Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What Does An Old Punk Do When He's Not In A Band?

Last July a local small art gallery put the call out for someone to give a lecture on Punk Rock. Word filtered through the scene and I stepped up and said "sure, I can do that".
I met with the gallery curators and we hashed out some basic ideas as to what they were looking for and what I could provide.  The meeting ended on a very positive note with everyone excited for the presentation.

And then the enormity of the project hit me and I started to freak out a little bit. How does one explain the entire history of Punk Rock in an hour? I thought of about 374 different tangents to go off on. The theme of the exhibit was "Expletive", so at first I thought about just running down all the obnoxious bands that were just out to shock old ladies (Pork Duks, GG Allin, Meatmen, Chaotic Dischord, etc), but quickly realized I would probably be the only person who knew what I was talking about and that wouldn't have been fun for anyone.  Then I thought I would just do a history of the Minneapolis scene, but again I would have to bring up bands that were so obscure no one would be able to track anything down to actually hear what I was talking about (Skull Fuck, Library Police, Blissful Discharge).
Finally I decided to do what I do best and just wing it.  I had 8 weeks to prepare and what did I do? Go to the bar the night before and come up with a few bullet points I wanted to hit, and then just let my mouth run on auto-pilot.  I mean, this is a subject that I have been asked about for 20 years, and like all the bands I have been in, it was attitude over ability.

I was also asked to have some music playing in the background to help illustrate what I was talking about. Here is playlist I came up with, in rough chronological and geographical order:

Song Title                                     Band
Personality Crisis                         New York Dolls
Faster & Louder                           The Dictators
Blitzkrieg Bop                              The Ramones
Sonic Reducer                              Dead Boys
Kids Just Wanna Dance '79           Fast
Break It Down                               Testors
Ghost Rider                                 Suicide
Just Me (I Wanna Be Me)             Sex Pistols
1977 (Demo)                                The Clash
New Rose                                    The Damned
Hanging Around                            The Stranglers
Ready Steady Go                         Generation X
When The Tanks Roll Over Poland Again     Automatics
Get Your Woofing Dog Off Me        The Jerks
Hotwire My Heart                          CRIME
I'm Stranded                                The Saints
Suspect Device                            Stiff Little Fingers
Let There Be Noise                      Dum Dum Boys
Riding On The 262                       PVC
Cry For Fame                              Dieter Meier
Profit                                           EbbaGrön
Silex Pistols                                 Too Much