Cover Image: Punk Paradox

Punk Paradox

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Member Reviews

A historical memoir and cultural criticism of punk rock’s evolution, by the legendary singer-songwriter of Bad Religion. Punk Paradox is a very good memoir that crosses into cultural criticism as well. Great for fans of the band Bad Religion as well as music lovers in general. Punk Rock is a hard thing to write about but unsurprisingly Greg Graffin does it amazingly.

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As a longtime fan of Bad Religion and Punk in general, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Thank you for the ARC

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Thanks to NetGalley and Hachette Books for the advanced reader copy.

This week’s headline? Music is educational

Why this book? I like Bad Religion

Which book format? ARC
Primary reading environment? Train rides

Any preconceived notions? If I don’t like this then am I even punk? 😂

Identify most with? n/a

Three little words? “gauntlet of hostility”
Goes well with? The music of Johnny Cash, Roberta Flack, Stevie Wonder, and Bad Religion

Recommend this to? Bad Religion and punk music fans

Other cultural accompaniments:

Grade: 4/5

I leave you with this: “Here, among the masterworks of pop art and murals of modernism, I was starting to believe that any kind of bullshit could qualify as art.”

“Music was our family glue.”

While this is first and foremost a memoir, it also delves into cultural criticism of the punk genre. Something I found interesting and didn’t know previously from reading this book is that Greg Graffin has written books about science and religion.

This book won’t be for everyone but I definitely enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone who’s interested in music from the 70s and wants to know more about Greg Graffin’s early life.

Punk Paradox will be released on November 8, 2022.

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My thanks to both NetGalley and the publisher Hachette Books for an advanced copy of this new musical memoir.

Punk rock is hard to define, to some hard to listen to, to some the only thing that is true and right in the world, that music starts to get popular, than they are sellouts and deserve scorn. Just because the music is loud, or it sounds like the band just met the instruments they are playing doesn't make a band punk. Staying true to yourself, living the life you want playing music studying for a PhD., making a scene and singing the truth. That's punk. And punk is Greg Graffin. Singer, songwriter and the one man to be in all the iterations of the seminal punk band Bad Religion, Graffin has seen it all and has the receipts and the diploma to prove it as he shows in his memoir Punk Paradox.

Gregory Walter Graffin was born in Madison, Wisconsin in 1964. Growing up in the midwest gave him a solid grounding in life and in himself, one that helped him deal with the scene that was Southern California in the 1970's when he moved there. Music was in not just the cafes but anywhere a band could set up, clubs, youth centers abandoned buildings, and Graffin was amidst it all. At the age of 15 he co-founded the band Bad Religion in 1980 along with Brett Gerwitz who later went on to start Epitaph Records to distribute the band, but later became a major label success. Touring constantly, playing anywhere and building contacts and a support base of fans started the band up the pole of popularity. However Graffin's love of music was equal to his love of knowledge and he attended college and grad school along with touring and writing, getting a PhD in Zoology in A major label deal was in the future and great things looked to come. Until they didn't.

A memoir that is both about music, a scene at its beginning and academia. All of which is very well written and very interesting, with stories, memories, some with a little of the anger Bad Religion's songs were known for. The narrative is always interesting, with a nice propulsion that keeps things moving, never really slowing down. Graffin is honest to a fault, quick to place blame on himself for things, slow to assign. Unless Graffin is calling out the powerful, than look out. Graffin also doesn't spare many punches on the punk scene he grew up in, nor what he thinks happened. A very outspoken, honest and funny memoir.

Recommended for fans of the band, and for fans of punk music in general as the information on the scene is very interesting with a lot of fun, different stories. Graffin was and is a guy who lives by his own punk ethos, and it is good to see that that has not changed.

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This was an incredible memoir, as it gave insight into the punk scene in 80's. I loved the Greg Graffin was an unusual character in the punk scene, as he was sober and held a Ph.D. He was not interested in the chaos of the punk scene, with fighting, drugs, and booze. He was focused on the music only, I really loved his writing and the background of punk as well as how Bad Religion influenced later groups like Green Day.

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I loved Punk Paradox. As a life-long fan of Bad Religion and Greg Graffin, I was so very excited to see this available. Getting a history of Graffin and Bad Religion was like a time machine back to when I first discovered them. Insight into his career as a punk and a professor makes for a really interesting memoir.

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As a huge Bad Religion fan I was so excited to get early access to Punk Paradox. One of the biggest punk bands around it was really interesting to read about how many other bands they have influenced along the way. I recommend listening to the specific albums he writes about as you read it, it really enhances the read. 5 stars. I will absolutely order and recommend.

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This ARC was provided to me via Kindle, from Hatchette Books and #NetGalley. Thank you for the opportunity to preview and review. Opinions expressed are completely my own.

As a huge fan of Bad Religion, this insightful look into the band, process and all that is Bad Religion was a treat. Greg Graffin's a damn talent oft overlooked due to the punk genre. A mistake, huge one, on all levels of you call yourself an audiophile. Even just a music fan in general.

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