New York's Punk Scene Revived in NYU Classroom

By Ben Fractenberg on April 20, 2011 3:21pm | Updated on April 21, 2011 6:35am

By Ben Fractenberg

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

GREENWICH VILLAGE — Maybe NYU should call this class "Deconstructing Debbie Harry."

The university is offering a course on the birth of punk rock in New York and London in the late 1970s.

"Discover the tactics that shook up a complacent music industry, overthrowing 1960s rock gods with the raucous, amphetamine punk revolution that still resonates in the sound and style of bands today," reads the course description.

Writer/former post-punk musician Vivien Goldman is teaching the class, which is offered as part of the school's degree in entrepreneurism in the music industry.

Goldman, who said her nickname is the "Punk Professor" and has taught the class since 2006, said the course will be taught over the summer and will be available for the first time to non-NYU students.

"I teach a lot about New York punk," said Goldman. "It's fun teaching right there where it happened. New York has a huge role."

Goldman said punk has had a huge impact on today's music and culture, especially the DIY (Do It Yourself) indie rock movement.

"That was a disaffected generation," she said. "Finding a way to make the power themselves. There was such an excitement when they could make their own records."

Some of the discipline's most reputable theorists may provide some challenging lessons for the professor.

"I hate the teachers and the principal/Don't wanna be taught to be no fool," sang Joey Ramone in the band's 1979 song Rock 'N' Roll High School.

NYU is offering a course on the history of punk rock, which will include the part the now-closed CBGB's played in the movement.
NYU is offering a course on the history of punk rock, which will include the part the now-closed CBGB's played in the movement.
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AP Photo/Kathy Willens

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