googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: Missing The Point Of Punk

Missing The Point Of Punk

There’s an article in the Times that says the Pussy Riot is now the most famous punk band in Russia and the most famous Russian punk band in the world, but are they any good? As a musician I like to believe that first and foremost it’s talent, hard work, skill, hard work, vision and hard work that determines a band’s ultimate success but my gut reaction to reading that was, “Who cares?”

I didn’t mean that I have no interest in their hypothetical question because I most certainly do, or that I’m not interested in the continuing story of Pussy Riot, because I am, but because I instinctively know that their musical talent is beside the point.

It then occurred to me that rock and roll and especially punk rock has become a tool for expressing virtually any idea. Under the guise of a punk rock band a clearly politically oriented group of people, in this case young Russian women, can publicly wage a very attention getting protest and get away with it claiming that it is “art”. That's is if your definition of "getting away with it" is two years in prison.

Skin Heads have for decades used Punk Rock to promote not only themselves and their lifestyle but their beliefs and agenda as well. Music has been used to help attract and organize people around social causes since the Folk Movement of the 1950s and the Protest music scene of the Sixties. Music, most notably rock and roll, has been used to aid farmers, ban nukes and stop Apartheid.

Started in the late 1970s punk rock was at first a purely political “street theater” form of social and political protest. Of course the music wasn’t very good, it was PUNK after all. Being “bad” was part of the message and what made it stand out and seem threatening. Imagine how little notice the Sex Pistols would have had if they were a reasonably competent pop rock band. In fact, I once heard an album that was the entire Never Mind The Bullocks album rerecorded as soft rock “lounge” music. The songs actually sounded pretty and from my perspective it was very funny, and made a point.

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