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A guide to materials related to punk music and related genres
Last Updated: Jul 10, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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    Punk: General Titles

    photo credit:  "Punk Rock Button Collection" by Ken Shafer

    What is Punk?

    “Punk is not really a style of music. It was more like a state of mind.” –Mike Watt

    We make noise ‘cos it’s our choice, it’s what we want to do.”  -The Sex Pistols, Seventeen

    Punk rock was a reaction against the utopian spirit which dominated much of popular culture during the 1960s and had managed to spill over, almost inexplicably, into the early 1970s. Progressive rock, Disco and country inspired rock music were also part of what punk rock sought to repudiate.

    These books constitute general works in the punk canon. Also included are books on punk lifestyle and punk fiction. Please see the other pages for more specific entries.


    Blood and Guts in High School - Acker, Kathy
    Call Number: PS3551.C44B5 1989
    While "Blood and Guts in High School" is not specifically about the punk scene, it has been categorized as both "post-punk porn" and "post-punk feminism". Acker was involved with the New York punk scene and her work embodies the punk spirit of liberation through antagonism and dissaffection.
    *This book is located on the 1st Floor of the Main Library.

    Destroy: The Definitive History of Punk - Gibbs, Alan
    Call Number: ML 3534.G52 1996 cop.2
    This "definitive" history begins in New York in the 1970's (with a cursory look at Iggy and the Stooges). "Destroy" relies on personal narratives to drive the author's critical analysis.
    * Available in the Music Library's Open Stacks

    England's Dreaming: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock and Beyond - Savage, John
    Call Number: ML421.S47S3 1992
    This extremely intricate book examines Malcolm McLaren and the Sex Pistols.
    * Library Use Only. Available from the Listening Center.

    Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk - McNeil, Legs
    Call Number: ML 3534 .P624 1996*
    "Please Kill Me" is an engaging history of American punk told through short, personal narratives by the artists, producers and various punk personages. It begins with proto-punk bands "The Stooges" and the "MC5" and ends in about 1980 with Iggy Pop's "The Idiot." Non-circulating.
    * Library Use Only. Available from the Listening Center.

    Punk Diary 1970-1979 - Gimarc, George
    Call Number: Music Ref ML 3534 .G55 1994
    This book is a compendium of information concerning punk concert dates, record releases and other information sorted in chronological order.
    * Library Use Only. Available from the Music Reference Section.

    Punk Shui: Home Design for Anarchists - Hughs, Josh Amatore
    Call Number: mul NK2113 .H84 2006
    Punk Shui is a farcical interior design manual for hard-core punks.
    * Library Use Only. Available from the Listening Center.

    Punk! A-Z - Lazell, Barry
    Call Number: ML3534 .L414 1995
    * Library Use Only. Available from the Listening Center.

    The Boy Looked at Johnny: The Obituary of Rock and Roll - Burchill, Julie and Tony Parsons
    Call Number: ML3545.B93
    "The Boy Looked at Johnny" is an amazingly biased look at the early years of the punk subculture. This book is useful because it was originally published in 1978 when written punk was still underground.
    * Library Use Only. Available from the Listening Center.

    Punk: The Definitive Record of a Revolution - Colegrave, Stephen and Chris Sullivan
    Call Number: ML3534 .C637 2005
    Loaded with great quotes and photographs, this book is essential for understanding punk through the very early 80s.
    *Library Use Only. Available from the Listening Center.

    The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB's: A secret history of Jewish punk - Beeber, Steven Lee
    Call Number: ML3534.3 .B44 2006
    Chicago : Chicago Review Press, c2006
    * Library Use Only. Library Use Only. Available from the Listening Center.

    The Secret History of Rock : The Most Influential Bands You've Never Heard - Sarig, Roni
    Call Number: ML3534 .S27 1998
    * Library Use Only. Library use only. Available in the Reference Section.

    She's a Rebel : the history of women in rock & roll - Gaar, Gillian G.
    Call Number: ML394 .G28 2002
    This is an excellent resource for understanding the history of many women involved in punk rock.
    Music Library Open Stacks

    CBGB and OMFUG:: thirty years from the home of underground rock - Kristal, Hilly
    Call Number: ML3534 .K73 2005
    Afterword by David Byrne
    * Library Use Only. Library Use Only. Available from the Listening Center.

    Our Band Could Be Your Life : Scenes from the American indie underground 1981-1991 - Azerrad, Michael
    Call Number: ML3534.3 .A94 2002
    This book is valuble in charting the growth of independent music in the US following the influence of English punk.
    Music Library Open Stacks


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    This research guide was created by William Emerson, American Culture Studies Ph.D. graduate and former Music Library graduate assistant.


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