My music got old: Punkrock documentary ‘One Nine Nine Four’

I did not get to enjoy the first dark sounds coming from Birmingham. In 1977 I didn’t spray paint boredom on my jacket. I’ve not lived through the eighties and in the nineties I pretty much listened to the music my parents had. That all changed when I discovered punkrock, but I have to face the facts. My punkrock has now actually gotten old.

I received a Blink 182 cd for my 14th birthday. For my 15th I got an Iggy Pop best off album. I’ve pretty much continuously consumed that type of music ever since, later moving on to the black metal noise you keep reading about on my blog. I’ve also been a voracious reader (and ‘watcher’) of anything that could help me figure out a bit about those legends of the past.

For a long time I was fascinated by the Sex Pistols and the ’77 punk scene, so I read books like Greil Marcus‘ ‘Lipstick Traces’ and much more stuff, watched whatever documentary I could find and actually wrote my BA thesis about punkrock and avant-garde (you can find it here, in Dutch).  It was the beginning of a long journey, continuing with the eighties and early ninetees hardcore scenes. There’s some great books out there on those periods, notably ‘American Hardcore’ by Steven Blush, ‘Worldwide Hardcore’  by  Matthias Leuschner and ‘Burning Fight’ by Brian Peterson. There’s many, many more.

In the mean time I was listening to all sorts of stuff, but the formative years were laced and covered with 90’s skatepunk and skapunk music. Bands like NOFXBad Religion, Green Day (pre-American Idiot) and many, many more. Punk’o’rama compilations were gospel, Fat Mike was like a fat Jesus. I was into NOFX, my brother into The Offspring. I dug Rancid, Less than Jake and The Mighty, Mighty Bosstones.  I still dig that stuff, I still bounce around the appartment I share with my fiancée (how did it ever get that far?) when I play ‘Generator’ by Bad Religion. It’s music that shaped my life and I think that of the friends around me at the time.

A couple of years ago already a documentary came out. It’s even post-Blink 182 reuniting, a thing that should have never happened, and is titled ‘One Nine Nine Four’. The documentary supposes that punkrock got big again in 1994 with Green Day and The Offspring. It could be, for me it was 5 years later but I believe them. It’s a documentary about the music I loved, that I felt was still fresh and young, but apparently it’s now a relic too.

I learned 2 things from this discovery: A) Punkrock has gotten old, atleast the stuff I was so hugely into back then. It probably didn’t really stand the test of time, but it was good and it will always matter to me I think.
B) It was much bigger than I ever knew. Being from, lets face it, the rural Netherlands there was not much to connect with for me and discovering this music made my life better. It gave something to vent my anger with and trust me I’ve been angry for 10 more years or so.

The documentary can be found on youtube, Check it out, there’s a third thing this video did. The third thing it does is set punkrock apart as a genuine cultural movement. Recognition matters.