Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: The history of the world “punk,” part 3

We’ve been going through the shifting meaning and usage of the word “punk,” which first appeared in the English language sometime around 1575. Yeah, it’s been with us for a while.

It eventually evolved into a 1950s term for a young person who liked to cause trouble. But what about “punk” music? Credit for using the word to describe a certain sound seems to be due to Dave Marsh, an American music journalist who wrote a piece in 1971 about a garage band named ? and The Mysterians.

To Marsh, they sounded like 50s punks looked with their leather jackets and attitude. He also applied the term to other garage bands from the 60s like The Seeds and The Standells. But none of those bands were “punk” in the sense that we know it today.

What happened? Part four of this story next time.

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 38466 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.