Thursday, July 03, 2008

USA Bicentennial Ushers in Punk Rock Era

david johansen 4

In 1974, proto-punk rockers, The New York Dolls were, according to frontman David Johansen, "briefly under the management of an English haberdasher." That haberdasher would be one Malcolm McLaren, who took back to London the Dolls and other New York underground band's style and attitude, and translated it into clothing for the shop he and fashion design business partner, Vivienne Westwood owned in the Kings Road... SEX. It is a very British thing...just like The Beatles and Rolling Stones did with American R&B influenced rock music - that is: loving the American thing, taking it back home, reinterpreting it and invading the USA with its own culture and making more hay than the originals...

In 1975, McLaren was managing a band that would morph into the Sex Pistols.

rotten mclaren on street by whisky2 grey
McLaren and Johnny Rotten strolling down Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles, post-Sex Pistols break-up, 1978

In 1976, on the very historic date of July 4 - the United States Bicentennial - The Ramones kicked off their first British tour at the Roundhouse in London, opening for The Flamin Groovies. Every future punk rock star was in the audience... including Johnny Rotten, Joe Strummer, The Damned and everyone else.

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These three wonderful and departed guys - Joey, Dee Dee and Johnny plus the awesome Tommy Ramone ushered in the Next Big Thing in popular music during the late 20th Century. A more appropriate date and venue just couldn't exist. Thanks Joey, Dee Dee, Johnny and Tommy for showing the British how to rock n roll, American punk style.

Tommy Ramone

Nobody does it as good as the Ramones did...

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