70s punk.

Lenny Kaye (of the Patti Smith Group) compiled the Nuggets compilation of 60s garage in 1972, and he wrote the liner notes, in which he labels some of the bands "punk rock".

Another example of a direct link was the great late Greg Shaw of Bomp magazine (which starting in the early 70s covered bands like the Troggs along with the New York Dolls), UA records (he produced their Legendary Masters series that included reissues of the Troggs and Pretty Things among others), and Sire records (who signed many punk bands thanks to Greg Shaw's influence).

Here's more on his late 70s activities as written by Anastasia Roderick for the Bomp web site:

Quote:
His new enthusiasm was the garage music of the '60s. People told him he had coined the term "punk rock" back in Creem while writing about this music, predicting it would make a comeback someday. Something like this seemed to be happening in the early days of New York's punk scene, but when the spike-haired English punks took over the word, Greg decided the nomenclature was getting confusing, and began referring to the '60s stuff as "garage". Now that there was nothing else cool going on, he launched into promoting greater awareness of the glories of garage.

One of the projects that has passed through Sire during his tenure there had been Lenny Kaye's "Nuggets" album, which had been deleted on Elektra when Sire reissued it in 1976, just in time for it to became a huge influence on all the new punk bands. Lenny and Greg wanted to do a second volume, and work went ahead on it until it became clear that some of the best tracks could not be obtained, because the original labels were obscure and nobody knew where to find the masters. A couple years later, Greg took his notes for the project and put together the album he saw as the sequel "Nuggets" deserved. Because it wasn't "Nuggets", he called it "Pebbles". Where master tapes couldn't be found, he mastered from records, and hoped nobody would mind.



One can't name a single city like Detroit and say that's where it started, when every town had dozens of garage bands in 1965-1967 that varied from Beatles pop to Brydsy folk-rock to Who influenced feedback punk to psychedelic, and in may of those towns (Detroit, Cleveland, New York, Boston, etc.) the music slowly evolved into what became 70s punk.


 
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donhonyc
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From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2005-08-22 8:03 pm   Permalink

Very true jab, very true. But if I'm not mistaken wasn't it Legs McNeil (co-author of 'Please Kill Me') and John Holmstrom, the founders of Punk Magazine that coined the term 'Punk', not Greg Shaw?

 
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thejab
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
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From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2005-08-22 9:07 pm   Permalink

In a way. Legs McNeil took the term that previously had been applied to certain 60s garage bands and applied it to the new bands. He co-opted the term, he didn't coin it.

 
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TikiGardener
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Joined: Mar 24, 2002
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From: 1st website dedicated to Tiki Gardens
Posted: 2005-08-22 10:29 pm   Permalink

Indeed! Few remember that the word "punk" was a pretty heavy insult. As I recall, it was a pretty rough word to call someone, and was rarely used in mixed company.

But it didn't take long for long haired freaks to take being called a punk as a badge of validation.

Etymology of Punk
http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pperl?date=20010503

Although I have to take issue with the supposed origin of "punk rock" as a term.

Oh, we've all forgotten the Music Machine. Black leather vests, playing guitar whilst wearing fingerless black leather gloves.

'Nother
Punk Etymology
punk (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 "prostitute, harlot, strumpet," first recorded 1596, of unknown origin. For sense shift from "harlot" to "homosexual," cf. gay. By 1923 used generally for "young boy, inexperienced person" (originally in show business, e.g. punk day, circus slang from 1930, "day when children are admitted free"). The verb meaning "to back out of" is from 1920. The "young criminal" sense is no doubt the inspiration in punk rock first attested 1971 (in a Dave Marsh article in "Creem"), popularized 1976.

Note the Creem origin again....



[ This Message was edited by: TikiGardener 2005-08-22 22:31 ]


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nuKKe
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Joined: Feb 13, 2005
Posts: 172
From: Tel Aviv, Israel
Posted: 2005-08-23 01:54 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-08-22 15:06, donhonyc wrote:
nuKKe-
...what do think WE are?



Don't know what you are, but any aggression expressed in my post is a result of a recent brief encounter with academia around the subject of punk (while writinig a certian seminar paper) and distant past encounters with journalists around the same topic (when my friends and I published zines and music and played in bands).
Again, tracing a linear history of Punk is irrelevant for the actual enjoyment, just like one doesn't have to be familiar with previous epicaresque romance in order to enjoy Don Quixote (as opposed to Neo-Classic tragedies that require knowledge of Greek tragedies and myths for reference, pardon the comparison). In general I believe that listening to punk and/or making punk happen by playing/releasing/publishing/organizing (which usually comes with the former), leads to a better understanding of the subject of punk, which spread in the past three or four decades, geographically and sub-genere-wise makes it nearly impossible to map.

Once again, apologies for reading snotty and aggressive, did not intend to attack.


 
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Kon-Hemsby
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Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 1272
From: Andover, England
Posted: 2005-08-23 02:03 am   Permalink

Hey, If you're talking early punk 'spirit' surely
Hasil Adkins must be high up there?

Screaming wild vocals, out of tune guitar.


 
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freddiefreelance
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Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 2990
From: San Diego, Ca.
Posted: 2005-08-23 11:11 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-08-22 15:38, thejab wrote:
Not only Iggy, but The Ramones were big fans of 60s AM radio (as reflected in the songs they covered).


Not just their covers, but in the song "Do You Remember Rock N Roll Radio?" on The End of the Century LP:
Quote:
Do you remember Hullabaloo,
Upbeat, Shindig and Ed Sullivan too?
Do you remember rock 'n' roll radio?
Do you remember rock 'n' roll radio?

Do you remember Murray the K,
Alan Freed, and high energy?
It's the end of the 70's
It's the end of the century

Do you remember lying in bed
With your covers pulled up over your head?
Radio playin' so no one can see
We need change, we need it fast

Before rock's just part of the past
'Cause lately it all sounds the same to me
Oh, oh

Will you remember Jerry Lee, John Lennon, T. Rex and Ol' Moulty?
It's the end of the 70's
It's the end of the century.



_________________
Rev. Dr. Frederick J. Freelance, Ph.D., Th.D., D.F.S


 
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thejab
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2005-08-23 12:14 pm   Permalink

I never knew the lyrics said "Ol' Moulty"! Are they referring to this Moulty?:

Guy on far left is Moulty - the one-handed drummer for the Barbarians



 
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