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Prog vs. Punk: What was the nature of this?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Snow Dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 13 2012 at 10:23
It never was Prog v Punk. It was Punk against the establishment and against all huge rock acts of the time. Led Zep, Purple..all of them. But there were no groups  fighting about it. It wasn't mods and rockers fer chrisake.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 13 2012 at 10:25
Originally posted by Cactus Choir Cactus Choir wrote:

Originally posted by octopus-4 octopus-4 wrote:

Without having read other's comments, this is what I remember.

Punk arrived in my country with some delay and a lot of confusion. Nobody in the press had an idea of what it was about and the mixture of skin jackets which was actually a sort of fascist symbol (at least in my country) with anarchy was misleading. Somebody was trying to give it a philosophical connotation fishing concept form Nietszche and Nihilism. Reagan and Thatcher were close to come, the times were changing and the flower-power utopy was already dead. 

I personally saw the coming of punk as one of the many tools like trash-tv used by tories all around the world to restore the status-quo to before the 60s. In all the western world everything got standardized: look, tastes and most of all thoughts. Punk was just one of the side-projects of something bigger. 

I'm not speaking of conspiracy. It was all extremely clear. That's why I think that mr Lydon & co. while they were thinking to be revolutionaries were used by their "enemies". Very stupid.

Btw, from a musical point of view I still love the Clash and from the punk many good bands like Cardiacs emerged later. 

Punk was not a movement and was not spontaneous but not all crap.


Yes Punk always seemed to me to be more reactionary and about "getting back to basics" than revolutionary. It certainly wasn't revolutionary in music terms since it had been done years before - and better in my view - by the MC5 and the Stooges. I think it did have some political significance in the UK as it signposted the rise of Margaret Thatcher a few years later. Britain had become known as "The Sick Man of Europe" and there was a sense by the mid-70s that the country was decaying after the idealistic, upbeat years of the 60s (of which Prog had been an offshoot). As the Punks claimed to be sweeping away the "deadwood" of Prog, so Thatcher targeted what she saw as the tired old Tory Wets, the doctrine of Old Labour, and left-wing unions.

So basically the Punks were a bunch of Thatcherites, though I'm sure they'd hate to be called that (heh heh).






The true impact of punk is more evident in its offshoots than its bare, basic essence which I generally find rather boring.    Punk paved the way for rock to embrace a whole new level of anger, dirt and violence.  It got back some of the nastiness that had got buried as the early torchbearers like LZ or DP stagnated and the mainstream unleashed corporate 'rock' on unsuspecting audiences.   Eventually, the offshoots of punk, especially metal, became just as over the top as prog was claimed to be when punk supposedly brought it down but it was an important step in reconnecting rock with the very essence of what makes it a worthwhile music genre.   I don't think punk had much of a role to play in standardizing tastes though it brought on a rather undesirable level of image-consciousness to rock music.   Punk spawned a vibrant, well connected underground so it pulled in the opposite direction.   But it was even more incompatible with plain vanilla mainstream music requirements so even punk was not enough to ward off the assault of big pop in the 80s, which was the real game changer.  Via Michael Jackson, the industry gained complete control of the mainstream once again and a whole roster of successful artists who were willing to do anything to get famous followed to seal the deal. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Smurph Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 13 2012 at 10:41

Punk to me is the proof that you can take untalented music and attach an image to it and it becomes something.

Then the Cardiacs showed up and proved to me that punk can be interesting. They made every single punk band completely obsolete to me.
 
And if you look at the Italian scene it was not punk vs prog it was disco vs prog.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KingCrInuYasha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 13 2012 at 11:17
Originally posted by Smurph Smurph wrote:

Punk to me is the proof that you can take untalented music and attach an image to it and it becomes something.

Then the Cardiacs showed up and proved to me that punk can be interesting. They made every single punk band completely obsolete to me.
 
And if you look at the Italian scene it was not punk vs prog it was disco vs prog.


