The Birth of Punk Rock

The original punk rock music scene, unfortunately, didn’t run for too long. Just like the careers of most of the stars involved in the movement, its hype burnt brightly for a short period before going down in flames. However, its importance to the music scene in general can be judged by the echoes it left behind in modern music accompanied by the cliches and legends that happened to have sprung up around it.


The initial punk rock scene came to life in the city of New York around the mid 70s, and the two main bands that were credited for helping bring this genre to life was the Television and the New York Dolls. These were the first groups to fully portray and embrace the styles and attitudes of the punk rock movement. New York Dolls were always outrageously dressed and loved disgusting the public with acts such as vomiting in front of cameras or showing off the Nazi salute. Other notable bands that came from this scene were; The Ramones, The Heartbreakers and Wayne County, just to name a few. These bands all played in the famous Bowery District, and while New York punk rock was reaching new heights, there was a different creation story going down in England, the land of the Queen.


Across the pond, in England, the punk rock music scene’s roots were largely based on economic and political issues. United Kingdom’s economy was in shambles and the unemployment rates were through the roof. The youth in England were rebellious, angry and idle because they had no work. Basically, the mixture of excess free time and strong opinions is what gave birth to the punk rock music scene in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, it’s during this period in England that the punk rock fashion sense, as the world knows it today, was born. Malcolm McClaren, the Sex Pistols manager, returned from the US to build a shop called SEX that was centered around punk rock fashion. Malcolm had been unsuccessful in the reinvention of the New York Dolls using his clothes.


Punk rock had completed its beginning phase by the late 70s and by then had proven to be a solid musical force to reckon with. It began to split into sub genres the more popular it got. More new musicians joined the Do-It-Yourself movement and started manufacturing their own unique individual sounds as well as setting their own scenes.