Tonight We're Going To Give It 35%

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Here's your final question and answer of the week from the Punknews Formspring:

Q: What artist was influential to many of the first wave punk rockers that doesn't get respect from contemporary punk rockers? Is this a bad thing?

A: Wow! That is a phenomenally great question, anonymous-me-from-several-months-ago!

I've spoken about this before, but from my subjective perspective, it seems that the younger and youngest generation of kids don't care about the history of their music. I may be wrong about this, but it seems like younger people these days don't know much about the Ramones, sex Pistols, New York Dolls, Bad brains, etc etc etc. People like to dis on the Sex Pistols these days, but no matter how "influential" you think Refused, or Jawbreaker, or Third Eye Blind is, The Sex Pistols were 100 times more influential, literally. Plus they rocked man. they rocked the hell out,

I attribute this loss of history to text messaging, but i'm not sure how the two intersect. On the other hand, it could just be that era of punk rock is over and it is fading away and being merged with "indie" music or whatever. By comparison, I don't really know anything about Tommy Dorsey, or Glen Miller, or Gene Krupa, but back in the day, they were the Jay-Z's of swing music. And now, no one gives a rat's patootie about them. Maybe the same thing is happening to Johnny Rotten. Hell, even Elvis is being forgotten. ELVIS!!!!

Anyways, in loosing the history of the important punk rockers, I think we are also losing their influences. i know alot of the early west coast punks were big fans of glam rock like Sweet (THE SWEET - FOX ON THE RUN (original album version UK)), Slade (Slade - Mama Weer All Crazee Now) and T-Rex (T. Rex - Rip off). All those bands were awesome.

On the east coast, a lot of the bands were influenced by the original hard rockers like AC/DC (Shot Down In Flames by AC/DC the second best band ever?), Van Halen (Van Halen - Van Halen II - Beautiful Girls), and the Nuge. (Ted Nugent - Stranglehold) Nuge has some really whack politics now, but his classic 70's albums are all beasts. Really, for a while, The Nuge was the ultimate badass.

But, I think the most under appreciated musician who influenced the most original punk rockers would have to be Alice Cooper. the 80's might have transformed him into a cartoonish glam metal, hair rocker, but in the 60's and 70's, the Coop was a real threat. He killed himself on stage at every show! Zappa mentored him! He sang about having sex with dead people! The Coop was goth before goth existed. He made rock go from being sexually dangerous to physically dangerous. Plus the band is phenomenal. Check out theKiller, Billion Dollar Babies, Love it to dEath, and Schools Out albums. They are ALL mind blowingly good.

You could argue that the Stooges had a bigger impact, but they are more appreciated in punk than the Coop. Also, it's a tight battle between he stooges and The Coop, but I think the Coop is just slightly better due to all the radical things that he brought into music.

My point is this. Don't dismiss the history of punk rock and music in general. You will find amazing music that you never could have conceived. Moreso, you will find that you appreciate contemporary music that much more because you can now see the strands connecting music.

-Johnny G

PS- Form spring is shutting down, so this will be the very last question answered here. It's been a good run, y'all. But if you would like to have more questions answered, you can send in questions in the same way as here on our tumblr page.

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