Styles & Forms | Punk | Early American Roots (Mid-1960s) | Key Events
The roots of punk lie in rock’n’roll, itself a rebellious spin-off from rhythm and blues. ‘Louie Louie’, written by Richard Berry in 1955 and a US No. 2 hit for The Kingsmen in 1963, is often cited as the first punk song with its raw sound and almost indecipherable lyrics (nonetheless investigated by the FBI for obscenity). The song was covered by American garage bands like The Wailers and The Sonics, as well as British beat groups like The Kinks and The Troggs. These bands all influenced the punk movement along with The Who, The Small Faces, The Velvet Underground, Love and psychedelic West Coast bands like The Seeds, Blue Cheer and Question Mark & The Mysterians.
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