What Punk Means (to Henry Rollins)

To many people, “punk” is a term synonymous with feelings of anger and hostility. Maybe images of skinheads raising the middle finger comes to mind. The punk subculture represents an entirely different attitude that was not apparent during the sixties.

In the novel Please Kill Me: An Uncensored History of Punk, written by Legs McNeil and Jillian McCain, the band manager of The MC5– John Sinclair describes punks as being ‘lumpen hippies.’ In other words, punk was used to describe many adolescents who were often poor and looked down upon for going against family tradition. Simultaneously, with anti-war protests sprouting all over the country, thoughts in American culture focused more on revolution and anarchy against the government. Punk manifested to symbolize a new youth who were upset with the state of the world, and wanted to get rid of the ‘big brother.’ During this time of revolution, music began sound different with new sounds being made that were never heard before and singers who mentioned controversial issues and radical ideas.

For Black Flag front man, Henry Rollins, punk is more than just a look. It goes beyond Mohawks and studded leather. Here is his video from Bigthink



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