America has always been a country full of music. Many genres got their start here such as early rock n’ roll to country. In the American history of music there is a trend in the twentyith century of rebellion whether it be with blues music in the fifties or rock and roll in the sixties. However one that stands out, in my opnion is the punk rock movement. punk rock is a style of music that took shape in the mid 70’s. It is hard to put an exact year on it because it is hard to determine around that time which bands were and weren’t some of the first punk bands.
Although when most people talk about punk rock music the speak of 1977, the year in which “punk” exploded in The United states as well as the UK and many others. The Genre of music has had many evolutions and changes over time. Most easily categorized, punk rock consists of fast tempo, usually very short songs with sometimes harsh vocals and political or socially aware lyrics.
In the 60’s, Rock and roll music was at its peak. It was a time of The Vietnam war, Civil rights, and the Hippie movement in the United states. Revolutionary artists were emerging breaking the boundries of rock and roll such as Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling stones. At the same time bands were coming into play that would later be called protopunk bands or bands who influenced/ led up to the explosion of punk rock.
In the mid 1960’s The Who came into the music scene and Iggy Pop, named the Godfather of punk for his raw punk-like sound, who would start the band Iggy and the stooges. In 1969, a very crude and aggressive band (for the time period) came into the scene, Detroit’s MC5 who released their debut album Kick Out The Jams. Lester bangs, a critic from Rolling stone magizine at the time said, “ Musically the group is intentionally crude and aggressively raw”.
This very much describes the sound of Protopunk bands. Although, America had no idea for what was to come. In the early 70’s hard underground rock was developing into somewhat of a small culture in New York with bands such as Television and the New York Dolls, but it wasn’t until the CBGB and OMFUG club in New York city the scene began to flourish.
CBGB’s, started by Hilly Kristal in 1973 originally as a country, bluegrass and blues club. He was not expecting, however to launch the scene in New York. The Ramones came to Kristal for a request to play a show claiming they were blues, and August 16, 1974 they played their first show.
Despite the fact that they weren’t Country, Bluegrass, or Blues, Kristal invited them to play another show. Soon other acts were to follow such as the proclaimed Godmother of punk, Patti Smith along with The Talking Heads who all got their start at CBGB’s. By 1975 the term punk was used to describe the growing scene. A new influential band also moved into the New York Scene, The Dead Boys, who began playing shows at CBGB’s. CBGB’s created and maintained one of the biggest Punk Scenes in the world in the era and would continue though out decades.