The element which Patti Smith, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed were missing was what each of the other two people had. The simple
music of Smith, the catchy lyrics of Reed and the stage presence, charisma and ability to start culture of Pop. If a band
could combine the three without caucophony, the result would be Punk Rock. One band did this in the summer of '74; The
In early August of 1974 The Ramones played their first gig at CBGBs. THe club was used to fast music, but the Ramones
played through 15 songs in 20 minutes and left the crowd stunned. No one knew what to make of the band; whereas Iggy Pop jumped
around and cut himself, Joey Ramone (vocals) simply stood there holding the mic stand and singing with a strong queens
accent. Dee Dee and Johnny Ramone (bass and guitar respectivly) dueled with each other and spun around while playing 4 or
5 chords over and over. Tommy Ramone on drums belt out pop ditties with such anger and aggression that it simply added to
the motley crew the band already were.
Gathering a cult following was easy for the 4 piece and this continued to expand until they were able to save enough
money to both tour to America and also Britain and also to record a 12" This LP was to become the self titled album which
has been given the title of "finest punk album of all time" by Rolling Stone magazine in 2004. The British tour was seen by
John Lydon, who later went on to be known as 'Johnny Rotten' of the Sex Pistols. The Sex Pistols are considered by many to
be the most 'punk' band to have existed. This is likely to be because they started Punk as a movement rather than a genre
With Johnny Rotten on vocals, Glen Matlock on bass, Steve Jones on guitar and drummer Paul Cook the Pistols (as they
were sometimes known) really invented the Punk image as it is known today. Although at the time, they were the only people
wearing such attire as ripped T-shirts, torn jeans and safety pinned jackets, Johhny Rotten reflects in his autobiography
No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs "The Film [Sid and Nancy] had it all wrong, all those wall to wall leather jackets and
mohawks came in much later, we did it before it was a sign of poverty, not popularity"
Their first and only album was released late in 1977, "Never mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols" which was released
when Sid Vicious was playing bass, although he never recorded anything on the album. Sid was put in the band simply because
he fit the image of a punk like a cliche glove. He took drugs, was an outsider, angry, bored and young. Johnny Rotten later
said in his autobiography that "Sid was doing everything we didn't want the Pistols to stand for; he had become the typical
The Sex Pistols ended with bitterness on January 14th, San Francisco on their United States tour. The band arrived on
stage to play and played for about half an hour before walking off stage as Johnny yelled into the mic "Ever get the feeling
you've been cheated?" How very apt that his band left for South America and left him with no money, no where to stay and no
airfare home. Warner Borthers eventually paid his fare home. But while the Sex Pistols showed what could happen to punk rock
as far as drugs and fewds went, The Clash showed a more positive side of punk rock.
Although starting off as a typical British Punk band with obvious left wing leanings (particuarly vocalist Joe Strummer),
the band changed from Punk to Dance so gradually and succesfuly that their fan base not only stayed, but grew. Their first
album "The Clash" was released in late 1977 and developed a large fan base in Britain. It wasn't however until third album
"London Calling" that 'The Clash' established an international fan base of millions. The album combined Punk with elements
of hip hop, jazz, funk, rock, folk and dance, the result was an album which is still popular 25 years later and some songs
(London Calling, Revolution Rock, Rudie Can't Fail) still recieve regular play on stations today. The band disbanded in 1985
after the succesful album 'Combat Rock' (featuring extremely popular 'Rock the Casbah' and 'Should I stay or should I
go?') and less succesful album 'Cut the Crap' due to fueding and Joe Strummer's groing discontent with the band's direction.
Although the band were most popular in the 1980s, their style is hardly a 'fine example' of Punk in the 80s.