Mick Jones of The Clash said punk only lasted 100 days. But the expression had been around since the 16th century. In the Merry Wives of Windsor, William Shakespeare used the word to describe a prostitute.
By the 1900s, the phrase was used to describe young hustlers, criminals, gangsters and homosexuals. In the early 1970s, punk came to embody the explosion of sound, attitude and aesthetics reverberating from New York clubs like CBCG and the Chelsea Hotel. And it didn’t take long for the Brits across the pond to catch on.
Skinheads and politicians in Dr. Martens, Sid Vicious in brothel creepers, Vivienne Westwood and Joe Strummer in Chuck Taylors; people looked to their shoes to express the kind of violent, DIY, anti-establishment politics of punk in England.
If punk rock really did only last 100 days in its purest form, then the philosophy of punk drew on its whole etymological history to tread, kick and stomp across England throughout the 1970s.