What is Punk?

Punk is a genre of rock music typically consisting of songs that are short, fast and hard.  The lyrics to Punk songs are often political in nature.  When I think about Punk music, I think of songs that are short, to the point and in your face.  Punk songs are often confrontational and/or rebellious.  Punk music emerged as a rebellion against mainstream society and politics.  There is an ongoing debate as to whether Punk started in the U.S. or the U.K.  Punk was born in the 1970's with The Ramones from New York City and The Clash and Sex Pistols from London. 

The term "punk rock" was first used by music critic Dave Marsh in the May 1971 issue of Creem, where he described the band ? and the Mysterians as giving a "landmark exposition of punk rock".  ? and the Mysterians was a 1960's Chicano garage rock band.  As well as being the first band to be described as punk rock, they are also the first Latino rock band to have a hit record in the United States.

Punk music has various sub-genres, such as anarcho-punk, pop punk, skate punk, hardcore punk and more.  What all Punk music has in common though is that the people in these bands have something to say.  Punk songs are an expression of ideas and emotions, whether it's social critique, political commentary or reactions to personal experiences.  The politics of Punks are often categorized as being left-wing and progressive, however some individuals within the Punk scene hold right-wing views (Conservative Punk), Neo-Nazi views (Nazi Punk), or are apolitical (Horror Punk).      

Punk is not only a music genre, it is also a sub-culture with various ideologies.  The main Punk ideologies include individual freedom and anti-establishment views.  Some common viewpoints are
anti-authoritarianism, a DIY (do it yourself) ethic, non-conformity, direct action and not selling out.  Other trends in Punk politics include nihilism, anarchism, socialism, anti-militarism, anti-capitalism, anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-nationalism and anti-homophobia. 


Punk f
ashion, like the music, is a rebellion, and varies depending on the sub-genre.  In general, Punk fashion or attire is a reaction against mainstream fashion.  Mohawk hairdos are very popular in Punk images, as well as leather clothing, studs, spikes, jeans, plaid patterns, body jewelry, and safety pins in clothing and as piercings.  For the Punk Fashion Wikipedia page, click here.

Click here to go to the Punk Rock Wikipedia page.

Punk Outlaw

Punk Outlaw is a website that covers the Punk scene worldwide.

Punk Outlaw Website

Punk Outlaw MySpace

Punk Outlaw TV on YouTube

Punk Rock Portal

PunkRock.org - Punk website/forum.


Click the image above to go to the Chicano Punk Bands page.