This generation

When it comes to the history of Goth and Punk, these are related music genres and subcultures where Goth’s evidently descended from punk, so logically punk’s descended from other genres like underground rock music and glam rock.

That makes sense as two of the earlier punk bands like Wayne County and the Backstreet Boys and New York Dolls are glam, Iggy Pop from the underground band The Stooges is a close friend of David Bowie and he himself inspired some punks.

(The late singer Joey Ramone was part of a glam rock band called Sniper, though no surviving recordings exist of that group save for one song.)

Likewise, earlier Goth bands were closely rooted in punk rock and sometimes get mention in punk magazines (garnered from what I know and read from somebody else). Likewise, when I listened to Bauhaus (a band) somebody though I was into punk.

Goth and Punk did go in their separate directions, but punk owes to underground rock and glam rock just as Goth’s indebted to punk rock.

The Early Days

I guess if you believe the comment section for a certain early 80s Goth documentary, it would seem as if a good number of Goths were also punks and New Romantics (i.e. Duran Duran, Culture Club) which would make sense had the subculture just recently started. But then again the same logic applies to punk where in its early days, with regards to its influences and precedents, would consist of glam rock (David Bowie’s cited as an influence by punks, some punk musicians were glam fans, New York Dolls was a glam band and even Joey Ramone was in a glam rock band), surf rock and underground music.

Or for another matter heavy metal’s based on hard rock (which acknowledged the blues of all things), prog and psychedelic rock and some underground rock or anything else. (This would be like pointing out that pop music does have its roots in classical, choral, theatrical and jazz music in the sense of people singing songs they don’t write, and in some cases playing a character which’s also the case with passion plays and musicials.) I guess when it comes to the origin of certain music, it has to come from somewhere.

Not so demarcated

Like I said before, I actually reasoned why Goth rock didn’t get its dues from either rockist or poptimist camp (even if some Goth rockers and Goth fans are pretty dang rockist) has more to do with how porous the boundary is between true punk, post-punk, Goth-punk and New Wave as far as staying in clubs and taking advantage of newest musical trends go.

Or for another matter, the boundary between glam rock and punk rock not helped by that New York Dolls is both glam and punk, some of the Ramones members being glam fans and one of them was in a glam band just as some of the Clash members acknowledged being influenced by David Bowie (a glam rocker) and one of them doubled for him.

It could be said that that both The Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees and actually the Clash took advantage of the newest influences and trends and incorporating those in their sounds as to go from punk to post-punk and then new wave (that’s if The Clash were to be called post-punk). Possibly Bauhaus to some extent but that band begat Tones on Tail and Love and Rockets (which have little to do with Goth music).

At least with the pioneers and some of their cohorts, the lie between those styles is blurry but one could say some of the same things about the G-Beat bands (punk bands exploring Goth, I think).

What was punk

When it comes to tracing the history of a genre and subculture or rather the sensibilities of it, I suspect it would be as tricky as trying to trace the history of furries as not everybody who listens to let’s say The Clash or likes ThunderCats and Little Critter is necessarily going to be punk/furry/whatever. If you were to count the influences and precursors, then the history of punk/furry/whatever gets even more complicated.

(Let’s not forget this gets complicated by people having a gateway drug, so to speak Thundercats and Pokemon could be gateway drugs to furrydom, then Linkin Park and Green Day are the gateway drugs to not only rock music but also more specific genres by chance.)

So to speak, the true origins of punk rock lies in underground rock music (Velvet Underground and arguably Death, the earliest all black punk band), some garage and surf rock (The Stooges and Beach Boys were an influence to Death and The Ramones respectively) and glam rock. Why glam rock? A good number of the early punks have had connections to, love for and/or affiliations with glam rockers at some point or another.

One of the Ramones was in a glam band, some of the other Ramones were glam fans just as Mick Jones admitted to being influenced by David Bowie and Paul Simonon doubled for him, not to mention Sid Vicious was a fan of Bowie. Some glam bands like New York Dolls are also considered to be part of punk, which in some ways they are the prototypes for it. Supposing if surf rock provided the sound, glam rock provided the look and attitude.

Let’s not forget that glam and underground acts and David Bowie himself have been cited in punk websites like Punk77, so as if the influences could be traced back to those characters as well as the rediscovery of Death as at least precursors to punk as we know it.

The precursors

As I said before there are bands considered punk, precursors to punk and/or readily accepted by punk fans. Be it David Bowie, New York Dolls, Velvet Underground, Blondie, The Ramones, Death or The Stooges. But the problem may be that they look so different from the expected punk stereotype that it can be easy to ignore them.

(Let’s not forget the black presence in punk rock, be it Jean Beauvoir working for/with the Ramones at some point, Death being an all black punk band or X-Ray Spex being fronted by a black woman.)

