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  • - [Narrator] Punk.

  • Viewed by some as the raucous caterwauling

  • of an army of talentless ne'er-do-wells,

  • and by others as an artistic movement

  • that punctured the pomposity of the establishment

  • with a safety pin and then gobbed in it's face.

  • Either way, it happened.

  • It had a huge impact,

  • and here's how it was born in the UK.

  • It's the mid 70s

  • and the UK is a place of industrial action,

  • the three day week

  • and the feeling that the energy of the 60s

  • hasn't quite translated into the floral,

  • free love utopia it promised.

  • In music, stadium rock and ABBA rule,

  • and disco is starting to send it's sequined soaked glamour

  • across the Atlantic.

  • For some young people, the dichotomy

  • of what they see in their streets

  • and what they see on Top of the Pops

  • is too much to handle.

  • It's time for a change.

  • The 60s tried love, they will try anger.

  • (electric guitar vibrating)

  • On the Old Kent road, Steve Jones, Glen Matlock

  • and Paul Cook all meet at the fashion store SEX

  • owned by designer Vivian Westwood

  • and her boyfriend Malcolm McLaren.

  • Searching for a lead singer,

  • a young John Lydon is spotted wearing an

  • "I hate Pink Floyd" t-shirt

  • and recruited to front what would become the Sex Pistols.

  • The combination of the band's

  • driving garage rock and roll sound

  • and Lydon's acerbic and political lyrics

  • would set the tone for what was to follow.

  • Throughout 1976,

  • the touring Sex Pistols would start to influence

  • many artists around the country.

  • Producing pockets of Punk

  • that would grow in their own directions.

  • Singer with the pub-rock band

  • the 101ers, Joe Strummer,

  • saw the Sex Pistols and instantly started The Clash.

  • ("London Calling")

  • Howard Devoto and Pete Shelley,

  • who would later form The Buzzcocks,

  • saw the Pistols and invited the band to perform

  • in Manchester at the Lesser Free Trade Hall.

  • - [Man] Some weird noises coming out of these things.

  • (punk music)

  • - [Narrator] That show was attended

  • by Peter Hook and Bernard Sumner

  • Morrissey

  • and Mark E. Smith

  • who respectively went on to form Joy Division,

  • The Smiths and The Fall.

  • The Punk sound and aesthetic was also being influenced

  • by a concurrent scene coming out of New York

  • led by The Ramones.

  • The Ramones landed in the UK,

  • played a seminal gig at Camden's Roundhouse

  • attended by many of those who had become stalwarts

  • of the UK Punk scene.

  • All that was needed now

  • was for Punk to break into the mainstream,

  • and first out of the blocks was The Damned,

  • releasing the first Punk single New Rose,

  • the three minute masterpiece written by Brian James.

  • (Punk music)

  • And then, the moment that really shoved Punk

  • into the national consciousness,

  • the infamous appearance of the Sex Pistols

  • on Bill Grundy's Today Show.

  • After being drafted in as late replacements for Queen,

  • the Pistols turned the air blue

  • after being goaded by the host.

  • - Go on, you've got another five seconds

  • say something outrageous.

  • - You dirty bastard. - Good Lord!

  • - [Narrator] This led to headlines across the national press

  • and the cancellation of their upcoming

  • Anarchy Tour of the UK.

  • One, two, three, four! ♪

  • Heading into 1977, an army of bands had formed

  • with the new sound and attitude,

  • ready to turn music, art, politics,

  • and culture on its head.

  • So, that's the story of the Birth of Punk in the UK,

  • but how exactly did Punk change the cultural landscape?

  • - So, one of the ways that Punk really effected culture

  • is you have for the fist time in the UK,

  • low-culture transcending into higher culture.

  • And what I mean by that,

  • you had examples with the mods and the rockers,

  • different moral panics where the mainstream press,

  • and really the framework of society,

  • was terrified that a youth movement would

  • change the values, the ethos,

  • and the way the people lived in Britain.

  • But what happened with Punk

  • is you go from kids using that music,

  • that energy as a way to express their circumstances,

  • whether it's being working class,

  • not being able to get a job.

  • And, it going from a small specific group of people

  • into the wider pantheon, if you would,

  • of the kind of fashion being on the runway.

  • And now it's to the point where at Tiffany's,

  • the most expensive jeweller probably in the world,

  • or the most notorious jeweller,

  • you can get a platinum lock

  • like the one that Sid Vicious wore.

  • So, it's the ultimate going from

  • something that is impactful and meaningful

  • for a specific group

  • to something that's just a fashion statement.

- [Narrator] Punk.

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A Brief History of Punk's Birth in the UK - MusicMadeUs

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    Caurora posted on 2020/03/12
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