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Chapter 10

MU121 Chapter Notes - Chapter 10: Sex Pistols, Iggy Pop, Peanut Butter


Department
Music
Course Code
MU121
Professor
Brent Hagerman
Chapter
10

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MU121 Chapter 10 – Mainstream Rock, Punk, and New Wave Part II Week 7
The Roots of Punk in the United States, 1967-1975
Safety Pins and Leather
-To an FM-rock radio listener in the 1970s, music did not change very drastically during the
course of the decade
-Many of the same bands remained popular, and most of the newer groups that emerged did not
depart too radically
-Playlists were becoming slightly more restricted, and certain albums were in heavy rotation
-By the fall of 1977, American rock fans began to hear about a movement in the UK called
“punk” spearheaded by the Sex Pistols
-Punk first had mainstream attention in the UK with the Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks, and the Clash
-When punk came over, American rock labels were quick to tone down the style
-Punk had its most important roots in the American underground scenes in the 1960s – so just
like R&B, punk was exported from the United States to the UK only to return and be
reintroduced as new wave
Punk Roots: The Velvet Underground, the Stooges, and the MC5
-Between 1967 and 1975, punk was brewing underground
-The most important early influences was the Velvet Underground
-The Velvet Underground was closely associated with pop artist Andy Warhol, who had included
the group in some of his pop-art happenings
-The Velvets were experimenters obsessed with dark downtown reality
-Iggy Pop made his mark in the late 1960s – he challenged the audience at every show,
sometimes smearing peanut butter all over his body and walking on the audience’s hands
-Velvet Underground confronted sexual stereotypes, attitudes toward the use of hard drugs, and
performance ability as a barometer of quality
-The Stooges confronted social rules of performance etiquette
-The MC5 confronted the level of aggression and language use once considered appropriate in
commercial music
New York Punk
-In November 1973, poet Patti Smith teamed up with guitarist and rock critic Lenny Kaye
-The Patti Smith Group became the first band from the developing New York punk scene to sign
a major label record deal
-Another band emerged, named Television and them and the Patti Smith Group were sharing
the bill and attracting attention
-The Ramones produced a stripped-down high-energy style of rock that focused on short,
simple songs played very fast
-The Ramones music was consistently received more warmly in the UK
-New York was not the only city in the United States to maintain a growing punk music scene –
Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, Boston also did
-New York was the national centre of the scene
-During the late 1970s, the punk subculture became a national movement
-Punks often dressed in radical clothing, including intentionally ripped jeans, leather jackets, and
safety pinks
-Another important aspect of punk fashion was hairstyle, as punks experimented with outlandish
hair colour and often adopted the Mohawk
-The aesthetic of punk way DIY
-Punks often took on all aspects of musical production, including recording, distribution, album
art, and concert promotion
-American punk music was only united by what it wasn’t, which was corporate rock
The Rise of Punk in the UK, 1974-1977
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