I finally got around to watching the Go Go’s documentary on Showtime. I liked it a lot, even though I don’t think I gained many new insights. At one point, however, Jane Weidlin was talking about seeing the Sex Pistols at their lackluster final show in San Francisco and she said something like, “It was so disappointing because the British invented punk…” She was always in the final three for my pick for favorite Go Go, but this is a frigging dealbreaker! The last person who I heard make that absurd claim was an Irish guy and I shut that conversation down very quickly. As with Rock, the British might have excelled at Punk. They might have even done a better job of it than the American bands. But like Rock (and hip hop, jazz, blues, country, and almost any form of popular music aside from reggae), Punk is an American invention. End of story. In fact, you could make a case that the British did Punk a disservice by distilling it down to a uniform and a set of rules.
Without giving any consideration to how much you like the music:
- What do you consider to be the first punk band?
- What do you consider to be the first punk album?
- Is it possible for Punk to exist today? Or is the nature of Punk such that it had a natural shelf life after which it just became a parody of itself? If the latter, what do you consider to be the last punk band?
- Is Punk a style of music or an attitude?
- What do you think separates Punk from New Wave?
- I’m sure Seymour Stein can point with precision t o the first New Wave band but what do you consider to be the first New Wave song/band?
- Who is your favorite Go Go?
By the way, Philly-based Townsmen, I noticed in the credits that a bunch of the live clips were recorded at Emerald City in Cherry Hill.