Brian Foss, owner of Seattle's now-defunct Funhouse rock club, left a thoughtful response on John Roderick's cover story, "Punk Rock Is Bullshit." Here it is, unedited:
short response -
if i remember my mrr's correctly doesn't the saying go that anyone who defines what punk rock is is not punk rock ? :)
long response -
i was first exposed to punk in the early 80's in alaska and while i liked it, as a youth i ascribed to groucho marx;s saying "any group that would have me as a member is not worth joining" so i never wanted to wear the uniform. plus i was a bit of a metalhead, into stuff like motorhead and metallica. so while i liked the dead kennedys and husker du and repo man (and even briefly played drums in a crappy punk band in 85) i just did my own thing.
after moving to seattle in the late 80's and able to see more live music, plus there were tons of great zines out so yeah, i did get really influenced by the DIY idea. this lead me to doing pirate radio, booking shows, DJing for real and even owning my own club.
i remember an argument i had once with someone who thought fighting at shows was punk rock. i told him if punk rock was violence then i'm not punk rock. people can make their own mind. me i ain't gonna argue it because it's a deadend. in my eyes punk rock is not just one thing.
in my life i've always seen joiners, people who need some kind of rule book to live by. be it religion, or politics or sports/d&d or yes, music scenes, some people have little imagination.
i've also seen people take inspiration and make up their own shit from whatever culture they were exposed to. something to prime the pump, jump start their own creations.
as to this whole article - feel free to think punk is what ever you want. i'm sorry punk didn't do everything you wanted it be, but i always thought culture was suppose to inspire, not just provide a users manual.