Mr. Utsey recommended the Ramones, if you’re interested in getting into punk rock music. He said, “I love the music, in general, it’s music that I really enjoy listening to so it’s not that anything sticks out.” 1980s film Time Square pointed Mr. Utsey towards bands he had been unaware of, and without them and his friends, he wouldn’t have heard about the music otherwise. Photo by Ashton Seghezzi.
Article by Apollo Hynes and Ashton Seghezzi.
Punk rock is a music genre that has evolved tremendously since it first started. This genre was triggered after the Vietnam war and the hippies during the 1960s and was originally started as an aggressive reaction to the music and ideals during the hippie movement. The hippie movement was composed primarily of young adults that protested. This protesting started in the United States and eventually spread worldwide. The punk movement that followed can be viewed as a rebellion against social normalities.
Skip to the 1970s in New York City, the club CBGB started to get popular as bands such as the Talking Heads, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and even Blondie started to play there. This quickly resulted in it being known as a classic punk club. Then, the British punk rock group, The Sex Pistols took off around 1975 with their first live performance.
Punk had such a horrible stigma that when the band came to perform in Atlanta the immigration department tried denying them visas so they couldn’t continue their tour. The first half of their tour was canceled and when The Sex Pistols continued to perform in Atlanta they got warnings from local authorities. These warnings were very stereotypical for the punk scene and resulted in the genre being stigmatized again. After which, The Sex Pistols began being defined as “popular with the kids” while feared by adults.
1975 was when punk started to get popular in London and spread across Europe. After this happened, American hardcore punk bands started to arrive and play. Bands such as the Misfits, the Dead Kennedys and many more tried to make their debut.
Autoshop teacher, Mr. Utsey, let me in on some of his thoughts about the genre. “There wasn’t punk rock in the 1970s in Texas, some of the folks I hung out with were into punk rock and I heard it from them.” He also told me about a place he used to go to listen to punk rock was “Gertie’s Hard Rock Cafe” located in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Utsey also told me the movie “Night Flight” introduced him to some bits of punk rock music.
As far as music recommendations go, Mr. Utsey said, “The Ramones, because the Ramones are easy to listen to for anybody.” He went on, “The Sex Pistols, Circle Jerks but, if you’re just dipping your toes in, it might turn you off, if you’re just experimenting stick to these bands.” He told me that he had met interesting people because of punk rock that he definitely wouldn’t have met anywhere else.
When getting into this genre, take these recommendations to heart and explore to your heart’s content. Who knows you might even find some new songs and some new people to jam with, happy listening!