Forgive me for playing devil's advocate, but couldn't that apply to any form of music? The only difference I see is that it's easier for a punk band to get away with it than most other genres.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote timburlane Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 13 2012 at 13:06

I was thirteen years old in 1977 and although i was a fan of Floyd, Yes and Genesis I didn't really know what prog was. You have to remember that these genre tags are mainly marketing things and were far less prevalent in the 70's. I also liked Queen, Bowie, Led Zep - it was all just rock music. When Punk came along, and it was a pretty big thing. From a personal point of view it was fantastic to hear something other than disco music on the radio, (don't forget this was in the UK where there was only really one pop music station plus a bit of pirate radio with very poor reception), and I loved it.

 

Being a callow youth and not yet terribly tribal about music I had no problem with enjoying the Pistols, Clash and Stranglers amongst many others alongside the "dinosaur" bands but many subscribed to a "Year Zero" mindset. You were either for or against and that was that. The Pistols in particular, especially Johnny Rotten were at the forefront of this but their whole thing, indeed the whole thing of the punk movement was rebellion. Not necessarily fighting in the streets stuff but definitely the sort that involved pissing-off anyone older than you who thought they knew better. Consequently older siblings and their Hawkwind albums were targets for public ridicule even if privately you thought they were quite good. My mumactually forbade me to buy Never Mind The Bollocks having never had any interest in what i was listening to; I can't think of a bigger incentive to buy a record! I look back on it now and find it extraordinary that people actually protested outside venues showing punk gigs, I simply can't imagine that happening now!

 

And many punk artists were secret prog fans; Rotten/Lydon was a fan of Can and Van Der Graaf and later Kate Bush but they didn't talk about it because of the year zero thing. In the end ultimately punk was good for prog rock and rock music in general; ELP had already lost it, Yes recorded the excellent Going For The One (I know it's hardly punk but it's certainly more focussed), Fripp totally got it and consequently laid the groundwork in his solo stuff for latter day Crimson... many bands adapted to survive. What I'm saying is that the seventies strand of prog had really run it's course in many ways.

 
Finally, to all those who have posted comments saying that punk musicians are talentless; generally speaking you're wrong, certainly where the main punk bands were/are concerned. Don't mistake skill for creativity, most of these guys were excellent players and songwriters. Much of punk was concerned with getting back to the bare bones of rock music and aimed to be agressive, catchy and rebellious within the constraints of a three minute format. This is not easy to do, in many ways it's harder to write catchy succinct songs than it is to write thirty minute epics.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progistoomainstream Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 13 2012 at 14:23
Originally posted by octopus-4 octopus-4 wrote:

A trivia: Margaret Thatcher's nephew, some John Thatcher (If I remember) is the punk who is sent to sleep by Mr Spock on a bus in Star Trek IV and is also the author of the song entitled "I hate you" played on his stereo.

The connection between Thatcher and Punk is real.Big smile
 
Where did you hear this? This a very good bit of trivia.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Quiet One Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 13 2012 at 14:32
Check from 5:36 up to 7:25:

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote presdoug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 13 2012 at 15:55
When the Sex Pistols got one of their early big breaks into stardom, they played the 100 Club in London, where they supported UK prog band Strange Days.
"and what music unites, man should not take apart"--Helmut Koellen                               
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote presdoug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 13 2012 at 16:03
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by presdoug presdoug wrote:

Punk rock music, musicians and fans stuck their finger at anything smacking of culture or artistic endeavour, and since progressive rock music and musicians epitomised a marriage of artistic quality and rock, the punks would finger point and say "you suck" . Of course, they did that to almost everything.
       The thing is, musically speaking, prog was much more daring and unconventional music than punk, just compare a Yes epic to the Clash's "Should I Stay, Or Should I Go" and you can see what i mean.
        But deep down, there is an element of rebellion in progressive rock, just as there is a level of conformity in punk music.
                  I don't remember there being a great bit of direct warfare in the media between punk and prog at the time in the seventies, but the differences and finger pointing were understood all the same, sort of "said but not said"
              Personally, i prefer something artistic over noise, and never bought a punk rock record (or for that matter, a new wave one) and i am certain i am not missing much

