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Punk Rock: So What?: The Cultural Legacy of Punk [Paperback]

by Roger Sabin
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 11, 1999 0415170303 978-0415170307 1st
It's now over twenty years since punk pogo-ed its way into our consciousness. Punk Rock So What?brings together a new generation of academics, writers and journalists to provide the first comprehensive assessment of punk and its place in popular music history, culture and myth. The contributors, who include Suzanne Moore, Lucy OBrien, Andy Medhurst, Mark Sinker and Paul Cobley, challenge standard views of punk prevalent since the 1970s. They:
* re-situate punk in its historical context, analysing the possible origins of punk in the New York art scene and Manchester clubs as well as in Malcolm McClarens brain
* question whether punk deserves its reputation as an anti-fascist, anti-sexist movement which opened up opportunities for women musicians and fans alike.
* trace punks long-lasting influence on comics, literature, art and cinema as well as music and fashion, from films such as Sid and Nancy and The Great Rock n Roll Swindle to work by contemporary artists such as Gavin Turk and Sarah Lucas.
* discuss the role played by such key figures as Johnny Rotten, Richard Hell, Malcolm McClaren, Mark E. Smith and Viv Albertine.
Punk Rock Revisited kicks over the statues of many established beliefs about the meaning of punk, concluding that, if anything, punk was more culturally significant than anybody has yet suggested, but perhaps for different reasons.

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Punk Rock: So What?: The Cultural Legacy of Punk + The Philosophy of Punk: More Than Noise + Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984
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Editorial Reviews


[Punk Rock: So Waht?] makes the case for why we should still care...A must for those of the old-school punk persuasion and an intriguing, if not moving, read for those more inclined to regard punk rock with a 'So what?'...A solid background in punk history.
Billboard Magazine

Punk Rock: So What? provides a substantive take on issues like punk etiquette, punk fashion, the influence of punk on comics, punk and racism and punk nostalgia. Sabin has commissioned younger writers, all of whom were involved in punk's heyday, if only as fans.
–Publisher's Weekly, July, 1999

About the Author

Roger Sabin is a Lecturer in Cultural Studies at Central St. Martin's College of Art and Design.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1st edition (July 11, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415170303
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415170307
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #645,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A little too pedantic for punk. July 31, 2002
There is one fantastic essay in this collection, "'I won't let that dago by:' Rethinking punk and racism," by Roger Sabin. Its totally great, and I think its mandatory reading for anyone interested in punk. Other than that essay though....
Well, I picked this book up from the library hoping to get a little more context for the 1970s UK punk scene. Listening to Gang of Four, Sham 69, and Stiff Little Fingers day after day, I wanted some specifics. I wanted Margaret Thatcher horror stories and shocking welfare statistics. This book really doesn't do that. Furthermore, it kinda reads like a bunch of professors waxing nostalgiac about listening to the Rezillos and buying bondage pants. I'd have been better served re-reading the liner notes to Crass's "Best Before." This book might be a good resource if you're writing a paper on punk, but its not much use for someone with a general interest, and it doesn't touch much at all on social or political issues, which to me seem crucial to UK punk. But do check out that Sabin essay!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Uneven but interesting ideas July 9, 2002
By Dogrrrl
A collection of essays, primarily about the British scene. The writing is very uneven, which gets in the way of some interesting ideas. In particular I appreciate the inclusion of essays on gender and race, as these issues are usually glossed over in books on punk. I also liked to essay on regional British punk in contrast to London, and the influences of surf & garage music and comix on American punk. These would be best as starting points for discussion, as each is fairly short, and has shortcomings.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nick Knox was in The Cramps, not The Vibrators... June 7, 2004
By A Customer
When I first found this book I was suspicious, expecting a disaster of misunderstanding and pedantic musings that miss the point (and soul) of the vital underground/independent rock music of the mid to late 1970's. I myself have problems with the label 'punk', a term I'm old enough to associate with 1960's 'garage rock'. In the liner notes he wrote for the classic 1972 'Nuggets' compilation of garage and pop peculiarities, Lenny Kaye used the term 'punk' to describe the sounds and mindset of those 1960's gems. Academics and journalists engaging rock music always has its risks (Greil Marcus' pretentious 'Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century', for example, which gets some well-deserved criticism in the chapter I'm about to recommend).
But I bought 'Punk Rock: So What?' for a great a chapter that REALLY gets it right; 'Chewing out a rhthym on my bubble-gum: The teenage aesthetic and geneologies of American punk', by Bill Osgerby. He explores among other things the connections between bubble gum, the Monkees, and the Ramones, sidesteps any pretentious musings, and provides useful insights. The book is worth it for those valuable insights into the connections and influences of some great, inspired and timeless music.
By the way, drummer Nick Knox was a member of The Cramps, not The Vibrators, as mistakenly written on page 206, in a chapter by someone else. The name of the singer/guitarist in The Vibrators was simply 'Knox'; one word only. I saw The Vibrators, the original Ramones, and others in that halcyon year of 1977, and The Cramps some years after that. And bless ya, Nick, wherever you are. Thanks for your contribution to some brilliant and timeless music.
Oh, uh, pardon my momentary stroll down memory lane. This book will help to capture some of the essence of that essential 'cute noise' (Marc Bolan's description of mid seventies 'punk' rock) and its surrounding aesthetics.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Title Says It All June 9, 2009
This book unfortunately amounts to what happens when career academics apply themselves to the task of analyzing what was fundamentally a street-level movement. It's Dullsville, man, unless you happen to be an aspiring career academic in your own right -- and even then.
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4 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Punk April 5, 2000
By A Customer
This book is a great punk book i recomend it to all.
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