Right time, right place: The British Library’s Punk 1976–78 exhibition
Percival, J. Mark
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Percival, J. M. (2020) Right time, right place: The British Library’s Punk 1976–78 exhibition. Popular Music History, 13(1-2), pp. 113-125.
To mark the 40th anniversary of punk rock, the British Library ran a free exhibition and a series of associated live spoken-word events in the summer of 2016. Punk was always both outsider (rhetoric, sound, fashion) and insider (the big names of the first-generation UK bands mostly signed to major labels). Using Simon Frith’s framework of three overlapping discourses in pop- ular music (folk, pop and art) I argue that the contradictory strands of ideology in and around punk made the British Library the perfect site for this show.