By Greg Graffin
Read by Sean Patrick Hopkins
Read by Greg Graffin
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From the legendary singer-songwriter of Bad Religion comes a historical memoir and cultural criticism of punk rock’s evolution.Greg Graffin is the lead vocalist and songwriter of Bad Religion, recently described as “America's most significant punk band.” Since its inception in Los Angeles in 1980, Bad Religion has produced 18 studio albums, become a long-running global touring powerhouse, and has established a durable legacy as one of the most influential punk rock bands of all time.
Punk Paradox is Graffin's life narrative before and during L.A. punk's early years, detailing his observations on the genre's explosive growth and his band's steady rise in importance. The book begins by exploring Graffin’s Midwestern roots and his life-changing move to Southern California in the mid-’70s. Swept up into the burgeoning punk scene in the exhilarating and often-violent streets of Los Angeles, Graffin and his friends formed Bad Religion, built a fanbase, and became a touring institution. All these activities took place in parallel with Graffin's never ceasing quest for intellectual enlightenment. Despite the demands of global tours, recording sessions, and dedication to songwriting, the author also balanced a budding academic career. In so doing, he managed to reconcile an improbable double-life as an iconic punk rock front man and University Lecturer in evolution.
Graffin’s unique experiences mirror the paradoxical elements that define the punk genre—the pop influence, the quest for society’s betterment, music’s unifying power—all of which are prime ingredients in its surprising endurance. Fittingly, this book argues against the traditional narrative of the popular perception of punk. As Bad Religion changed from year to year, the spirit of punk—and its sonic significance—lived on while Graffin was ever willing to challenge convention, debunk mythology, and liberate listeners from the chains of indoctrination.
As insightful as it is exciting, this thought-provoking memoir provides both a fly on the wall history of the punk scene and astute commentary on its endurance and evolution.
“Greg Graffin has been in the guts of the Punk Rock machine for literally decades. I would dare say there's not a lot you can tell him he doesn't already know. Any observation Greg makes is from the front line and worthy of consumption. In Punk Paradox, Greg meticulously lays out the evolution of Bad Religion not only as a band working to stay relevant but also as an entity that's had to carefully navigate great success and the myriad challenges that come with it. Good stuff.”Henry Rollins
"Fearlessly pulling back the veil to show us the unpretentious, self-aware, deeply sensitive pacifist with a love for humanity and going against the grain, Greg Graffin shatters all expectations and assumptions of what it means to be punk rock, inviting us all to evolve."Aimee Allen, lead vocalist of The Interruptors
“Before Nirvana ever recorded a note, Greg Graffin’s band, Bad Religion, was brilliantly fusing punk rock intensity with philosophy. Who else but Graffin would cite both Black Flag’s ‘Nervous Breakdown’ and Charles Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle as major influences?Danny Goldberg, author of Serving The Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain
With wit and brutal honesty, Graffin brings to life his unique journey: his parallel paths as an academic with a PhD in Zoology and that of an internationally influential punk rocker. He offers insights into band dynamics, the creative process, the way that art and career intersect with personal lives, the Southern California punk scene of the ’80s and ’90s and the currents of the music business that artists deal with along the way.”
- On Sale
- Nov 8, 2022
- Hachette Audio