"Do You Have a Band?": Poetry and Punk Rock in New York City
Columbia University Press
In terms of cross-pollinationand active exchange, the underground scene of New York City in the ninety seventies and eighties was unrivalled with protagonists on both the musical and poetical fronts not only influencing each other and their emissions serving as sources of inspiration, but also in terms of tearing down the barriers that were perceived to exist between the sung and the written word.
The book explores a time that set the scene for what was to spawn underground bands who delved into the world of the rhythmic qualities of language to inspire not only writers but also the way lyrics were delivered and eventually performed – both by musicians and poets themselves.
Accompanied by archival material and framed by interviews with contemporary witnesses, the book illustrates how poetry influenced by the Kerouac and the Beatnik movement, French symbolism, Dada and what eventually emanated as the NYC school of poetry gave birth to a new branch of rock’n roll with torchbearers like Patti Smith, Lou Reed, Richard Hell, Eileen Myles, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Ted Berrigan at the helm.
Apart from the usual suspects, a myriad of other and lesser known obscure experimentalist poets are elaborated on and given additional dimensions as contexts, their background and underlying connections are illuminated, the insightful analysis of which explains how the fertile ground has come to fruition for NYC to spawn an idiosyncratic arts scene.
"Do You Have a Band?": Poetry and Punk Rock in New York City is an in-depth, compelling and revelatory milieu study that should not only be of interest to music aficionados but to anyone remotely into the genesis of poetry of the ninety seventies or scenes whose DNA has DIY aesthetics at their very core.