The punk subculture emerged in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia in the mid-1970s. Exactly which region originated punk has long been a major controversy within the movement.
Two UK punks in a train carriage in 1986; note the hand-stencilled Crass symbol painted on the coat of on the man on the right
Early punk had an abundance of antecedents and influences, and Jon Savage has described the subculture as a “bricolage” of almost every previous youth culture that existed in the West since the Second World War “stuck together with safety pins”. Variousphilosophical, political, and artistic movements influenced the subculture. In particular, punk drew inspiration from several strains ofmodern art. Various writers, books, and literary movements were important to the formation of the punk aesthetic. Punk rock has a variety of musical origins, both within the rock and roll genre and beyond.
The earliest form of punk rock, named protopunk in retrospect, started as a garage rock revival in the northeastern United States in the late 1960s. The first ongoing music scene that was assigned the punk label appeared in New York City between 1974 and 1976. At about the same time or shortly afterward, a punk scene developed in London. Soon after, Los Angeles became home to the third major punk scene. These three cities formed the backbone of the burgeoning movement, but there were also other scenes in a number of cities such as Brisbane and Boston.
Around 1977, the subculture began to diversify with the proliferation of factions such as 2 Tone, Oi!, pop punk, New Wave, and No Wave. In the United States during the early 1980s, punk underwent a renaissance in the form of hardcore punk, which sought to do away with the frivolities introduced in the later years of the original movement, while at the same time Britain saw a parallel movement calledstreetpunk. Hardcore and streetpunk then spread to other regions just as the original subculture had. In the mid-1980s to the early 1990s in America, various underground scenes either directly evolved from punk or at least applied its attitudes to new styles, in the process producing the alternative rock and indie music scenes. A new movement in the United States became visible in the early and mid-1990s that sought to revive the punk movement, doing away with some of the trappings of hardcore.