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DamagedMusicality and Race in Early American Punk$
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Evan Rapport

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496831217

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2021

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496831217.001.0001

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“Pure Rock and Roll with No Blues or Folk or Any of That Stuff in It”

“Pure Rock and Roll with No Blues or Folk or Any of That Stuff in It”

(p.93) 4 “Pure Rock and Roll with No Blues or Folk or Any of That Stuff in It”

Evan Rapport

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter focuses on the emergence of the first fully identifiable punk style in New York and Boston in the early to mid-1970s. Bands such as the Ramones, Blondie, New York Dolls, Modern Lovers, and the Real Kids used musical materials from the late 1950s and early 1960s. This source material of doo-wop, early rock and roll, and rhythm and blues connected to the vernacular “common stock” schemes and patterns shared among white and Black blues and country musicians. This music harked back to early punk musicians’ baby boomer childhoods, underscoring the fact that—contrary to the general perception—most of the individuals in this scene around CBGB were not teenagers or kids, but rather adults in their late twenties and thirties performing music about being kids. Also, the diverse scene was heavily female and LGBTQ, in direct opposition to punk’s later associations with young white heterosexual males. The chapter contains the first in-depth analysis of the Ramones’ music, revealing the ways in which their compositions and performance styles set the stage for future punk innovations.

Keywords:   Ramones, Blondie, CBGB, New York punk, early rock and roll

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