The Appropriation of Allen Ginsberg’s Individualism and Anti-militarism by 1970s-80s and Contemporary Punk Rock Artists
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Several authors have researched the connection of Beat poet Allen Ginsberg to rock music, but none have specifically focused on the appropriation of Ginsberg’s poetry by punk rock artists. This paper examines the appropriation of Ginsberg’s individualism and anti-militarism by punk rock artists from the 1970s-1980s as well as contemporary punk rock artists. The Beat poet influenced Patti Smith and the Clash, because they often collaborated and shared the sentiment that lies at the heart of the punk rock spirit: to think for oneself. In the 21st century, bands like Green Day and the Wonder Years drew on Ginsberg's individualism and anti-militarism, but have become less outspoken after George W. Bush’s presidency ended and Barack Obama extended his policies. However, Ginsberg’s individualistic spirit is still partly recovered by Green Day and the Wonder Years even if they do not actively oppose American government.