Shock Antistatico: early Bolognese punk (1977-1980) and the Long Seventies

Quercetti, Ferruccio (2021) Shock Antistatico: early Bolognese punk (1977-1980) and the Long Seventies. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This study reconstructs and analyses the early punk scene in Bologna between 1977-1980 in the context of the socio-political climate of late-seventies Italy. The Italian Long Seventies – an historical period ranging from the end of the 1960s to the first half of the 1980s - have been characterised by violent ideological conflicts accompanied by frequent terrorist attacks, mass-scale demonstrations, street riots, and a general climate of social instability. In Bologna, a city which had been administered by the Communist Party since the foundation of the Italian Republic, punk found itself in the middle of a lacerating conflict within the leftist front.

These peculiar circumstances produced a vital music scene which gave birth to some of the most notable examples of early Italian punk-inspired bands, labels, fanzines, festivals and live concert venues.

Using the Bolognese punk scene as a case study, the main aim of this thesis is to provide a fuller understanding of the relationship between politics and popular culture in late seventies Italy.

A secondary aim is to determine the extent to which approval from the Marxist political sphere was functional to the acceptance – or the rejection – of rock-related popular music trends and subcultural styles in this phase of Italy’s contemporary history, especially in politically leading urban centres such as Bologna, Rome and Milan.

The methods used are a combination of archival research drawing on primary sources and the collection of oral histories by original scene members and witnesses. As my comparative accounts of the Roman and Milanese scenes show, Bolognese punk managed to thrive by virtue of its alliances with the local radical Left-wing movement and, albeit incidentally, with the contribution of institutional politics. This demonstrates how during the Italian Long Seventies - in local contexts dominated by leftist politics and characterised by intense radical activism – rock-related youth cultures could take root only when they found substantial support from the ranks of the Marxist Left.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts
Supervisor's Name: Williamson, Dr. John C. and Bracke, Dr. Maude
Date of Award: 2021
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2021-82587
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2021 11:24
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2022 17:08
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.82587

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