Old School Punk By Alex Bone
When you come down to it, everything has an ‘Old School.’ You could be an ‘Old School’ pilot. “I remember the days all the planes had propellers… ‘Old School’ dentist, “Hell and high-water, pain killers are for wimps, back in my day we’d bang out a root canal and the man would be lucky if I gave him a shot of whiskey first.” Even hobbies could be ‘Old School.’ “Back when I started playing Dungeons and Dragons we just had the box set and if you made it to third level that was HUGE!”
Personally I have heard the term ‘Old School’ most in the association to Punk Rock Music. Recently, a saw a post on lovely Face Book where a friend of mine said, “Quit saying you’re Old School unless you were into Punk Rock in the Seventies.” I’m not sure if I agree with this, but then again I’m not sure I really care to much one way or the other either.
Would it even be good to be that type of Old School? Only people that were still into Punk would care to mention it, but in so mentioning it, they are also pointing out that they haven’t evolved much either. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still listen to Punk more than all other types of music and will be cranking it out in the nursing home, but what does being an Old School Punk really mean?
Is a sixty-year old man that got into punk when he was thirty more Old School, than a thirty year old guy that got into Punk when he was twelve. One could argue that the former had been punk for 50% of his life what the latter had been punk for 70%. Does duration make you more of anything?
I know this next statement is not the type of things some folks would want to hear, but it could be argued that the fifteen year old poseur that walks by me with a full mohawk, cranking DK that was recorded before he was born, is more punk than a guy like me who has been into it for thirty years. Sure I have perspective and a more holistic grasp on the subject, but that kid is living it large and has more passion. Who’s to say who’s more punk?
And what actively makes one Old School? If I just showed up to a show, got drunk and puked in the parking lot in 1979, does that make me more ‘Old School’ than a guy that started a band and toured the country playing gigs all over the place in 83? Does just existing and breathing air at an earlier date make someone have some sort of quasi Magick Kudos?
Of course there are no simple answers to my strange questions. Some would just point to the calendar years and leave it at that, but I think “old School’ should also have something to do with motivation and accomplishment. If some new teen on the scene, is booking shows in his basement and having his band open up for touring groups, I think that is a good start. Even if he’s only be doing it six months and he is still a far cooler than some dude that has sponged off the scene and used it as a way to score chicks and get wasted for a couple of decades
As a friend of mine, named Robo, once said, “People can use anything as an excuse to be a loser.” I would prefer that individuals get judged by their accomplishments over their longevity, but in the end that’s still only one man’s opinion.