I made a first acquaintance with the punk scene as it had developed in Detroit in the late Seventies. A bored adolescent, I hoped that regular visits to Detroit’s most dangerous neighborhoods would put in the past all my suburban, middle-class antecedents and bring to the surface the feeling that I was destined to be a misfit. The most extreme solution the punk scene offered was to take the idea of “dress” and gather it close, so as to include the very body; the cutting of the skin was supposed to give the impression of a fashion somehow more profound. In Detroit the ground for this punk mind-set had been broken as early as 1968, when Iggy Stooge—considered the founder of the transatlantic movement eventually called Punk Rock—rolled on glass, vomiting and singing “Now I Wanna Be Your Dog.” In the end, though, I was disillusioned with the otherworldliness of suicide chic and...

 

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