Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: The history of the word “punk,” part 5

Here is the final chapter in the story of how the word “punk” came to describe a certain type of music.

In January 1976—just as The Ramones were gathering momentum and heading towards recording their first album–a New York City fanzine called Punk started being published. For those plugged into the scene, any artist featured in Punk was a “punk band.” In North America, the term started to stick. I

n the UK, however, no one seemed to like the word. As late as October 1976, this new music didn’t have any kind of name. But in December of that year, the Sex Pistols appeared on a daytime talk show and dropped a bunch of f-bombs on live TV.

The next day, the papers were filled with stores about these “filthy punks.” And from that point on, “punk” became the word for this music.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38410 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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