Rocking the Machines: Punks, Engineers, and the Recording Studio

Mr. Chris Rasmussen
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Nineteen seventy-seven marked the one hundred year anniversary Thomas Edison's invention of the phonograph and the year in which all but one of the seminal New York punk bands recorded and released their first records. The one exception, the Ramones, released "Ramones Leave Home," but it was their second long player. Most observers would not link punk with the Wizard of Menlo Park. Indeed, punk musicians have often been depicted as musical Luddites, rejecting the sophisticated layering and overdubbing of the modern recording studio for the authentic simplicity of an honest guitar chord. Of course, it goes without saying that for punks the guitar would have to be electric (no self-respecting punk would pick up a "folkie" acoustic). More importantly, the ultimate punk goal was the recording and releasing of a mass-produced record. Punk is part of a popular music and rock and roll tradition in which in which musicians such as Les Paul, Buddy Holly, and the Beatles pioneered new recording techniques and at times recording devices that subsequently redefined the social hierarchy of the studio, and the sounds produced there. The punk movement contributed to and redirected a long standing trend that merged scientific sound engineering with artistry.

Keywords: Popular music, Technology, Engineering, Aesthetics, Punk
Stream: Technology in Community
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Mr. Chris Rasmussen

Graduate student, History Department, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Ref: T05P0292