Video of the Week: 20/20 New Wave segment 1979

“Rock ‘n’ roll has always borrowed from the past and threatened the present.”

Whenever you come across these old TV news clips about punk/new wave on the interwebs you can always expect them to be ridiculously ill-informed and sensationalistic. While this one doesn’t paint a complete and 100% accurate picture of what was going on at the time (and who can say anyone has ever painted that picture?) it gives a surprisingly respectful and well-researched account of the state of the scene — at least the part was accessible to the general public at the time.* Considering the audience for this was Middle America 1979, the music actually seems pretty radical. Hopefully, it turned a bunch of kids on to something beyond their cloistered little worlds. As it says, “There’s always something going on you don’t know about”…

*MRR is anti-corporate rock and always has been. But we know that punk rock as it exists today owes a great deal to its forebears, many of whom were on major labels, so we’ll deal with it.