All those other punks

I’ve come to the conclusion that even if Velvet Underground, Death, Jayne County, The Stooges, New York Dolls and David Bowie all influenced punk rock to varying degrees The Ramones get credit for being not only that recognisable (though you could make a good argument for the Ziggy Stardust character being the prototype for almost any spiky-haired punker) but almost commercially successful compared to Death and Jayne County.

Jayne County, if I’m not mistaken, is a transgender musician who wore very shocking outfits and might possibly be ahead of their time. In that transgender celebrities weren’t that openly supported, acknowledged and considered until recently. David Bowie was certainly a genderbender but he was also a married man with a son at the time. Death, likewise was one of the earliest all-black punk bands.

But if the stereotype of black bands at the time were rhythm and blues pop bands (especially the Jackson Five and the like), despite Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry and 1973 Hanson being a thing (the latter is a British rock band), Death were also too left-field to be readily accepted by the public. (There are also African rock bands and guitarists but still too niche to be accepted.)

It could be that my uncle was something of a fanboy. Even if you point out there were other punk bands before The Ramones (Iggy Pop and the Stooges shouldn’t be forgotten), he seemed to like The Ramones a lot to seemingly ignore the others. I also think The Ramones were pretty commercial compared to Death and Jayne County.

That’s still saying in that whilst The Ramones did have less wholesome moments, they seem more approachable to the public when you think about it.

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