Hi awesome peeps! How is your Tuesday going so far? Well, if you need a little boost to get your day going, how about some punk?! Recently, a friend’s enthusiasm for this genre reminded me how much I’ve always enjoyed punk. It’s also the perfect set of tunes for a certain teenage boy protagonist I’ve been writing this past week.
London Calling by The Clash
You can’t think the word “punk” without The Clash coming to mind. The Clash formed in England in 1976. They consisted of Joe Strummer (lead vocals and guitar), Mick Jones (guitar and lead vocals), Paul Simonon (bass, vocals) and Nicky “Topper” Headon (drums). Headon and Jones split by 1983. Although The Clash recruited new members, they finally called it quits in 1986.
Their debut album, The Clash, debuted in 1977. It would be London Calling, their third album, released in 1979, that gained them a following in the United States. Rolling Stone magazine declared it the Best Album Of The 80s. 1982 saw the release of Combat Rock, which included “Rock the Casbah”. They released their final album, Cut the Crap, in 1985 before calling it quits the following year. They were inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall Of Fame in 2003 shortly after Joe Strummer’s death of an unknown congenital heart defect.
“London Calling” has been inspiring me all week with its driving guitar chords and unassuming bass line. Strummer’s rebellious attitude somehow manages to sour through every note. Have a listen!
American Idiot by Green Day
On the other side of the pond just as The Clash was winding down, Green Day was forming in America. The group consisted of Billie Joe Armstrong on guitar and vocals, bassist Mike Dirnt, and John Kiffmeyer on drums. Their debut studio album, 39/Smooth released in 1990. Drummer Tré Cool stepped in for the band’s second studio album, Kerplunk (1992).
Its major label debut Dookie (1994) became a breakout success. Tree additional albums followed, Insomniac (1995), Nimrod (1997), and Warning (2000). But it was the rock opera, American Idiot (2004), that jumpstarted the group’s popularity. 21st Century Breakdown, followed in 2009 followed by ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, and ¡Trés! in 2012.
A stage adaptation of American Idiot debuted on Broadway in 2010. That same year, Green Day ranked in VH1’s list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.
There are so many tracks that I love by Green Day, but when I’m visiting my “music friends,” I like to go with my favs. There’s so much about “American Idiot” that reels you in, from Armstrong’s clean sassy vocals to the amped up guitar with outstanding drumming. Have a listen and make the call yourself!