Punk (magazine)

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April 1976 cover featuring the Ramones
Categoriesrock music
First issueJanuary 1976 (1976-January)
Final issue1979
CountryUnited States
Based inNew York City

Punk was a music magazine and fanzine created by cartoonist John Holmstrom, publisher Ged Dunn, and "resident punk" Legs McNeil in 1975. Its use of the term "punk rock", coined by writers for Creem magazine a few years earlier, further popularized the term.[1] The founders were influenced by their affection for comic books and the music of The Stooges, the New York Dolls, and The Dictators.[2] Holmstrom later called it "the print version of The Ramones".[3] It was also the first publication to popularize the CBGB scene.

Punk published 15 issues between 1976 and 1979, as well as a special issue in 1981 (The D.O.A. Filmbook), and several more issues in the new millennium.[4] Its covers featured Sex Pistols, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, and Blondie.

Punk was a vehicle for examining the underground music scene in New York, and primarily for punk rock as found in clubs like CBGB, Zeppz, and Max's Kansas City. It mixed Mad Magazine-style cartooning by Holmstrom, Bobby London and a young Peter Bagge with the more straightforward pop journalism of the kind found in Creem. It also provided an outlet for female writers, artists and photographers who had been shut out of a male-dominated underground publishing scene.

Punk magazine was home to (many of whom were being published for the first time) writers Mary Harron, Steve Taylor, Lester Bangs, Pam Brown, artists Buz Vaultz, Anya Phillips, and Screaming Mad George, and photographers Bob Gruen, Barak Berkowitz, Roberta Bayley and David Godlis. After Dunn left in early 1977 and McNeil quit shortly afterwards, Bruce Carleton (art director, 1977–1979), Ken Weiner (contributor, 1977–79), and Elin Wilder, one of few African Americans involved in the early CBGB/punk rock scene, were added to the staff.

Punk was briefly revived in 2007.[5]


  1. ^ Taylor, Steven (2003). False Prophet: Field Notes from the Punk Underground. Wesleyan University Press. pp. 15–17. ISBN 9780819566683.
  2. ^ McNeil, Legs; McCain, Gillian (2013). "Why Don't We Call It Punk". In Cateforis, Theo (ed.). The Rock History Reader. Routledge. pp. 167–172. ISBN 9780415892124.
  3. ^ Morgan, Jeffrey (February 4, 2004). "John Holmstrom: Floating in a bottle of formaldehyde". Metro Times. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  4. ^ Hannon, Sharon M. (2010). Punks: A Guide to an American Subculture. ABC-CLIO. pp. 99–100. ISBN 9780313364563.
  5. ^ Derienzo, Paul (January 24, 2013). "Punk party brings back '70 scenesters and memories". The Villager. Retrieved April 10, 2015.

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