Here's a links page I put together many moons ago, when I was bored - how punk rock is that! Most of these records are as
old as the hills - some even predate the "official" start date for seventies' punk rock - but many of them are still
as out there and ahead of the curve as they were upwards of thirty+ years ago, and all kick the shit out the Bay City Rollers
pop crap of bands like Blink 182 and Green Day (as do the Bay City Rollers!") LISTED IN ORDER OF PREFERENCE.
Blatant localism is the thing I probably value the most about punk rock. As a young punk, I loved the idea that there were
a million little scenes, all over the world, each with their own cadres of bands, own ideologies, and own sounds. The greatest
band in the whole world might be playing some high school auditorium in Kansas City. Maybe I'd hear them at a party in my
own hometown. They could be as great as Black Flag was and, whoever they were, they would be young and righteous and would
look just like me. I would sent $3.00 to the guitarist's mom's address, found in the back of "Maximumrockandroll"
in exchange for a copy of their poorly-produced 7" record, if they could afford such an extravagance, or a cassette if
they couldn't. It would, of course, be the most awesome record I had ever heard.
We have grown accustomed to a top-down model of popular culture. Some corporate-type draws up a proposal for the new music
revolution, presents it to the board, and they vote to disseminate it to the masses via their hundreds of coast-to-coast FM
radio stations. Punk was among the last gasps of an older model; the bottom-up strategy that had given us rock and roll in
the first place. The kids in the streets set the agenda, local record companies documented the local stars the kids dug, and
the bigger labels kept their ears to the ground to stay current with the new sounds. A band from Washington DC, of all places,
could profoundly change the direction of rock music right from their own garage. Independent rock scenes from such unfashionable
backwaters as Columbus, Ohio, Louisville, Ky., and Athens, Ga., could become as important as scenes in New York or Los Angeles.
THE UNRULY HISTORY
There will never be a definitive history of punk rock. Punk came from too many places in too many different ways for any one
person to hear all the good records, know all the great bands or connect all the dots. There are, however, some very good
histories out there, notably Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain's "Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk"
and "England's Dreaming: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk and Beyond" by Jon Savage. Here are some links to other worthwhile
histories of the form.