The History of Punk, Class #13

The Edmonton Free School
Sunday December 23 4PM
Location: Upstairs at Remedy Café (8631 – 109 Street)
All-Ages & All-Welcome

“The Punk Rock Book Club”

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Jian Ghomeshi has written a book about growing up in a suburb of Toronto in the early 1980s. Right there, that’s enough material for a class on the history of punk. Not only that, but 1982 weaves in themes of generational conflict, coming of age, multiculturalism, and, of course, music.

Class this week will be in intellectual book club format, held upstairs in the Remedy Café think-tank (aka on the couches). We’ll sit around and talk about David Bowie, the impact of the Iranian Revolution, and what it’s like to be in grade 9. We’ll also expand on Ghomeshi’s look at this particular year of the dog, by examining the wider context of Canadian punk music. Finally, we’ll get serious and discuss the bombing of Toronto’s Litton Systems in October 1982 by the activist group Direct Action.

Following the class there will be a class field trip to a  fundraiser for the inner city agency Bissell Centre, with a bunch of great folks from the Edmonton music community. Find more info about it by clicking here.

Readings:
Jian Ghomeshi, 1982.
Punk and Protest: Laws, Counterculture, Action!

Playlist:
The (English) Beat “Save it for Later”
David Bowie “Cat People (Putting Out the Fire)”
Madness “Our House”
Siouxsie and the Banshees “Arabian Knights”
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll”
Queen and David Bowie “Under Pressure”
The Clash “Straight to Hell”
Talking Heads “Once in a Lifetime”
Culture Club “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”
Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder “Ebony and Ivory”
The Human League “The Things that Dreams are Made of”
David Bowie “Let’s Dance”
Tall New Buildings “Breaking Her Walls”
Moxy Früvous “Stuck in the 90s”
Arcade Fire “The Suburbs”
Bare Naked Ladies ‘This is me in Grade 9″

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2 Comments on “The History of Punk, Class #13”

  1. Daniel Says:

    You might want to gather your information from an actual music historian AND someone who wrote a history book of pop music instead of this. Have you seen universities who actually teach the history of pop music and the textbooks they use? He doesn’t cover the history of punk or pop.


    • Thanks for your comments, Daniel. The bases you mention are already pretty well-covered, but I’d welcome any specific suggestions you have for the class.

      What Ghomeshi’s book does is give a perspective on what it was like coming of age in 1982 – and from there we can springboard into music history and how this connected to wider society at the time. The fact he talks about going to a Talking Heads concert is good enough for me.


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