I don't really like to categorize music. Always feels like a sales gimmick to me. Music, at least to me, is a form of sonic communication. (Note: I said "music", not "lyrics") I can feel the same energy from Beethoven that I do from the Sex Pistols. I can glean the same musical intent.
But punk rock....
When I first started to listen to it, and play it, my basic thought (which, I guess, was very punk) was "Oh! I can do this." Basic chord progression. Repeat at rapid fire speed. Turn volume up. Go. Yep...I could do that.
I have always enjoyed classical music, so these 3 chord aural assaults were a whole new thing to me. Around the same time, I had been introduced to the music of The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix. The Beatles got me with the production. Hendrix...I remember seeing footage of him on TV once and being awestruck and just trying to comprehend what he was doing to his guitar. WHAT WERE THOSE CHORDS?????
In the early 80s in Nowheresville, OH, I found that no one wanted to play punk rock and there was no audience for it. A few house parties, the even more rare bar gig...it was already a non-event. It was a fashion show, if anything. It all took away from the music. Sure, I had the weird hair, dressed my own way (still do) and all...but especially now, I see that aspect as little more than a uniform...same with almost anything else.
To a teenager of that time period, who had a strong desire for political change and an even stronger desire to make music, punk rock was the answer. The whole DIY approach appealed to me. I was a self-taught guitarist. I had my 2 minutes of local fame as the kid who could play Hendrix stuff (although how well I could play it remains up for debate). I never cared to play anyone else's riffs. Still don't. In fact, I've only ever learned one guitar solo, note for note, from the record (because nothing else fit the song!). I still carry that punk ethos with me. I can do that. I'll just do it my own way.
That punk bands are still a thing...that surprises me. Many are kids who weren't alive went punk rock first happened. They can't conceive the context of it. It's just their chosen style. Its still a fashion show. There's no rebellion. Its very status quo. I see them sporting the same look we did 35+ years ago...and my contemporaries and I were, pretty much, Johnny-come-latelys.
By my mid-teens, punk was pretty dead. I joined my first so-called rockabilly band at 16. I'm still known by most for playing in that genre...but I don't think I ever really played it. I was then, and still am, just a musician with a punk rock attitude playing his own take on music. I lean more towards what folks called the blues...but again, music is music. I think I'm musically well-versed enough to figure out what fits a song. Again, it's communication. Its a vehicle to convey a thought or emotion.
I like energy in music. Probably what appeals most to me in punk rock. The same energy is what attracts me to any music. Bach, Beethoven, Jimmie Rogers, Hank Sr., Blind Willie McTell, BB King, Link Wray, early Elvis, The Beatles, Hendrix, rap, hip hop, jazz...all musicians creating their own thing, their way, with a definite energy. The "Oh! I can do that!" mentality.
The younger musicians probably see me as an old fart blues player now. I'm OK with that. A few years back, I recorded some rather punk rock stuff with a project we named Losers After Midnight. In spots, we were just trying to recreate sounds from our youth. In other spots, I attempted to create something fresh and new. Whether or not I achieved that remains to be seen. I can do that. In fact, I did do that. And will continue to do so.