How Punk Became Punk

Ground zero was 1976. It was the year the Ramones released their debut and several punk bands released their singles. It was a time of incredible change that has had lasting effects on the music world. Tracing Punk takes you back to the foundation of rock and roll, to the King himself, Elvis Presley. In a bid to outdo the King, Jerry Lott, also known as The Phantom, adopted a more frantic pace as well as a cacophonic sound that became essential part of Punk. Link Wray also came on the scene, demonstrating a new sound to the world with “Rumble,” which used distortion, feedback, and power chords. The sound influenced both Punk and Rock and Roll. Listen to his collaboration with Bunker Hill on “The Girl Can’t Dance” and you’ll hear the Punk sound.

Garage bands had their influence as well. The Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie” set the stage for Punk’s rebellious side. The Monks introduced venomous vile with their track “I Hate You.” In Great Britain, 1960s bands were creating primal and loud music, like The Kinks and The Who. Velvet Underground influenced many people who listened to their music, inspiring several bands. Detroit in 1969 became a place where Punk started to coalesce. The Godfather of Punk, Iggy Pop, entered the scene in 1970, while Led Zeppelin started their careers in Great Britain. Punk wasn’t just a passing fad. It has become both a music and a lifestyle, and it continues to influence the world.

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