This year sees the release of the rockumemtary by Wes Orhoski for the band The Damned entitled “I Bet You Wish We Were Dead” and just looking at the trailer shows what an amazing group they were.
In fact, it built a case in my mind to suggest that The Damned may have been the best punk rock band of all time to such an extent that I wondered if the Internet would confirm my suspicion. Amazingly, the Internet did not confirm this. In fact, it suggested the polar opposite.
And wait for it, according to the Internet, the best punk rock band of all time is …GREEN DAY! YES THAT’S RIGHT. GREEN DAY!!!!
I know! I know! but look for yourself here, here and here. The cartoon power pop copyists with their punk by numbers music, black leather jackets and spikey black hair without an original idea throughout their sorry decades of whoring their corporate sanitised version of punk around the stadiums of the world. Yes, them!
Not only that, but The Damned didn’t even make the top ten! Even in this slightly more scientific poll they only made number 21!!!
Well obviously something has gone badly wrong, so we must clear our thoughts and set clear criteria for deciding who deserves this accolade. So, here are the scientifically approved criteria.
Originators not followers
To be the greatest at anything you can’t be a follower, you must be the ones who imagined how things could be different and had the courage and will to see the vision through. Who made the definitive first punk rock record?… that’s right, give yourself a New Rose.
Ride the Zeitgeist
Punk was a moment in time. All music movements have their moment in history and let’s face it “Punk” was not “Punk” until 1976 and its moment had definitely ended by the beginning of 1980s. That’s not to say that punk music and bands don’t still evolve and make great music, but it’s in the first surge that the greatest ride the snake. Let’s face it, if you were to name the best blues guitarist of all time you would be groping for Muddy Waters or BB King not Tab Benoit or Susan Tedeshi (no, I don’t know who they are either and they might be great, but the point stands).
Who is really “Punk”
Let’s be honest London Calling, the wizards’ favourite album of all time, is not punk rock. It’s an amazing Rock and Roll record that embraces a load of styles and had the Clash personality, but punk? What is punk rock? Well, it’s three chords and the truth! Fast! Chaotic! Anarchic! Noisey! Angry! A vortex of Wild Energy to give voice to your inner screaming id. An example? Have a look at this…
OK. It is a myth that the music scene was boring in 1976. The ten years before it have gone down in history as the most exciting musical decade ever, but punk was important because it smashed the idea that musical success was down to artistry and musical competence. It said to anyone, anywhere “you can do it”, if ,as Jonny Rotten wailed, you would only “Get Off Your Arse” (so true Jonathan).
So am I saying that you can be the greatest punk group of all time unless one member grew up on a Council Estate in the 1970’s? Yes I am! I am saying exactly that!
Let’s set the record straight!
Let’s set the record straight and fight back! Here is a poll of the groups who measured up to this exacting scientific criteria. Now is our chance to vote to stop these revisionist and interlopers from rewriting history in favour of the pallid mediocre initiation of a movement of rebellious game changers who took the world by storm and challenged us all to give free reign to our creative impulses and say to anyone who didn’t like it, and many who did, that they could FUCK OFF! because WE DON’T CARE!
Vote now to save the world from Green Day being crowned the Kings of Punk
I voted (for Buzzcocks cos I love them the most, but it probably is The Damned…). But my main bugbear is The Undertones not being on that list. Surely they should have been in instead of the Banshees…
Undertones good point the banshee was a reflection on the first album syndrome they were less punk after that. The debate rages!!
FUCK YOU GREEN DAY ARE THE BEST PUNK BAND EVER !!!!!!!
Hi Chloe. Thanks for joining the debate. Love your CAPS LOCK attitude, by the way. What exactly is it about the asinine cartoon copyists that you love? Is it the hair? It’s the hair, isn’t it?