Punk is Dead, Long Live Rock (and Roll)

John Peel would hate this. However the bald facts are that history shows that “punk” was not the major sea-change in music that some people claim. It was just an invention of the media. The major acts that preceded punk went on to even greater success after Punk. U2, a band that arose on the coat-tails of punk went on to take Stadium Rock to even greater success. In Live Aid (1985) the “big hit” was Queen, in Live 8 Pink Floyd stole the show and showed the kids how to do it, and now I’m sitting here watching “Genesis Night” on BBC4 culminate with a broadcast of their recent concert in Rome and Bob Hoskins Phil Collins shows just what it means to be a front man in a rock band. It’s getting better in your wardrobe. And just how many applications for tickets were received for the Led Zeppelin gig at the O2 last year? The Sex Pistols tried a reunion tour and it just fizzled out due to lack of interest.

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~ by @mmonyte on May 16, 2008.

4 Responses to “Punk is Dead, Long Live Rock (and Roll)”

  1. My understanding of punk is that for the hard-core it was more a lifestyle than a style of music. Call them neo-anarchists, perhaps.

    I just liked some of the tunes.

    Remember Talking Heads? I ran across ‘More Songs About Buildings and Food’ the other day. Great fun!

  2. Talking Heads weren’t really Punk, just another bunch of art-school kids who were promoted by their record company on the coat-tails of Punk. It is funny to see old interviews where people like Johnny Rotten claim to be overthrowing the old “art-school based hegemony”, when all around them were lots of “punk” bands filled with these same art-school types.

    “Don’t Worry About the Government” is a Great Talking Heads Track (from Talking Heads ’77), shiny, optimistic and full of menace. And how can you not like a band that uses a > in a song title (Love -> Building On Fire)? And if you haven’t seen it, look out for the concert film “Stop Making Sense” (directed by Jonathon Demme)

    David Byrne is a keen photographer and we’ve exchanged a few comments online.

  3. Just love the Sex Pistols and the Clash – labels get put on genre’s that are new or different, these days most of the music seems to sound the same where as back then there were distinctive styles – perhaps this is one of the reasons The Darkness didn’t do so well, great new sound (not really) and totally different to main stream (crash boom bang) they fizzle and die.

    U2 has now inherited the label of poprock btw sounds like a soft drink poor Bono!

  4. No – Talking Heads was definitely not punk! In thinking about punk though, I recalled some of the other music I liked at the time. Talking Heads actually came to Berkeley and played a free concert when I was a kid, and well before they had established popular appeal. One of my sisters brought me along with her to enjoy the spectacle. Great day!

    I did see the film – great fun it was.

    Byrne is quite versatile. His enjoyment of folk music styles worldwide lends him a great deal of credibility as a true musical artist. One sleeper fave is a collaboration he did with Brian Eno, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. It’s intriguing.

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