Punk rock is a rock music genre that emerged in the mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Between the late 16th and the 18th centuries, punk was a common, coarse synonym for prostitute; William Shakespeare used it with that meaning in The Merry Wives of Windsor (1602) and Measure for Measure (1603-4). The term eventually came to describe "a young male hustler, a gangster, a hoodlum, or a ruffian".
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- According to one theory, punk rock all goes back to Ritchie Valens's "La Bamba." Just consider Valens's three-chord mariachi squawkup in the light of "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen, then consider "Louie Louie" in the light of "You Really Got Me" by the Kinks, then "You Really Got Me" in the light of "No Fun" by the Stooges, then "No Fun" in the light of "Blitzkrieg Bop" by the Ramones, and finally note that "Blikskrieg Bop" sounds a lot like "La Bamba."
- Lester Bangs, (1980). "Protopunk: The Garage Bands". The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll (second ed.). New York City: Random House.
- The Sex Pistols were still rock'n'roll ... like the craziest version of Chuck Berry. Hardcore was a radical departure from that. It wasn't verse-chorus rock. It dispelled any notion of what songwriting is supposed to be. It's its own form.
- Steven Blush, "Move Over My Chemical Romance: The Dynamic Beginnings of US Punk," Uncut, January 2007.
- It would be possible to write the whole history of punk music without mentioning any male bands at all – and I think a lot of [people] would find that very surprising.
- Caroline Coon as qtd in Reddington, Helen (1977). Introduction: The Lost Women of Rock Music, London: Ashgate.
- Hippies were rainbow extremists; punks are romantics of black-and-white. Hippies forced warmth; punks cultivate cool. Hippies kidded themselves about free love; punks pretend that s&m is our condition. As symbols of protest, swastikas are no less fatuous than flowers.
- Robert Christgau in Christgau's Record Guide (1981).
- Rap music is the only vital form of music introduced since punk rock.
- Kurt Cobain, as quoted by Karen Bliss, M.E.A.T. Magazine (September 1991).
- Girls invented punk rock, not England.
- Kim Gordon, T-shirt; as qtd in Tim Peacock, "Atypical Girls: The Female Punks Who Fought For Equality", uDiscoverMusic, (August 22, 2018).
- ...punk rock had to come along because the rock scene had become so tame that [acts] like Billy Joel and Simon and Garfunkel were being called rock and roll, when to me and other fans, rock and roll meant this wild and rebellious music.
- ...rock and roll by people who didn't have very many skills as musicians but still felt the need to express themselves through music.
- John Holmstrom in McLaren, Malcolm, "Punk Celebrates 30 Years of Subversion", BBC News, August 18, 2006.
- That was the beauty of the punk thing: [sexual] discrimination didn't exist in that scene.
- [punk] was the first musical genre to spawn fanzines in any significant numbers.
- Dave Laing, (1985). One Chord Wonders: Power and Meaning in Punk Rock. Milton Keynes and Philadelphia: Open University Press, p. 14.
- On TV, if you watched cop shows, Kojak, Baretta, when the cops finally catch the mass murderer, they'd say, 'you dirty Punk.' It was what your teachers would call you. It meant that you were the lowest.
- Legs McNeil; qtd. in Lauraine Leblanc, (1999). Pretty in Punk: Girls' Gender Resistance in a Boys' Subculture, (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press), p. 35.
- In its initial form, a lot of [1960s] stuff was innovative and exciting. Unfortunately, what happens is that people who could not hold a candle to the likes of Hendrix started noodling away. Soon you had endless solos that went nowhere. By 1973, I knew that what was needed was some pure, stripped down, no bullshit rock 'n' roll.
- Tommy Ramone, "Fight Club", Uncut, January 2007.
- Punk was meant to be of the voice of the dole queue, and in reality most of them were not. But Oi was the reality of the punk mythology. In the places where [these bands] came from, it was harder and more aggressive and it produced just as much quality music."
- John Robb, Punk Rock: An Oral History, (London: Elbury Press), (2006), ISBN 0-09-190511-7, p. 470.
- Punk was a total cultural revolt. It was a hardcore confrontation with the black side of history and culture, right-wing imagery, sexual taboos, a delving into it that had never been done before by any generation in such a thorough way.
- ...punk's nihilistic swagger was the most thrilling thing in England.
- Stuart Jeffries, "A Right Royal Knees-Up". The Guardian. (July 20, 2007).
- During the Pistols era, women were out there playing with the men, taking us on in equal terms ... It wasn’t combative, but compatible.
- Johnny Rotten; as qtd. in John Lydon, (1995). Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs. London: Coronet. p. 378.
- Punk rock is meant to be our freedom. We're meant to be able to do what we want to do.
- Joe Strummer, Kosmo Vinyl, The Last Testament: The Making of London Calling, (Sony Music, 2004).