B2 High-Intermediate US 16 Folder Collection
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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.
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A Brief History of Punk's Birth in the UK - MusicMadeUs

16 Folder Collection
Caurora published on March 12, 2020
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