Right time, right place

The British Library’s Punk 1976–78 exhibition

Authors

  • J. Mark Percival Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/pomh.39677

Keywords:

punk, exhibition, British Library

Abstract

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 popular 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.

Author Biography

J. Mark Percival, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

J. Mark Percival is Senior Lecturer in Media at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. His 2008 doctoral thesis at the University of Stirling, ‘Making Music Radio’, focused on the social dynamics of the relationship between record industry pluggers and music radio programmers in the UK. He has written about Scottish indie music production, popular music and identity, mediation of popular music and loudness.

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Published

2021-02-05

How to Cite

Percival, J. M. (2021). Right time, right place: The British Library’s Punk 1976–78 exhibition. Popular Music History, 13(1-2), 113–125. https://doi.org/10.1558/pomh.39677