Maybe you haven't bought a New Wave record, but have you heard one? Who knows, New Wave might do something for you.
I have heard a lot of new wave music, through friends and a great amount on the radio for many years. I tried, but it never really did anything for me.
"and what music unites, man should not take apart"--Helmut Koellen                               
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2012 at 02:34
I was a fan of early punk but hated 'New Wave' which was just a commercially bland equivalent in my eyes. I loved the Sex Pistols and their energy. The Stranglers were a very inventive band as were Siouxsie and The Banshees . Used to listen to John Peels show a lot and enjoyed. By complete coincidence I stumbled across ELP at the same time and found their music entralling and had much more broadness and depth. Punk was always dealing with small things. My mind and ears wanted bigger things.
Anyway to the discussion at hand. Was their a conflct? Not really. Punk needed Prog . It needed something to rebel against. Johnny Rotten and his 'I hate Pink Floyd T- Shirt'. Yep really rebellious.
 
 
Two amusing asides:
 
A few years ago Johnny Rotten and Keith Emerson 'did lunch' and they didn't try to throttle each other
 
Phil Collins was in an airport (not sure how many years ago) . A certain punk drummer delightfully called 'Rat Scabies' came up to him. Collins was a bit concerned for his well being as Scabies put his hand out to him. He just wanted to shake the hand of a drum legend.
 
Its all 'Showbiz' folks. Don't take it too seriously! 


Edited by richardh - April 14 2012 at 02:36
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2012 at 02:39
Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:


 
Its all 'Showbiz' folks. Don't take it too seriously! 

No. It was more than this. It was shobiz in Rotten's head maybe. At the end of the 70s every sector of culture, popular and not was attacked by a wave of restoration. Punk was just a tool. One of the many. The outcomes were the yuppies.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2012 at 02:41
Originally posted by octopus-4 octopus-4 wrote:

Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:


 
Its all 'Showbiz' folks. Don't take it too seriously! 

No. It was more than this. It was shobiz in Rotten's head maybe. At the end of the 70s every sector of culture, popular and not was attacked by a wave of restoration. Punk was just a tool. One of the many. The outcomes were the yuppies.
prog in its original form had blown itself out. 1977 was the end of an era for many bands.
change always happens .Its the nature of things
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2012 at 03:33
Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

Originally posted by octopus-4 octopus-4 wrote:

Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:


 
Its all 'Showbiz' folks. Don't take it too seriously! 

No. It was more than this. It was shobiz in Rotten's head maybe. At the end of the 70s every sector of culture, popular and not was attacked by a wave of restoration. Punk was just a tool. One of the many. The outcomes were the yuppies.
prog in its original form had blown itself out. 1977 was the end of an era for many bands.
change always happens .Its the nature of things
I agree with this. As well as flower-power, Maoists, and newagers have blown themselves out in the same way.  What I say is that as soon as the first weaknesses appeared somebody was ready to cancel all the freedoms conquered by the previous generation. Punk was a weak tool, heroin was a powerful one. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2012 at 07:46
Originally posted by octopus-4 octopus-4 wrote:

Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

Originally posted by octopus-4 octopus-4 wrote:

Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:


 
Its all 'Showbiz' folks. Don't take it too seriously! 

No. It was more than this. It was shobiz in Rotten's head maybe. At the end of the 70s every sector of culture, popular and not was attacked by a wave of restoration. Punk was just a tool. One of the many. The outcomes were the yuppies.
prog in its original form had blown itself out. 1977 was the end of an era for many bands.
change always happens .Its the nature of things
I agree with this. As well as flower-power, Maoists, and newagers have blown themselves out in the same way.  What I say is that as soon as the first weaknesses appeared somebody was ready to cancel all the freedoms conquered by the previous generation. Punk was a weak tool, heroin was a powerful one. 
Punk definetly produced a more narrow minded approach to making rock music although thankfully there were artists (ie Kate Bush) that just ignored them and forged ahead regardless.
On the wider point of society isn't there part of a quotation along the lines of 'freedom is something that cannot be taken for granted'. We make the world we live in. Its never been perfect has it?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2012 at 07:54
Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

Originally posted by octopus-4 octopus-4 wrote:

Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

Originally posted by octopus-4 octopus-4 wrote:

Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:


 
Its all 'Showbiz' folks. Don't take it too seriously! 

