Revisiting a Punk Icon

It has been a rocky road for civil liberty this year. So, are you ready for some good old-fashioned Punk anti-fascist good-tidings? Or at least a reissue of a Punk icon.

“Nazi Punks Fuck Off” by the punk band Dead Kennedys was released in1981, originally with Jello Biafra as lead singer, as a single from the In God We Trust, Inc. EP. The single included a free armband with a crossed-out swastika. The design was later adopted as a symbol for the anti-racist punk movement Anti-Racist Action, a multi-racial anti-supremacist band called the Baldies. The record and the accompanying anti-Nazi icon is now in reprint as are other ephemera from the period. Go here for more info on the band and their current activities.

It may seem to some that the Punk movement and skinheads had right-wing leanings, and some actually did, but the movement had a strong radical, social justice component too. The Dead Kennedys were at the forefront of shock and awe—and now cultural history.



One thought on “Revisiting a Punk Icon

  1. Carlo Grosoli

    Everything returns. Maybe just some chunks of a culture, some aspects of a lifestyle related to a period. But it returns. We had the folk revival (dreadnought guitars, checked lumberjack shirts, valve amps…), we had the dreampop again, we had a sort of “remembering the new wave”, then the eighties of the romantic sci-fi movies, the dawn of videogames (remake of Nes, superNes and C64 in a compact format), the again-cult of Vans shoes (I’m near to 40, and I bought a pair again: I can feel my youth! CRISIS!) with a great help coming from the success of Stranger Things and its big case of 80s cultural and visual references … As an ex-amateur-rockband-player and songwriter, few years ago I felt the death of the important figure of the electric guitar as a erotic and freedom tool: while a huge consideration for classical music and ancient instruments grew up (but classical music is written and rigorous), and pop music was always more made with machines (they are rigorous too), the guitars, the guitarists, the solos, the overdrive, were becoming ridiculous museum stuff. I’d say unfair. But think of it: today guitarists are like orchestrals musicians who generate useful sounds for the overall highly-sellable-pop-style-sound. But, just a feeling: is punk coming back? I mean, is there the possibility that a huge slice of society (the youngest ones included) feels again a sort of liberation listening to a dirty overdriven guitar chord and some shouts of dissence? Are these times mature for a punk revival, even just in music? Maybe it’s just happened under my nose, but I missed it.