Andrew Marzoni

Added on by Andrew Marzoni.
Dear East Village Eye: So far in your pages I have at different times learned that both Richard Hell and John Holmstrom invented punk, presumably also at different times. So I figured I might as well put my two cents’ worth in. I invented punk. Everybody knows that. But I stole it from Greg Shaw, who also invented power pop. And he stole it from Dave Marsh, who actually saw Question Mark and the Mysterians live once. But he stole it from John Sinclair. Who stole it from Rob Tyner. Who stole it from Iggy. Who stole it from Lou Reed. Who stole it from Gene Vincent. Who stole it from James Dean. Who stole it from Marlon Brando. Who stole it from Robert Mitchum. The look on his face in the photo when he got busted for grass. And he stole it from Humprey Bogart Who stole it from James Cagney. Who stole it from Pretty Boy Floyd. Who stole it from Harry Crosby. Who stole it from Teddy Roosevelt. Who stole it from Billy the Kid Who stole it from Mike Fink. Who stole it from Stonewall Jackson. Who stole it from Napoleon. Who stole it from Voltaire. Who stole it from an anonymous wino whose pocket he once picked while the man was lying comatose in a Paris gutter, you writers know how it gets when you’re waiting on those royalty checks. The wino stole it from his mother, a toothless hag who once turned tricks till she got too old and ugly whereupon she became a seamstress except she wasn’t very good, her palsied hands shook so bad all her seams were loosely threaded and dresses would fall of elegant Parisian women right in the middle of the street Which is how Lady Godiva happened Lady Godiva was a punk too, she stole it from the hag to get revenge. And Godiva’s horse stole it from her. Soon thereafter said horse was ridden off to battle where it died, but not before the Major astride the horse stole punk from it. The Major was a serious alcoholic given to extensive periods of blackout running into weeks and even months, so he forgot he stole it He forgot he ever had it Forgot what it ever was or meant Just like all of us. But one night in a drunken stupor he burbled out the age-old and Grail-priceless Secret of Punk to another alkie with a better memory. When the Major sobered up, the other alkie, a pickpocket and generalized petty thief, lied and told the Major that he, the pickpocket, had originally owned punk but that one night when he, the pickpocket, was in his cups the Major stole punk from him The Major believed this But later he got drunk and forgot all about punk again. So it might have been lost in one of the crevasses of history and John Holmstrom would be an aluminum-siding salesman door-to-door and Richard Hell would be pitching hay down from the loft of some midwestern farm where he was hired hand RIGHT AT THIS VERY MOMENT in which also I, creator of punk as I really shouldn’t have to remind you, would not be a rock critic and sometime musician to the irritation of many and pleasure of some enlightened folk but rather a senior poobah in the headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses over in Brooklyn Instead of reviewing Devo from the Voice I would be the author of the article “Springs—the Wonder Metal,” published in Awake! magazine sometime in 1978. And that too would be something to be proud of.
— Lester Bangs, “The Scorn Papers” (1981)