Is punk dead?


As I’m writing this blog, I’m listening to an old punk mixtape featuring bands like The Adolescents, The Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, Reagan Youth and The Germs and quietly wondering to myself if the prophecy has finally come true. Is punk dead?

It’s been said a million times before and if you really think about it, punk, in it’s first wave, only lasted from about 1975-1979. But the punk attitude and lifestyle never died. In fact it lived through many more incarnations. But now it seems it truly may have sputtered out.

I can remember the rather boisterous punk scene in the 1990s in Jacksonville when I was in middle school and high school – the scene all revolved around the Milk Bar in its original location on Adams St. downtown. Sweaty, unwashed kids with mohawks, homeless punks with nothing in life but the Foster’s oil can in their hand and their leather jacket adorned with patches and pins; high school kids and out-of-place adults all congregated in the tiny club to listen to the last of the modern punk bands – NOFX, Rancid, Pennywise, Blanks 77 and Propaghandi just to name a few. These bands might still be releasing albums, but they aren’t reaching audiences like they used to.

I spent about five minutes trying to think of one punk band that has done anything important in the last five or six years and drew a complete blank. I even went to a website called, but almost got sick to my stomach when I saw that they had posted a video of My Chemical Romance. If that’s what punk is, I’d like to tender my resignation as a fan of the genre. If punk now resides at the mall inside a Hot Topic that sells remakes of Bad Brains t-shirts, then real punks should burn the place down.

Punk rock used to make a statement about the world, about the government, about the hypocrisy of life, but now it seems it’s content to sit back and collect a paycheck from soccer moms who give their kids $20 to go to the mall. With the current state of things in this country and around the world, it seems it’s the perfect time for another wave of punk music to take the underground by storm, but it just isn’t happening.

Until it does, R.I.P. punk rock…