The movement started as a backlash against the overproduced, overly theatrical, big money, big label music scene in the late 1970s. It was about getting back to the roots of rock & roll with an honesty of intent. A no money, low tech approach to creating music.
It did not start as fashion or style, although these things did eventually evolve from it. That wasn’t the point.
I had been playing in bands through my teens for 7 years and this new music was like a breath of fresh air. It was exciting, it was youthful, not of our elders making, it was cool and it had attitude… lots of attitude.
Since it was something new it allowed the musicians to define it in whatever manner they chose. For me, it was taking the music in a more pop/alternative trajectory. Labels aside, it was all about creating joyful music with friends.
What I carry with me from this experience is that what’s important is integrity in the pursuit of creativity, no matter what the medium…guitar or paint.
About the photo: This photo was taken by Nancy Jane Lang at the Fast Lane, Asbury Park, NJ in 1980. I am playing my old ’74 Gibson SG (this is the only photo of me playing this guitar) through my ’70 Fender Twin Reverb. You can see between my legs my “new” ’74 Fender Stratocaster that ultimately became my main guitar on stage.