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.

Do they qualify as post-punk?

In the sense of expanding punk’s sonic and thematic boundaries with new influences, where somebody on Reddit said that the Clash experimented with reggae and ska, thusly they’re post-punk before their time or as far as I remember. If the Clash did branch out to postpunk, the Ramones remained punk as far as one member insisted despite others’ willingness to experiment.

The band Sex Pistols did give way to the postpunk Public Image Limited, but that’s arguably another band with Johnny Rotten at the helm. Then you have punk bands that did officially become postpunk like The Cure (starting out as The Easy Cure), Siouxsie and the Banshees and Joy Division starting out as Warsaw. But it does feel needed to include the Clash as such, as they fit the template well.

If surf rock, underground/experimental rock and glam rock count as punk’s precursor, then the Clash counts as postpunk’s precursor by this logic and measure.

It doesn’t necessarily make you a Goth

Based on my experiences with some Goths, though there’s one who’s interested in horror films there’s another interested in history and little to no interest in horror (as far as I know about it) to the point where I don’t think being into horror necessarily makes somebody Goth as there are non-Goths who’re into horror themselves.

Likewise Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Cure are Goth bands but they do have a lot of non-Goth fans, this is like how Garfield’s a furry but he’s got a lot of non-furry fans out there (or for another matter, Ramones is punk with non-punk fans around). So to wit, dressing in animal costumes or depicting anthromorphic characters isn’t necessarily furry.

It’s not always furry to like anthromorphic animals (or zoomorphic humans), it’s the sensibility that makes something part of the furry subculture even if they appeal to furries a lot so it’s like the sensibility makes something Goth but bands considered Goth appeal to them, or any other subculture really. (Bauhaus does appeal to Goths, but it’s also not without non-Goth fans around.)

That could be me speaking from experience, as well as setting the record straight about what makes something furry/Goth’s not necessarily always about listening to Goth bands (as they do have non-Goth fans around), dressing in a certain way (the way Goths and furries dress can be more specific to pull off) but also a more specific mindset than one realises.

Furry or not

When it comes to furry sensibilities, or any subculture sensibilities, I do think they get much more specific than that where I’d say that it’s like the band The Cure’s generally considered Goth but it’s got a lot of non-Goth fans so being a Goth’s much more specific than that. Logically watching Looney Tunes doesn’t necessarily make somebody a furry.

Nor is dressing in animal costumes necessarily furry, since non-furries also do it so I suspect the actual costumes made by furries for furries can diverge from the usual animal costumes really. Any non-furry can anthromorphise animals, but the way furries depict anthropomorphic animals can be lost on outsiders.

Logically, anybody can wear black but the way Goths pull off black clothing can be very different from outsiders and to wit, there are a lot of non-punk fans of The Clash and Ramones but being part of the punk culture’s different. So to wit, you could be into Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck and still not be a furry as they already have a lot of non-furry fans.

So do Pokemon, Thundercats, anything by Beatrix Potter and the like.

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).

Gothic Rock, Rockism and Poptimism

Rockism puts rock music on a pedestal (especially when it comes to playing one’s own instrument, writes own song, no lip-synching whatsoever even if there are choirs, popstars and buskers who don’t bother to lip-synch without trying regardless if they write their own songs or not) whereas poptimism reappraises pop music to say the least.

However with some genres or perhaps styles of music, they tend to defy classification though in my experience I’ve known some rockist Goths (though choral music and even folk music to some extent might make a better claim at turning stereotypes on its head). I might even agree that a good number of the earlier Goth musicians have been deGothed, something like Bauhaus morphing into the less Gothic Love and Rockets or The Cure going pop.

My opinion on how and why Goth seems to defy genre classification (even if there’s a way better case for folk and choral music) might have more to do with the arguably porous boundary between Goth, general post-punk, punk and new wave at least in its early years. (Though it’s almost suspicious why nearly nobody considers The Clash to be post-punk in the sense of experimenting punk with other styles though some call it new wave.)

Porous in that Adam and the Ants was a Goth band turned New Wave, Siouxsie and the Banshees and especially The Cure might be commercially successful enough to be considered New Wave (and dabbled in it to some extent) and actually any one of the earlier Goth bands (Cure, SATB, Bauhaus) were arguably and originally punk (so punk as to be mentioned in punk media and one person assumed Bauhaus to be punk).

Likewise, one might possibly consider The Clash to be post-punk or at least nearly so in some records in the sense of experimenting punk with different sounds and influences that calling it post-punk is being precise and blunt. The New Wave band Duran Duran didn’t just cite the Sex Pistols as an influence but also started out as a post-punk band and to worsen matters, even earlier punk bands like The Ramones were considered New Wave (though my memory’s not good).

I suspect if weren’t for one member’s insistence on playing the same sound, The Ramones could’ve ventured out into post-punk and new wave proper just like Blondie was a punk band turned new wave but that goes to show you how porous these were, though it’s likely any one of these bands could’ve shared the same club so.

That’s…glamourous

Though bear in mind not all punk bands and punkers necessarily dress in sexualised outfits, some are actually pretty normal looking as it gets it’s actually been said that some of the more infamous punk fashions come from prostitutes and some gay cliques. It’s not just that Vivienne Westwood played around with bondage clothing though some of the same things can be said of some glam rockers (who also influenced later punks).

It’s actually been said that the Ramones took a cue from at least one of the members’ curious career and fashion sense that to give you the idea the still alive photographer Peter Berlin used to dress sometimes what you’d expect the Ramones to look. Except that the Ramones were at least publicly chaste as it goes, despite all the cheating and annoying love triangles whereas Berlin let his freak flag out.

Of course not all punks and glam rockers necessarily dressed like this but I suspect dressing like this is to provoke people, make a statement and not give a damn whether if you have dyed hair, spiky hair or in the case with the Ramones, long hair.

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.

She doesn’t look Jewish

When it comes to Judaism or probably any other religion and ethnicity there’s a tendency towards preconceptions that can make it harder to be this open. It’s like assuming all Jewish to be bankers and lawyers when it doesn’t leave room for what’s also possible: gangsters, rockers (especially somebody like David Lee Roth and Joey Ramone), artists and models (most notably Bar Rafaeli and Gal Gadot).

Or even athletes (though I could say similar things about Asian men right down to me talking about Balinese gigolos and Chinese men siring kids in Uganda). That still involves both a wider range of references and experiences and more openness to what they can be. It’s like if DC’s Stephanie Brown and her mum are Jewish, if it sounds odd for Jews to be blond they’re not alone.

I won’t be surprised if somebody else knew this. There’s a study stating that at least some Jews have blond hair (or something, whether if it include dark blond/light brown hair at that). I could go on saying that Scarlett Johansson’s a good example of this. It wouldn’t matter if she seems Scandinavian but if Jewishness’s passed down matrilineally if her mother’s Jewish then she’s Jewish too.

Though I could say similar things about Lisa Boney in this regard. Also if Stephanie’s a Jewish goth punk, she’s also in good company. The musician Perry Farrell’s Jewish and was in a Goth band before. Tara Strong’s all three things in a way as she’s a blonde Jew playing Goth characters. I could also say it’s actually not strange for Goths to be blonde either.

Whether dyed or not, it’s still possible. There are Goths who dye their hair platinum blond and some are naturally blond themselves (again if it includes light brown hair at all). The late Cinamon Hadley (who inspired Sandman’s Death) was stated to have blonde hair herself. But that still involves a wider range of references, interests and experience as well as openness.

Especially to what such people could be that it’s not a stretch to imagine that Stephanie Brown could be those things (but it could lead to fleshing her out more).