On punk vs the people –
The key, to me, is for a music to evolve which both permits complete participation and provides scope for instrumental virtuosity. I suspect this music will involve software synthesizers, but also give scope to
new Yngwie’s. The hip hop folks understood in an earlier time that they could use electronica and manipulation of samples to tell a populist story not embedded in amber. I envision an electronic future that looks a lot like 1960s Folkways magazine crossed with Stevie Ray Vaughan goes to Berklee thermodynamics.
I keep waiting for digital instruments to become as expressive and potent in real time as analog ones. Not that live performance on digital instruments isn’t often amazing, but as far as I know there’s nothing with the same power in the hands of a virtuoso as, for example, the sax.
I saw both the pistols and the clash (and the ramones for that matter) and they definitely had guitar solo breaks but point taken wrt to attitude, esp. at the very early stages. (Note that no matter how “bad” a group of musicians are, if they go on the road for 5 years they can’t help but get proficient at their craft no matter what their attitude is.)
2nd: The whole musical backlash thing (“we’re not Yes/King Crimson/Foghat/etc.”) reached even “real” musicians – Elvis Costello came very close to not hiring Bruce Thomas because he admitted to liking Steely Dan.
but my point was that punk was not just another musical genre in the UK – there it had mass, numbers and broad cultural impact. Punk, like reggae, didn’t happen in the US because, really, there was nothing about to relate to – these were someone else’s fight (having said that, don’t ask me to explain the rise of “urban” hip hop amongst suburban boys lol)
True! I get it.
I remember the press about punk having this baggage about populism and it coming off as a complete falsehood because only the coolest kids dug it. But it makes sense that the populism was for real in the UK.