As I am no stranger to the effects of co-optation (witness the post 60’s generation), I was not shocked by the New York Times expropriation of the term “punk” for one of the sillier fashion pieces that I have glanced at of late. And thankfully I was reminded that that two recent books pay homage to, for my lack of imagination, I am calling the punk movement.
John Robb’s Punk Rock: An Oral History(da Capo) sort of updates Jon Savage’s England’s Dreaming his 600-page history of British punk adding accounts bny Mick Jones, Siouxsie Sioux, Captain Sensible, Gaye Advert, Ari Up, Pete Shelley, Poly Styrene and then some— attending to agit-proppers Crass and including punk offshoots, Two-Tone ska, Goth and Oi,
In his introductory essay to a new book on Punk William Gibson expiates:
What it did for me, the punk of 1977, was create spaces between, inhabitable cracks in the monolith of the baby boom 1960s. A lot of what I’ve done myself has been built within those cracks. It wouldn’t have happened, otherwise. The congealed fat in the cold griddle of Woodstock Nation would still be sitting there, and I’d be doing something else, unless some other counter-counterculture had come along, and then I’d still be doing something else. It made room. It really did make room.
PUNK: An Aesthetic Edited by Johan Kugelberg (Rizzoli) contains over 300 images that in the case of an inarticulate “aesthetic” such as punk comprehensively exhibits the late 20th look which influenced culture from music to fashion to graphics
Currently reading The River Swimmer by Jim Harrison (Grove)