The History of Alternative Rock Is Now a Blueprint
Have you ever wanted to see how Bill Haley and His Comets helped birth alternative rock? A new poster traces the genre's history, in blueprint form, using four bands -- the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, Joy Division and the Smiths as touchstones.
Wired has found a creation by Dorothy, a Liverpool-based art studio called “Alternative Love Blueprint —- A History of Alternative Music.” James Quail, who designed it, said that he began at the Sex Pistols' June 4, 1976 concert at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester. According to legend, Morrissey and future members of Joy Division were in attendance at that show and it inspired them to form their own bands.
“Taking that gig as a starting point," he said, "I tried to map out the bands who influenced each other in some way up to that point, from the early proto-punk and garage rockers, through CBGB’s era of punk. Then I mapped out where those scenes led through punk, post-punk, 2-tone & ska, hardcore, riot grrrl, grunge, and so on.”
Scrolling through the poster turns up plenty of obscure acts, which Quail said was designed to serve as a recommendation to lead fans towards bands they might not have heard of. “If you like one band you might like this other band because they hang out in the same scene," he added, "or share some band members, or they influenced each other.”
Rather than create a flowchart to tell the story, Quail took the circuit board from the Regency TR-1, which, in 1954, became the first transistor radio to become commercially available. He chose that particular model because of the symbolism -- Haley recorded "Rock Around the Clock" that year.
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