What happens when your child decides to go punk

Originally published at: What happens when your child decides to go punk | Boing Boing



The kid seemed great, the parents much less so, but I’m still trying to decide if the special was pro-self determination or not. On the surface it seems like it was but it’s hard to say 100% in an edited down version.


Everything was fine, and then…

… it got better.


Starring Jay Underwood, aka, The Boy Who Could Fly, no less!


Well, in our house it was a happy day when Jr. showed up with multi colored spiked hair and a nose piercing. It was just normal to us.


The ear piercing stuff was dead on, have to admit. I went through that. Even got kicked out of church because of it. The rest… more shaky. But nice to see Bernie Kopell got gigs after the Love Boat went under.


Agree - I’d throw a party.
Then make him listen to some NOFX.


And Bernie Kopell, AKA Siegfried (Get Smart)

EDIT: I see @cepheus42 beat me to it


Shave their hair into a mohawk and make them a mixed tape? :woman_shrugging:

punk rock dancing GIF

But yeah… punk panic was real, and it caused some real damage to real kids who were just having a good time. One sort of extreme example (and late for punk panic, but it was conservative texas, so…) was the death of Brian Deneke, a punk rocker who was killed by a popular football player…

There is a great film about his murder, Bomb City, that came out pretty recently that I highly recommend.


The height of punk panic was really 80 or 81 up to about 90 or 91. The success of punk inspired bands (and some punk bands that had been around a while and had some mainstream success, especially the Epitaph bands) helped drag punk into the mainstream. The best of the genre was probably the Quincy ME episode “Last Stop, Nowhere”…


ahh, the heady days when “punk” and “new wave” were blurred. I went through the exact same “earring/over my dead body” part too. i waited until i went to college and just came home with it pierced for thanksgiving. end of discussion. kinda want to see the whole piece now!


I love the suitcase full of punk supplies. Do you think he got that from the shady punk on the corner, or did Walmart have punk starter kits?


Jorge just wanted to be hardcore, bt his mother won’t let him make his dreams come true.

Momma, let me be hardcore!


Hmmm… they kind of always were? The terms were used interchangable early on at least (late 70s, very early 80s)…

Depends on the era… 1980s, punk corner, after grunge, walmart… or probably Claires, actually. Delias. Remember Delias!

OH! Remember Sassy! And they had Ian Svenonious as Sassiest Boy in America once…


Sassy was the best. Best article title: “Tortured Boys: Predator or Prey”


I was a bit more rebellious and had mine pierced at 15. Mom freaked. Dad just joked about it. Wore it to church, the minister’s daughter saw me, and the next day I got a call after school from our pastor. 45 minutes of telling me “people will think you’re gay,” and me (proudly) responding “but God knows I’m not gay.” Seriously, I think he thought he was going to save my soul from gayness. Finally he gave up and told me “well if you wear it, you can’t come back to church.”

Never went back. Immediately turned me into an agnostic, later an atheist. Best part was when I told my mom about the call, she turned around and said “well I guess you don’t have to go to church then.” Because there wasn’t no one going to tell my mom what he kid could do. That was for HER to decide. Never complained about my earring again, either.

Go mom!


i believe it. the thing for me was, i was gay – just still deeply closeted, and working things out. so getting mine pierced was – for me – a brave step forward in coming to terms with myself. i remember there being whispers at the time that if you got one ear (left? right?) pierced that meant you were gay, and if you got the other, it meant you were straight, and i can’t recall which was which. anyway, i got my left, because i’m left-handed and it just made sense to me. to this day, i still just have the one pierced. I knew i was old the day a waitress at a restaurant looked at me laughingly and said, “only one ear is pierced? why?”


well, once people understood the nuance that faded. new wave always seemed more pop and synth-based, although both really liked the whole DIY aesthetic. the music his band plays in the video is clearly more Depeche Mode than Sex Pistols, so that’s what i meant by the days when people were still confused by all of it. (especially the media)


Well once the industry pushed the narrative that there was a distinction between punk and new wave, it faded, and people interested in counterculture rather than subculture embraced punk. Punk went underground (hardcore), and new wave had a strained, but somewhat more accepting relationship of being part of the mainstream industry, though often via independent labels. IRS, Mute, 4AD, etc.

The Sex Pistols were on EMI until they got kicked off for the incident on the Thames (and the attempted tour, where almost every show got canceled because of the controversy). Virgin eventually put the album out, and they went to no. 2 (though they probably had the top selling single that week, but BBC radio was under pressure to censor/ban them. They remained on Warner Brothers in the US. But DM was always on Mute, which was an indie for years, banking on the success of DM and Erasure, primarily.

McLaren was insistent that they be on a major, in part to stoke greater notoriety/attention, and in part because he knew that the new labels popping up to promote punk did not have to infrastructure to get the albums out in a timely, widespread manner.