Believe it or not, a lot of punk frontmen are ridiculously clever, whether that’s due to their own wits or because they have a PhD in Geology. And because I can’t think of anything else to write about and it made a good topic of conversation between fightclubsandwich and I, let’s find out who are punk’s smartest dudes!
5) Glenn Danzig
Danzig is a pretty decent businessman, owning his own comic book publishing house, Verotik, and he also likes books. And reading them. And discussing them. While shirtless. This video’s bounced around the site many, many times, so instead, have Danzig reciting the first chapter of Paradise Lost:
So, Danzig’s well read. And being well read tends to make for interesting lyrics, as I’m sure you can tell if you’re an avid Danzig or Misfits listener. He also writes classical music, in the form of the Black Aria albums, which are fairly chilling and atmospheric. And badass. Did I mention badass?
4) Henry Rollins
Henry Rollins is a smart, smart guy. Not content with his spoken word bits on various Black Flag albums? Why not check out his books? Rollins is one of my favourite authors of all time. I can’t count the number of times I’ve read Black Coffee Blues, and it reveals something new every time. He also does stand up and is very, very funny. He’s that revered, that every time he did Download here, he was put on a Sunday morning as ‘an alternative to church’. I can get down with that.
3) Blake Schwarzenbach
Jawbreaker were pretty influential, yeah. But did you know that Blake has a degree in English and Creative Writing (which is made even more awesome because that’s the title of the degree that I am doing)? And… he is also a professor! I would kill to be in his class, if I’m being honest. My favourite comment on that page is “any man who can eat toast like that is a great professor.” His blog is also rad.
2) Milo Aukerman
‘The Descendents?’ you cry. ‘But, they were just some dumb pop-punk band!’. This may be true, but the band went on hiatus for a while in the 80s so that Milo could pursue his education, which eventually ended in a PhD in Biochemistry. That is pretty cool. When he came back, Descendents was still all coffee, girls and fishing though. However, there’s a sweet concept that runs through a lot of Descendents songs called the ‘ALL concept’, based on their fourth album. The quest for ‘ALL’ is the quest for endless self improvement… and well, that’s pretty posi.
1) Greg Graffin
Despite his status as punk’s number one political dude, Greg also has a PhD in zoology. And let’s face it, you gotta be smart for that shit. He writes books about politics. He’s producing a TV show called ‘Punk Professor’. He teaches. Is there anything this man can’t do?! Well… a decent solo album. But anyway, Greg rules.