'Sid and Nancy' and more punk influences in movies and on TV
With The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art opening the exhibition "Punk: Chaos to Couture" May 9, perhaps it's time for someone to curate a retrospective on how punk was portrayed on TV and in the movies. Let's just say Hollywood's attempts at co-opting punk were about as subtle as a safety pin through the cheek.
C.P.O. SHARKEY: 'PUNK ROCK SHARKEY' (March 24, 1978) -- Possibly the earliest depiction of punk rock in prime time, this episode of Don Rickles' naval-base sitcom featured a performance by real-life L.A. punk band The Dickies.
SUGAR TIME!: 'PUNK ROCK' (May 22, 1978) -- Wholesome girl band Sugar (Barbi Benton, Marianne Black, Didi Carr) gets a new manager, who urges them to go punk.
AMERICAN BANDSTAND (May 17, 1980) and THE TOMORROW SHOW (June 27, 1980) -- You do not get more punk than John Lydon and Public Image Ltd. commandeering Dick Clark's studio, or Lydon and bandmate Keith Levene baiting a clueless Tom Snyder.
QUINCY M.E.: 'NEXT STOP, NOWHERE' (Dec. 1, 1982) -- Punks won't help Quincy (Jack Klugman) find a punk-rock girl he knows is innocent of murder. Why? Because, "You're the killers! Your whole sick society! ... We're just your lousy escape goat!"
THE SIMPSONS: 'ROSEBUD' (Oct. 21, 1993) -- OK, it was long after punk's heyday. But if you can't make an exception for the animated Ramones as themselves, well, you oughta be sedated.
ROCK 'N' ROLL HIGH SCHOOL (1979) -- The Ramones ruled in this comedy cult classic.
TIMES SQUARE (1980) -- Two girls form a New York punk band with help from a DJ (Tim Curry).
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE FABULOUS STAINS (1981) -- Steve Jones and Paul Cook (the Sex Pistols) and Paul Simonon (The Clash) are among the real-lifers playing fictional musicians in another cult classic, about a girl band gone punk.
CLASS OF 1984 (1982) -- An inner-city teacher (Perry King) gets tormented by, apparently, the touring company of "The Road Warrior."
SID AND NANCY (1986) -- Alex Cox's biographical drama examined the Sex Pistols' Sid Vicious (Gary Oldman) and the mysterious 1978 death of girlfriend Nancy Spungen (Chloe Webb).