No. It was more than this. It was shobiz in Rotten's head maybe. At the end of the 70s every sector of culture, popular and not was attacked by a wave of restoration. Punk was just a tool. One of the many. The outcomes were the yuppies.
prog in its original form had blown itself out. 1977 was the end of an era for many bands.
change always happens .Its the nature of things
I agree with this. As well as flower-power, Maoists, and newagers have blown themselves out in the same way.  What I say is that as soon as the first weaknesses appeared somebody was ready to cancel all the freedoms conquered by the previous generation. Punk was a weak tool, heroin was a powerful one. 
Punk definetly produced a more narrow minded approach to making rock music although thankfully there were artists (ie Kate Bush) that just ignored them and forged ahead regardless.
On the wider point of society isn't there part of a quotation along the lines of 'freedom is something that cannot be taken for granted'. We make the world we live in. Its never been perfect has it?
The problem is in the word "we". I've never been in the "majority", but I think it's a common destiny for proggers.


Kate Bush was and is still great Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OT Räihälä Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2012 at 08:49
I started my first band in 1979, and in Finland punk movement was going through its strongest period. For a youngster (I was 15), it was natural to start a punk band, because that was the only way we could really do things our own way. Not for a moment did I think it would be to protest against prog bands (I kind a liked all kinds of music, including jazz and classical), but to just to do our own thing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lucas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2012 at 16:41
I think it is childish to claim that punk killed prog. Prog, similarly to jazz-rock, killed itself by showing-off too much and lacking a melodic approach to their music. Prog and jazz-rock tried to re-surface in the eighties by providing a more melodic dimension to the music (cf Mike Stern, Steps Ahead, Marillion...).  

Edited by lucas - April 14 2012 at 16:42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2012 at 16:54
I was around back then and I think we were united in our disdain fo de disco. Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2012 at 17:43
Originally posted by lucas lucas wrote:

I think it is childish to claim that punk killed prog. Prog, similarly to jazz-rock, killed itself by showing-off too much and lacking a melodic approach to their music. Prog and jazz-rock tried to re-surface in the eighties by providing a more melodic dimension to the music (cf Mike Stern, Steps Ahead, Marillion...).  

 
Punk didn't have the strength to kill anything. What I claim is that in that period every sector of the culture have been manouvred so to give birth to the 80s as we know them. Do you remember the TV trash of that time? Do you remember how all the media tried and achieved to manipulate our minds? Why every singer in the 80s was mimic of Bowie and every keyboardist was using the fairlight? Do you remember all the hair gel and how all the "artists" were dressing?

Prog has the demerit of committing suicide by becoming elitarist once the initial wave was exhausted. The 80s didn't come because of prog or punk.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2012 at 02:27
Originally posted by lucas lucas wrote:

I think it is childish to claim that punk killed prog. Prog, similarly to jazz-rock, killed itself by showing-off too much and lacking a melodic approach to their music. Prog and jazz-rock tried to re-surface in the eighties by providing a more melodic dimension to the music (cf Mike Stern, Steps Ahead, Marillion...).  
I don't believe prog 'killed itself by showing off too much'. In reality prog was at odds with the radio/tv driven culture that became more prevailent towards the end of the seventies. MTV was going to happen regardless.Punk was more about style and fitted in a lot easier.They had shorter tracks that could be played on radio and they had 'a look' and knew how to present themselves. Prog was all about the music although the bands had a  theatrical approach that worked in the live environment but this also opened themselves up to criticism of form over substance (ironic considering punk was the same).
The most successfull prog bands that propped up the genre simply ran out of steam and there were few new bands good enough to replace them (excepting perhaps UK who had a decent stab at changing the genre into the more melodic approach that you mention but they were alone). Some bands just imploded  (like ELP) or decided it was easier to bend to the changing times and do more commericial stuff (Genesis,Yes and Kansas). Some like VDGG and PFM just stopped. There was vacuum that had to be filled and punk bands took their chance.
 
 
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