But since these bands were there since punk’s early days and perhaps earlier still if you count glam rock, underground rock, surf rock and the like that it seems punk rock wasn’t that codified yet so you have a variety of looks and characters back then.

Are they even punk?

That’s not to say the likes of Blondie, X-Ray Spex, The Adverts, New York Dolls, The Ramones, The Stooges and Death are any less punk but that they seem far-removed from the expected punk stereotypes. (To be fair, those bands were part of the first wave of punk so in a sense punk has yet to be codified.) Most of them are pretty normal looking by punk standards with New York Dolls being a glam rock band like David Bowie.

Odder still’s that The Clash’s Mick Jones and The Ramones’s Joey both admit to being influenced by him and Sid Vicious was even seen with Bowie’s mullet at some point. (Joey was even part of a glam band before.) They do have the sound and sensibility but since these were all punk bands before punk got even codified and calcified so the true punk sensibility hadn’t matured yet.

But to the point of being somewhat overlooked (Death wasn’t a commercial success and neither were the Ramones in the US until recently). Even David Bowie does seem to be overlooked, even though he arguably brought spiky hair to the fore which became a staple of punk. It also helps that Malcolm McLaren managed the New York Dolls before the Sex Pistols.

And Paul Simonon himself doubled for Bowie that glam rock should deserve to be recognised as a kind of ur-punk (attitude and fashion wise).

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.

Joey was a punk rocker

As for The Ramones, some people have stated there were other musicians and bands that predated them. Be it Death, The Stooges (and thus Iggy Pop), The Velvet Underground, Lou Reed, New York Dolls, Joey Ramones’s early band Sniper, Wayne/Jayne County and the Backstreet Boys/Electric Chairs and even David Bowie at some point (let’s not forget that he and Mick Jones have admitted his influence and oddly enough Paul Simonon doubled for him before).

That’s not to say some of those bands lacked any influence or mention. Like I said, some of the Ramones and the Clash were influenced by David Bowie and Malcolm McLaren managed both the New York Dolls and the Sex Pistols. It seems parsimonious to say that The Ramones was possibly the most recognisable proto-punk band. (I’d say David Bowie and the Spiders from Mars were commercially successful in their own right.)

There was a proto-punk band called The Punks and Blondie could also be considered proto-punk, but The Ramones were eventually recognised as such. For some reason, especially commercial reasons at that (Death and Jayne Country were probably too left-field to be readily embraced by the mainstream). I think that’s the easiest one.

Post-anime is post-punk

If you want to know how inevitable post-anime could be, look no further than post-punk’s history. Post-punk practically came after punk rock and adapts punk rock to much wider influences. Especially now that punk rock ceased to exist in its current form at that time. Public Image Limited came after Sex Pistols, The Cure went from a straightforward punk band to one of the most accessible Goth bands to date and even The Clash dabbled in reggae soon after.

Especially once the 1980s dawned. Logically and parsimoniously, punk rock is directly based on glam rock in the sense of marrying trashy sounds to equally ironic trashy fashion sense. (Malcolm McLaren managed the New York Dolls before moving onto the Sex Pistols, Mick Jones admitted to being influenced by David Bowie and Sid Vicious modelled his hair after his.) Maybe not always nor consistently the case.

If I’m not mistaken, there were already mangaka influenced by western movies and comics before I was born let alone come to recognise these franchises. What post-anime would do’s to take in Western influences as substitutes/replacements after anime died. Pretty much what post-punk musicians did.

Dressing and dissing

I suspect whoever qualifies as a poseur is up to anybody’s guess but something that those really into music (especially the obscure ones) would know. I actually got called a poseur once for trying to get into punk rock and I even had my uncle seemingly defend me (which helps as he’s the right age to get into early punk rock like The Adverts with their song ‘Look into Gary Gilmore’s Eyes’).

Almost as if some of the more normal looking people are one of those really into such truly edgy music like Wayne/Jayne County and the Backstreet Boys/Electric Chairs (I’m not making this up, there’s a glam punk called that before) and New York Dolls. Admittedly I can’t remember what he actually said but it’s more in the lines of being an early adopter of sorts dissing newbies.

Conversely speaking, given YouTuber Kaya Lily sometimes not considered Goth despite dressing like it might it be parsimonious that normal people who listen to Top 40 but make their own clothes be closer to the platonic Goth or Punk ideal of making clothes by yourself. There are normal-looking people who listen to some Goth music.

Especially the more accessible 80s variety. They may not be that involved in the Goth scene much but that’s the funny thing about some people who listen to niche music a lot. They don’t look anything remarkable but do know that the likes of Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Velvet Underground, Death and X-Ray Spex exist.

Not necessarily a matter of bad taste but I get the impression that some of my relatives were early adopters of sorts. Thus giving them a big advantage over youngsters whose idea of punk is that of Rancid.