WaPo posted the most ridiculous idea about Birth of Punk: Kent State. SMH. My posted response:
As someone known for extensively photographing first gen punk, including Devo and Rubber City Rebels, I can only shake my head at this thesis. Wanna tell it to the Ramones, Patti Smith, Blondie, Television and Talking Heads, performing in the early 1970s? Sex Pistols and the Clash were performing by 1976.
I just today received a new Clash book, with 10 of my photos, many never seen. AND a BIG shoutout at top of the credits. I have FAR more cred than this author.
Plus, Detroit and New York were FAR more influential and earlier. Iggy and the Stooges, MC5, Velvet Underground, New York Dolls, and a wide variety of garage bands (see Rhino’s Nuggets by Lenny Kaye, known for the Patti Smith Group). Plus even Glam/Glitter.
Plus, Devo and Chrissie Hynde were NEVER punks. (I am a HUGE Devo fan. They’ve used several of my photos in various projects, for NO money.)
Sure, many new bands were labeled as such. When I shot AC/DC‘s LA debut show, at the Whisky, August, 1977, THEY were billed as Punk. As if!
I could include quite a few other bands lumped into the Punk or New Wave bandwagon MERELY cos it was easy to categorize bands performing without record contracts.
I was in college when Kent State happened. We protested at CSUN. I still have a shirt we silk-screened “They Shoot Students, Don’t They,” referring a then-current film. I remember it well.
I was ALSO around the birth of LA Punk, 1976. And the first wave of New York, British, San Francisco and yes, Akron bands.
A truly great book, “The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB’s: A Secret History of Jewish Punk,” has a much more believable thesis.
Or can we say Punk arose from a variety of causes? WHY must people insist Punk has ONLY one origin?
This article is badly researched and has a huge hurdle to prove its factual basis.
Admit it, not gonna pass muster by those of us who LIVED it nor those who have REALLY done their homework. Shoddy at best.
HOW do these articles get published in WaPo and on FRONT page online? Revisionist history by wanna-bes, at best.
Read this in disbelief: How the Kent State massacre helped give birth to punk rock.