Before 1976: How Punk Became Punk

Few genres have had the lasting impact of punk. 1976 is one of those seismic dividing lines in popular music. A history destroying year zero. The point after which everything changed. It was the year that The Ramones debut was released, the year that the first singles from the UK Punk scene were set loose upon a unprepared public. And while the punks wanted to remove themselves from the past, burn all that had come before, nothing happens within a vacuum. These bands didn’t appear out of nowhere with the key principles of the genre locked in place. This innovative minimalist, three-chords and the truth, turbo-powered music had to have precedent. There were other artists that lead up to this era-defining moment in music that are either forgotten, ignored or not given credit. This is how Punk became punk.

This video delves in everything from “Louie Louie”, “Rumble” and “Surfin Bird”, through The Sonics “Psycho”, “Sister Ray” by Velvet Underground, “Kick Out The Jams” by The MC5, “I Wanna Be Your Dog” by The Stooges onto the what became the standard for punk rock: “Gloria” by Patti Smith, “Blitzkrieg Bop” by the Ramones and “Anarchy in the UK” by Sex Pistols.


Few today are making movies with the scope and ambition of “Silence” – a fact, he grants, that makes him feel like one of the last of a dying breed in today’s film industry.

“Cinema is gone,” Scorsese says. “The cinema I grew up with and that I’m making, it’s gone.”

“The theater will always be there for that communal experience, there’s no doubt. But what kind of experience is it going to be?” he continues. “Is it always going to be a theme-park movie? I sound like an old man, which I am. The big screen for us in the ’50s, you go from Westerns to ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ to the special experience of ‘2001’ in 1968. The experience of seeing ‘Vertigo’ and ‘The Searchers’ in VistaVision.”

Scorsese points to the proliferation of images and the overreliance on superficial techniques as trends that have diminished the power of cinema to younger audiences. “It should matter to your life,” he says. “Unfortunately the latest generations don’t know that it mattered so much.”

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Makin’ It – Something For Ma (Rare Episode From 1970s Disco Themed Sitcom)

Here is an episode from the short-lived comedy adventure series Makin' It, described as a loose TV version of the disco blockbuster film Saturday Night Fever starring David Naughton (who also had a hit record with the title theme song), Greg Antonacci, Denise Miller, and Ellen Travolta. In this episode, Tony is invited by Billy to Dorothy's birthday party, but isn't sure to attend thanks to a tiff with his father. This series lasted just nine episodes in early 1979.

Nile Rodgers – The Disco Ambassador Gets Lucky

Last month, when the band were filming the video for Get Lucky in Los Angeles, Rodgers says he realised that the dancers didn't really know what they were listening to.

"Somebody called out, 'Wow, what kind of music is that?'" Rodgers recalls. "I didn't hesitate, I said, 'disco!' And they all screamed back, 'Yeah!'. It was like they'd found something mythical that they'd heard about but didn't know. There was an organic connection between the kids and the music. At the end they were literally weeping. I've seen those moments. I've been that guy – and it was for real."Read More...

Leonard Nimoy dies at 83 #LLAP

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Leonard Nimoy, who played Mr. Spock on “Star Trek,” has died.

He was 83.

The actor died Friday morning at his home in Bel Air, California, his wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed to the New York Times. The cause of death was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

If you think the sky is falling, check out the prophecies of the 1970s


Forty years is roughly the length of a working lifetime—and long enough for history to have taken some unexpected turns. And to have proved that long-term forecasts based on extrapolations of existing trends usually end up wide of the mark.

The list of failed prophecies from the 1970s is rather long. The conventional wisdom of the time was more than usually unreliable.

Example: the Club of Rome's Limits to Growth report in 1972, predicting that the world was running out of oil and other natural resources. For a while that seemed right, as the 1973 and 1979 OPEC oil price hikes led to gas lines in the United States.

But in the longer run, as the Club came to recognize, engineers and entrepreneurs found more oil and other natural resources and figured out how to get them to market. Capitalism works, and in ways planners don’t expect.

Another common assumption in the early 1970s was that Britain was a fusty, antiquated country that had to join the modern, up-to-date Common Market (now the European Union). Europe's war-devastated economies had actually grown faster than Britain's in the quarter-century after World War II.

Fast forward to today. It is Europe that looks out of date, with zero economic growth and economies smothered by sclerotic regulation, overlarge welfare states and the poorly conceived euro.

Britain got rid of much of that under Margaret Thatcher and John Major. And thanks to Gordon Brown, it wisely avoided the euro. Now it's growing solidly while the continent lags.

A third bit of conventional wisdom from the 1970s is that Asia generally and China in particular could never grow because of the burden of overpopulation.

But Asia’s state-led capitalism and Deng Xiaoping’s adoption of that model in 1978 has made Asia the growth capital of the world. Hundreds of millions have risen from poverty.


“Charlie Brown Christmas” Drummer returns after 48 years (Vince Guaraldi Trio)

Jerry Granelli says the music soon came back to him.

December 2013: For the first time in almost 50 years, the legendary jazz drummer behind Charlie Brown’s Christmas special played the music that has moved generations.

Jerry Granelli played drums in the Vince Guaraldi Trio for the first airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas in 1965. He didn't play it again until this weekend.

On Sunday, the Halifax man took to the stage for a reprise. He’s the last surviving member of the trio that created the music.

"I haven't done it in 48 years. There are so many memories. All my friends who were on it are dead," he reflected in true Charlie Brown style.

He also played it Saturday as part of the Ottawa Children's Festival.

Granelli was 24 when he performed the track the first time. He had just landed the gig with Guaraldi, who was riding a major hit. "A lot of people wanted that job, but I got it," he told the audience at Halifax's Spatz Theatre.

The trio hadn’t seen the show and it hadn’t been narrated, so they composed and played on their own. "We were just trying to play good music," he said.

They wrote the soundtrack, but "nobody wanted it."

Critics said the show was too religious and the jazz music too cutting edge. But 15 million Americans tuned in to the first CBS airing — almost half of all possible viewers. It became an instant classic and has aired every Christmas since.


“Things Can Change Overnight” (WTC Video Compiled by Glenn Herman)

I used elements from two videos available on YouTube in order to make this one. I find the juxtaposition of the very early 80s soundtrack with the footage to capture my remembrances of the downtown NYC scene back in the day as well as acting as a conduit to the future state of the WTC property. My respects to all the people who made the original, as well as the new, WTC a reality.

The source material for the original WTC was uploaded by Kay1988SN here:

The source for the new WTC complex as executed by the Silverstein Property Company was uploaded by anapszerelmese and can be found here:

The song "Things Can Change Overnight" was composed by Sparks and sung by Adele Bertei for the "Bad Manners" film soundtrack (1984). This song has NEVER been commercially available in any form.

I hope this video finds you in a "future" state of mind - even a 1980s "future" state of mind!

Glenn Herman, October 2013