Punk Rock music appared in the middle of the 70s and it was a movement that wanted to “give the normal people the music back”, bringing back a raw and simple sound, made by players that in many cases didn’t even knew how to play their instruments right. At the time the Rock scene was dominated by Progressive Rock music that had only very accomplished musicians, who knew everything about their instruments, creating complex and long songs. Many famous musicians of that era liked the new subgenre but others hated. Guitarist Eric Clapton that at the time was already a legend in Blues and Rock saw the transformation of the industry and talked in interviews over the decades about his opinion on the bands and what was his reaction when he first heard Punk.
How Eric Clapton reacted when he first heard Punk Rock music
In an interview with Pop Matters back in 2007, Eric Clapton recalled how he reacted when Punk Rock music appeared, saying: “Stick to your guns and do what you love. Clearly, I was one of the people targeted with “assassination,” along with Phil Collins and anyone else popular during that period. The thing to do was to keep going, and believe I was doing the right thing. But I was fearful. I was worried about meeting some of them. There was such antagonism.”
“I’m sure there were people in the middle of it all like Joe Strummer of the Clash who did like the music from before. But I never met Johnny Rotten, and I didn’t want to meet Johnny Rotten. I didn’t want to meet people in confrontation where I’m marked as dead. I was scared. And I’ve never really understood or was motivated by hatred or anger. Blues when it was played at its most aggressive can be about anger. But it’s a much more compassionate setting.”
It’s always been important to me to point out where it comes from, not just music, but anything. I get a little concerned when people don’t look back far enough. The punk thing worried me because it was a deliberate attempt to wipe out the past, the roots of music. It was a purely political move. It’s dangerous. And I think that’s why it was so exciting to people, the kind of revolution it symbolized. Thank God certain people carried on through it and ignored it. In a way it was necessary, but it could’ve wiped out the origin of where we come from,” Eric Clapton said.
The term “punk rock” was previously used by American rock critics in the early 1970s to describe the mid-1960s garage bands. Certain late 1960s and early 1970s Detroit acts, such as MC5 and Iggy and The Stooges.
Much is discussed about who created the movement in the 70’s and The Ramones are considered by many the ones who paved the way for the other bands that would appear with a similar sound. Among the most famous bands also were Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned, The Dead Kennedys and The Buzzcocks.