Essay Music, Youth And Subcultural Spirituality
Punk, youth and subcultural spirituality - finding meaning in secular spheres.
The concept of spirituality plays a part in every individual’s life, in part in relation to how one negotiates the term as part of a community. This essay seeks to discuss the ways in which engaging in musical subcultures facilitate spirituality - it investigates specifically, 1970s US punk to decipher the similarities and differences between religious and secular practices, and incorporates two interviews throughout, that put forward information about individuals own experiences with spirituality in relation to music. Punk creates meaning for punk, therefore is inherently spiritual.
New York City, 1975, home of the events that established American punk subculture, replicates aspects of religion. Punk had its buildings of public worship, places to gather and enjoy live music, CBGB’s being one of the most prominent. A kind of baptism can occur in these sorts of venues, both with first-time gig-goers and artist, such as the Ramones who, by 1975 had a record deal with Sire Records, because of their experience at this venue. Punk included it’s own deities, the “Godfathers of Punk”, Patti Smith, Iggy and the Stooges, The Velvet Underground and so on. The subculture had its own literature and materiality, the New York Fanzine ‘Punk’, and punk albums on vinyl, that circulated among the community and encouraged the support of those who believed. Punk…