1977

1977 is here! It’s my new book, a collage of poems and charts and maps that re-creates the feeling I had when I first heard punk music.

You can be first to have a copy by heading over the Ravenna Press and buy online here. Or …

Those of you who can make it to the release party 4/21 may want to wait … the first 77 get a bonus cassette and poster that evening when you buy a copy from the author.  #merchandising

Thanks for supporting small presses and independent bookstores!

Chart Gender Punk Bands

Chart shows the gender make-up of punk bands that I listened to c. 1977. You could count the women musicians on one hand — Moe Tucker, Patti Smith, Deborah Harry, Tina Weymouth. Later I heard the Slits (1979) and the Go-Gos (early 1980s ). In the 1990s my daughter showed me the light with Sleater-Kinney, The Gossip, Bratmobile, Bikini Kill. Punk got better over the years!

TalkingHeads77Four reasons why a 40-year-old* LP still matters to me:

  1. Psycho Killer 
  2. It’s one of four punk albums I bought at House of Guitars in late 1977 that I still have. (My turntable is still hooked-up too.)
  3. It’s before Brian Eno produced them.
  4. We scalped our Styx tickets to buy Talking Heads tickets instead, 1978.11.09, (true story).

*Released from Sire on Sept. 16, 1977

ElvisCostelloElvis Costello releases My Aim Is True on July 22, 1977. E L V I S  I  S  K  I  N  G  E  L V I  S  I  S  K  I N G is repeated in reversed single letters in the black squares of the checkerboard pattern. 25 days later the King, Elvis Presley, dies on Aug. 16. It is a symbolic death — how bloated rock and roll has become — and ironic — just days after a new King is declared. That fall “Watching the Detectives” goes into high rotation in my dorm room at Mohawk Hall.

Ramones_-_Ramones_coverRamones released their first LP on April 23, 1976 — six days after I turned 18 and could drink legally in NY then. My graduation money that June went for an amp, receiver, turntable and Advent loudspeakers (that I still have!). My summer job was stock boy at the local department store before heading to junior college. My first Ramones LP was their third, Rocket to Russia, at the end of 1977. My vinyl Ramones Ramones is from early 1978.