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New Wave Killed the Punk Rock Star

The 70’s were almost over. There was a certain sense of doom surrounding the 80’s. Would George Orwell’s prophecy of 1984 come true? What about the future of music? That’s all I really cared about.

The punk scene was changing. The Sex Pistols were over. Johnny “no longer” Rotten became Johnny Lydon and Public Image. The Ramones changed drummers. Blondie turned disco. The radio, for the most part, was still ignoring new bands.

The suburban sewer rats still refused to accept any new music. It was all deemed punk, before it was heard. They called Tom Petty punk, Dire Straits punk, and even when The Kinks released their new album “Low Budget”, people thought they were a new punk band and refused to listen.

Then came an album called “The Cars”. The Cars were a band from Boston. They wore jackets, skinny ties and comfortable shoes and were very slick looking. I wanted to hate them. But I didn’t. The album was catchy and fun to listen to.

The radio caught on. They gave it a new name. New Wave was born. New wave killed the punk rock star. Gone was the snotty, vulgar, pissy anthems. They sang like they had stuffy noses with a friendly, poppy, synthesized slick sound. Perfectly produced for radio.

I tried to hate it. I really did. But it was good. I was on board for the new wave ride. What choice did I have? I would have to listen to Journey. yeesh.

New wave hit the airwaves and radio stations were born. WLIR became the alternative station playing this new wave music. The 80’s were hopeful. I thought, there is no chance this music will get self-indulgent, excessive or boring, right?

Boy was I wrong.

The Cars – Just What I Needed


About Stevie GB

60 year old stand up comedian from Long Island. My approach to comedy is telling the truth about being married, middle aged and living in the suburbs. I enjoy making people laugh without making them feel uncomfortable. My act is clean and clever. Featured in Newsday and on News12. Winner of the Huntington Arts Council Laff-off, 2006. 3rd place winner of LI Press Best of LI 2011, A regular on The Long Island Comedy Festival for 9 consecutive years. Opened for Dennis Miller, Louie Anderson, Kevin Pollak, Bobby Collins, Bob Nelson, Uncle Floyd, Kevin Meaney, and many more.

One response to “New Wave Killed the Punk Rock Star

  1. 1978-1982 the New Wave Movement then it all turned to way over produced synth pop. However much you may hate the term New Wave to me it is endearing. it means a new sound a new revolution in music. Bands like Devo and Talking Heads were thrusted under this umbrella and that’s fine because those two bands sound like no one else.

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