The Wuhan corona virus is bad news for punk rock in China. Here’s why.

According to Boing Boing, Wuhan is not only the epicenter for the current pandemic, but in a previous life, it is ground zero for punk rock in China.

Wuhan, the capital of the centrally-located province of Hubei, is also known as Punk City, a reputation that extends back into the 1990s.

Why Wuhan? It’s a bleak, dirty, industrial city, rife with corruption. Parallels have been drawn to the Manchester of the 1970s.

This is a band called SMZB, which is an English character representation of a Chinese phrase that means “Bread of Life.” SMZB was founded in 1996 by Wu Wei, who is something of a punk godfather in the country. In fact, they call him “Boss Wu.” SMZB has done more for punk in this part of China (and maybe the whole country) than anyone else.

Here’s a sample of what he and his band do.

SMZB also has this song.

Needless to say, everyone in Wuhan is being horribly affected by the ongoing corona virus outbreak. Let’s hope the local punk scene and tough it out.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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.

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