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86 Segments




Original Sex Pistol, Glen Matlock.

Musician Glen Matlock. Matlock was an original member of the British punk band, The Sex Pistols. He was kicked out of the band in 1977, and replaced by Sid Vicious. Matlock has written a new book about the band, titled "I Was A Teenage Sex Pistol." (It's published by Faber and Faber).


1981: A Good Year for Black Music, New Wave, and Punk

Rock and roll historian Ed Ward looks back on the music of 1981 -- a year he says was great for black musicians in particular, including Prince, Rick James, and Grandmaster Flash. British bands like Duran Duran dominated, too.


The Diverse Sounds of Los Angeles Punk

Rock historian Ed Ward talks about how the city's music scene in the late '70s and early '80s incorporated rockabilly with bands like X, and Mexican traditions with Los Lobos.


CBGB's Punk Rock Legacy

Several bands that emerged from the 1970s punk scene -- including Television, the Talking Heads, the Ramones, and Blondie -- got their start at the Manhattan nightclub. Rock historian Ed Ward tells its story.


Chapter Two of Liverpool's Rock Music Story.

Rock historian Ed Ward examines the second chapter in Liverpool's rock and roll history. After the Beatles, Liverpool became the focus of the emerging punk scene, with bands such as the Deaf School, Teardrop Explodes, and Echo and the Bunnymen.


Japanese Popular Music, Part 2: The Influence of Punk.

World music commentator Milo Miles explores the continuing influence of punk rock on Japanese music in the second of his two-part examination of Japanese pop music. Milo looks at two Japanese groups -- The Plastics and The Frank Chickens.


When Punk and Jamaican Music Met.

Rock historian Ed Ward traces the history of 2 Tone, a musical movement that started in industrial England in the late 70's. It was started by groups like The Specials, the Selecter, the Beat, and Madness, playing ska, a form of pre-reggae Jamaican music.


The Mekons Remain Fresh on Their New Album.

Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the new album from the Mekons (pronounced MEE-kons). The Mekons formed in England at the height of the punk movement. Their musical style embraces punk, country, reggae and just about everything else. The one unifying theme in their music is politics, particularity the politics of the music industry. The new album is called "The Mekons Rock 'n' Roll."


From "Warsaw" to "Joy Division" to "New Order."

Rock and roll historian Ed Ward traces the development of the band "New Order." In 1977, a 21-year-old in Manchester, England saw the Sex Pistols and decided to form his own band. He called it "Joy Division." In the decade since, the band, now called "New Order," evolved to become one of the most influential of their time, with such hits as "True Faith" and "Bizarre Love Triangle."


When Punk Rock Erupted in London.

Rock historian Ed Ward looks back to the dawn of the British punk scene, and the creation of acts such as the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Billy Idol, and Siouxie and the Banshees.


Two of the L. A. Music Scene's Most Interesting Acts.

Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews two new albums from Los Angeles groups. The first is the debut album from Mary's Danish, a band that Ken says combines the roughness of punk with a sense of melody and humor. The other is the latest solo album from Don Henley, a former member of the Eagles.


Author Dennis Cooper on Sex and Death

Cooper says his new novel Closer -- which features explicit depictions of sex acts -- is meant to disturb, but not shock or arouse. While honing in on the experiences of gay men, Cooper sidesteps the issue of AIDS; he says sexuality generates enough anxiety on its own.


At the Forefront of Ramones Mania

The Queens-based punk band has a new disc compiling some of their best tracks. Frontman Joey Ramone joins Fresh Air to discuss how the group formed, the punk attitude, and the changing sounds of popular music.


The "Decline" of Aging Rockers

Part I of Terry Gross's interview with filmmaker Penelope Spheeris. Spheeris talks about her new movie, The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: the Metal Years, a documentary about the heavy metal scene. She thinks stereotypes of the inarticulate and unskilled metal musicians are unfair -- though it's often true that they embrace a drug-fueled, self-destructive lifestyle.


Ken Tucker: The Interview.

Rock Critic Ken Tucker. It's another in the continuing series of interviews with Fresh Air's contributors. Ken tells us how a frustrated college poet found himself in crowded clubs listening to punk bands and being paid for it.


Influential Punk Rockers The Buzzcocks.

Rock historian Ed Ward profiles The Buzzcocks, a British punk group that had more influence on the British punk scene than better-known bands like The Sex Pistols. The band was based in Manchester and had an even grittier veneer than that of the notorious London punk bands.


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